Cannes Film Fest sets dates for online market – The Hollywood Reporter

Cannes’ film market, the Marché du Film, has confirmed the dates for its four-day event online only in May.

The virtual “Pre-Cannes Screenings” will take place from Tuesday 25 to Friday 28 May and will be hosted on the market’s platform. The Cannes Film Festival is still planning to host an in-person event in the South of France from July 6 to 15.

But a summer market is too late for many in the industry, who would prefer an event in May to allow them to secure funding for projects they can shoot in the summer or, for finished films, for allow time for a summer theatrical release. Given the current uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, many international companies were also unwilling to commit to attending Cannes in person in July.

The Fully Virtual Marketplace will be similar to last year’s online event, with sales companies pitching new projects to international distributors and showcasing finished films through the Marketplace platform. Access to the May market will be strictly reserved for buyers who have already registered for the Market but will not cost extra.

Organizers say the market will also have an in-person event alongside the festival in July.

Cannes is still confident it can host a physical festival this summer, but COVID-19 cases continue to rise in France, with daily cases surpassing 45,000 on Thursday, nearly double what they were ago a few weeks. On Friday, the French government announced it would increase police checks to enforce travel restrictions in place in Paris and several other areas of the coronavirus hotspot.

Cannes was the first major film festival forced to cancel last year due to the pandemic. Organizers held a largely token three-day in-person festival in October, just before France began its second nationwide lockdown.