Will Cannes Film Festival be postponed due to CoronaVirus?
The film festival is held in May in France annually.
The World Health Organization has declared the CoronaVirus outbreak an epidemic. Consequently, all major public gatherings are being canceled globally. For example, the NBA suspended its current season. There are rumors of the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Now the most anticipated event, Cannes Film Festival, has also become a victim of the COVID-19.
Will Cannes be postponed or not?
The CoronaVirus outbreak is worsening day-by-day. France has reported more than 2000 cases and 50 deaths as of 13 March. However, organizers of the Cannes Festival have still not canceled or postponed the event. Festival president Pierre Lescure says:
We remain reasonably optimistic in the hope that the peak of the epidemic will be reached at the end of March and that we will breathe a little better in April. But we are not oblivious. If not, we will cancel.
Last week, France banned gatherings of 1000 people or more. The festival expects about 40,000 attendees over a week. Even so, organizers of the Cannes festival claim event will go on as planned. The spokesperson claimed that:
Nothing has changed our end. The festival staff is currently working. The festival heads are liaising with the city hall of Cannes and the prefecture and will take all the mandatory measures to follow the legislation.
Organizers will lose $33M in insurance claim:
Fans anticipate the Cannes film festival for its selection of films. Given its popularity, the festival holds a budget of over $33 million. However, French taxpayers and corporate sponsors pay for it. The organizers won’t be able to rely on an insurance claim in case of cancellation. Even if the government forcefully shuts down the festival.
However, the insurance company Circle Group gave the Cannes organizers a chance to purchase a buy-back option covering epidemics and pandemics. Unfortunately, the refund only included 6% of the total budget. The festival president says that the offer is ‘totally disproportionate’ and:
We were only offered to cover ourselves for up to €2 million ($2.3 million) while our budget is €32 million ($36 million). It was really peanuts. The company was clearly playing bounty hunter and we have of course declined this proposal.
He also said that the festival has a large endowment fund which can provide reserve revenue for a year.