For the second year running, the Cannes Film Festival has been forced to bow to the viral realities, with THR reporting today that the venerable French film competition will be delayed by at least two months in 2021. According to an official announcement from Cannes, the fest has now dropped back from its originally set debut date of May 11, 2021, to Tuesday, July 6.
This news comes, obviously, after first the postponement, and then eventual outright cancellation, of Cannes 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep across the planet last year. Spike Lee was set to be President of the Jury at last year’s event; Cannes hasn’t revealed yet who’ll be taking that role on in 2021.
The biggest effect of the delay—if it turns out to be the only delay Cannes faces this year, which is obviously going to depend greatly on the vaccine rollout for COVID-19—is likely to be how little breathing room it’ll place between Cannes and the Venice Film Festival, the second of the year’s annual “Big Three” events. (Berlin is the third.) Venice is currently scheduled for September 1; at the very least, that’s going to put a terrible crunch on Europe’s Fancy Weird Statue industry to get enough trophies ready for both festivals in such a truncated span of time.
Meanwhile, the Sundance Film Festival is set to kick off literally tomorrow; the event is likely to serve as a litmus test for what festivals might potentially look like in a mid-to-late COVID world, with a heavy emphasis on online screenings, drive-in showings of films, and a move away from a centralized location or event.