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Cannes Film Festival postponed over coronavirus concerns

Cannes Film Festival is postponed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The event, one of the world’s most important film festivals, was meant to run May 12-23, but organizers said in a statement on Thursday that could not happen.

“Several options are considered in order to preserve its running, the main one being a simple postponement,” the organizers’ statement said. That could be a shift to late June or the beginning of July, it added.

"At this time of global health crisis, our thoughts go to the victims of the COVID-19 and we express our solidarity with all of those who are fighting the disease," the statement also said.

The postponement follows weeks of speculation over whether the festival, which draws thousands of filmmakers, celebrities and executives to the French city, would be able to go ahead.

Spike Lee had been chosen to lead the festival’s jury this year, and would have been the first black person to do so in the festival’s 73-year history.

France is in its third day of a lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

More COVID-19-related cancellations:

Fribourg Filmfest cancelled over coronavirus outbreak

Sydney Film Festival cancelled over Coronavirus

Cinéma du Réel canceled over coronavirus

Prague Film Festival canceled over coronavirus

Coronavirus cancels Bollywood 'Oscars' ceremony

Tehran FICTS delayed by coronavirus