CANNES: On Tuesday night, movie lovers got a turn on the red carpet in Cannes when the promoters of their iconic film festival, cancelled earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, kicked off a more low-key three-day celebration featuring a number of short films.
Usually inundated with Hollywood stars flocking for the two-week extravaganza in May to the French city’s “Croisette” promenade, Cannes was a much quieter version of its glamorous self, with even some big hotels opting to shut up shop.
Yet organisers said that, amid enduring travel constraints, they wanted to host an event all the same, to shed a light on certain films and provide a lift to the cinema industry, hit hard by coronavirus lockdowns.
“It’s a friends’ reunion,” said President Pierre Lescure of the Cannes Film Festival. The festival on the southern coast of France is the largest cinema exhibition in the world, and also a major market for the industry.
Members of the public have been asked to sign up for tickets. Four films will be screened that will have been part of the official main contest in May, while other short films will compete for an award.
In some instances, visitors wore facial masks and long gowns and wound their way up a red carpet to one of the auditoriums.
“We need to live in Cannes,” Arlette Destouches, an attendee and local resident, said. “We’re here for that, not to fall asleep, to survive.”
Lescure said the organisers of Cannes were still looking about possibilities for changing next year’s festival dates if it could not take place in May as usual.
One or two potential dates have already been scheduled, and have been moved back to June or July. But Cannes 2021 is about to happen,’ he added.