Many have wondered how this year’s Cannes Film Festival would cope with the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though vaccines are widely available and a large percentage of the festival’s in-person attendees are protected, the new and dangerous Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading quickly among unvaccinated populations. Caution already led the festival’s organizers to move this year’s event back to July from its traditional dates in May. U.S. attendees are required to show proof of vaccination when arriving and agree to be tested every 48 hours during the festival, while European attendees need only show proof of vaccination to attend. Theatres have asked all moviegoers to wear masks during screenings, but there have been many instances of non-compliance, including a report of actor Adam Driver and director Leos Carax smoking a cigarette inside a theatre after the premiere of their film Annette. Nonetheless, it appears that health measures have been mostly successful, with an average of only three new positive tests each day out of thousands of attendees.
On opening night, Jodie Foster was honored with a Palme D’Or for her career work and Leos Carax, Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard were feted with a five-minute standing ovation at the conclusion of the screening of their musical Annette.