Cannes Film Festival Delays Its Press Conference by One Week

The Cannes Film Festival has delayed its highly anticipated press conference by one week, to June 3, Variety has learned.

The reason for the date change is an abundance of movies that have been submitted to the festival, according to an industry source. The Official Selection, in particular the competition, is expected to be larger than usual.

In a normal year, when the festival takes place in May, the lineup is unveiled one month before its start.

Cannes is still on track to open on July 6 with the world premiere of Leos Carax’s musical romance “Annette” with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. The 2021 edition should be in no shortage of major auteurs and stars. So far, two titles have been confirmed for the competition by Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux — “Annette” and Paul Verhoeven’s subversive period thriller “Benedetta.”

Some of the movies being considered for this edition include Sean Penn’s drama “Flag Day” in which the actor-director stars alongside his daughter Dylan Penn, his son Hopper Penn, Josh Brolin and Miles Teller. Other Cannes possibilities also include Jane Campion’s Montana-set “The Power of The Dog” which is being handled by Netflix and could eventually open out of competition.

The roster of international auteurs expected for Cannes’ comeback include Jacques Audiard (“Dheepan”) with “Paris, 13th District;” Asghar Farhadi (“The Salesman”) with the Farsi-language drama “A Hero”; Nanni Moretti (“Mia Madre”) with “Three Floors” starring Riccardo Scamarcio; Julia Ducournau (“Raw”) with the horror drama “Titane,” starring Vincent Lindon; Emmanuelle Bercot (“Standing Tall“) with “De Son Vivant” starring Catherine Deneuve; Mia Hansen-Løve with “Bergman Island,” a supernatural melodrama with Mia Wasikowska, Tim Roth and Vicky Krieps; Kirill Serebrennikov (“Leto”) with “Petrov’s Flu.”

As previously announced, Spike Lee will preside over the competition jury. The festival will wrap July 17.

France came out of its third lockdown earlier this month and is getting ready to reopen its movie theaters and all cultural venues on May 19 after a near seven-month shutdown. The vaccine rollout has accelerated after a slow start, although only 12.5% of the population has been fully vaccinated as of May 12, according to Our World in Data. The rollout has just been expanded to people above 18 years old. Cannes is actually ahead of the curve when it comes to vaccinations. Vaccins were made available to people under 4O years old earlier than anywhere else in France and the city, which hosts a number of major international events besides the festival (for instance Mipcom and MipTV), currently boasts the highest percentage of people fully vaccinated, according to several local reports.

The health situation is also improving at a steady pace. French health authorities reported a decrease in the number of hospitalizations, as well as a weekly rise of less than 2% of new COVID-19 cases on Thursday for the first time in almost a year, along with a sliding seven-day average of new deaths down to 200, the lowest since Oct 26, 2020, according to Reuters.

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