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Cannes announces lineup for a festival cancelled by COVID
Published Wednesday, June 3, 2020 3:43PM EDT
Cannes Festival director Thierry Fremaux, left, festival president Pierre Lescure, sit during the presentation of the festival lineup, in an empty cinema Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in Paris. (Serge Arnal, Pool via AP)
From an empty movie theatre in Paris, organizers of the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday announced the films that would have played at there in May had it not been cancelled by the pandemic.
The selections were an exercise in what-might-have-been for Cannes, the premier international film festival that for the last 73 years has been the most prestigious and glitzy annual gathering of the global movie industry. The French festival, originally slated for mid-May, initially considered postponing to July but ultimately gave up on a 2020 edition.
Hearing what would have premiered on the Crosiette this year offered a tantalizing picture of a cancelled Cannes. Two films by "12 Years a Slave" filmmaker Steve McQueen -- "Mangrove" and "Lover's Rock" -- had been headed to Cannes, said festival director Thierry Fremaux, as was Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" and Pete Docter's Pixar film "Soul."
Fremaux announced 56 movies, including "Nadia, Butterfly," a film written and directed by Canada's Pascal Plante, that were selected from a record 2,067 submissions that poured in despite the health crisis.
"I can see that film is alive and kicking," said Fremaux, sitting on the stage of the UGC Normandie cinema in Paris alongside president Pierre Lescure.
The selection announcement, usually made in an April press conference before teaming throngs of international journalists, was instead presented during a TV interview that aired on Canal Plus. Lescure noted the unprecedented situation had some upside: It was much quieter and Fremaux didn't have to fend off questions from various nations whose films were overlooked.