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Cannes Confirms July Dates for 2021 Festival

Cannes Film Festival (Courtesy of Sipa/AP Images)

The Cannes Film Festival has confirmed a new set of dates for this year’s event, which has again been postponed due to the pandemic. The decision was taken following a board meeting with Cannes festival’s administration board on Tuesday.

The initial dates, which were May 11-22 didn’t seem feasible as France is on the verge of a new lockdown to cope with the second wave of COVID-19 and multiple variants.

The festival will run from Tuesday, July 6, to Saturday, July 17. Variety revealed last week that the festival would run sometime between July 5-25.

The Cannes Film Festival is expected to take place after Cannes Lions, the advertising and marketing trade show, which is still on track to run June 21-25.

In a normal year, having the festival unspool in July would have ruffled feathers with hotel owners because Cannes is a French Riviera hot spot for tourism. July, like August, is peak season and hotels are usually jam-packed with holiday tourism. However, the pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard economically and most hotels on and around the Croisette have been closed for months, since the festival and all trade shows — notably Mipcom, MipTV, Mipim and Cannes Lions — were canceled one after another in 2020. The Carlton, meanwhile, is closed until spring 2023 for renovation works.

Last year’s Cannes Film Festival did unveil an Official Selection but the festival itself was canceled due to the health crisis, which was met with despair from the global film community. That scenario won’t happen again this year: organizers have vowed to host Cannes in 2021. Ideally, Cannes, which is the world’s biggest film festival, could be the first international film event of the year.

Variety's Manori Ravindran contributed to this post.

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