Cannes Film Festival opens doors to homeless population after festival postponed due to coronavirus

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Hall of the Festival Palace during the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

The red carpet glamour of the Cannes Film Festival has been postponed due to coronavirus, so the venues are being used to provide shelter for homeless people.

Shelter is being provided at the Palais des Festivals, which had been due to open its doors in May for the stars of Hollywood.

Organisers have said they still hope to host the festival at the end of June or beginning of July.

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Reuters has reported that between 50 and 70 people have been staying at the festival hall each night, as French isolation rules become tricky for the 12,000 people living on the country’s streets.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux arrives at the Cesar Film Awards 2020 on February 28, 2020. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Everyone who enters the building has their temperature taken before they are able to enter.

Inside, there are shower facilities, an eating area and rows of camp beds — as well as entertainment facilities.

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The Cannes Film Festival is traditionally one of the biggest events of the movie industry calendar, proving to fire the starting pistol on many Oscar campaigns.

This year’s surprise Best Picture winner Parasite started its life at Cannes, where it won the prestigious Palme d’Or award.

Bong Joon-Ho, winner of the Palme d'Or award for his film "Parasite" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2019. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)

BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee was due to serve as the president of this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury, responsible for deciding the next Palme d’Or winner.

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The festival announced its postponement with a statement on its official website.

It said: “The Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world.”