cannes film festival says it anticipates in-person industry attendance at its 2022 edition to be “much higher than last year”, with the vast majority of delegates set to make the trip.
Last year, the French festival reported a total of 10,000 registrations for its market, split roughly evenly between in-person and online attendance. That total was in line with 2020, when the event went entirely digital due to lockdowns, with 10,000 professionals registered for the virtual marketplace.
In 2019, before Covid, Cannes saw more than 12,500 industry delegates fly to the Riviera. Currently, registration numbers are down from 2019, but the festival expects many to make last-minute decisions amid degrees of constant uncertainty.
Jerome Paillard, who will oversee his final Marche du Film before handing over the keys to Guillaume Esmiol, told Deadline that this year’s event was forecasting that only 10% of delegates would be virtual attendees, with the rest traveling to France.
Paillard added that the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany are expected to lead the international presence at the festival, as usual. Another territory likely to see a significantly larger Riviera presence this year is Asia, even though major Asian nations still have significant travel restrictions.
The Marche boss noted that rules in several Asian countries have recently become less strict, which was echoed by companies Deadline contacted to find out if they planned to attend this year.
Albert Lee, director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, told Deadline that the Asian market’s appetite for Cannes was “palpable.”
Hong Kong is operating on a ‘covid zero’ policy, but restrictions are slowly being relaxed and new rules on April 1 made it technically feasible to travel to Cannes. It won’t be easy, though, as a seven-day hotel quarantine is required upon return to the city.
Despite that hurdle, Lee said his team plans to have a physical presence at Cannes and that “everyone is eager to go,” even though it is “inflexible and logistically challenging.”
Raymond Phathanavirangoon of the SEAFIC Southeast Asian Fiction Film Laboratory, based in Bangkok, said he planned to travel to London at the end of April and then travel to France from there. Meanwhile, a delegation from the Busan International Film Festival is also expected to be in Cannes.
As for China, which maintains some of the strictest restrictions, Cannes forecasts a “significant drop” from pre-pandemic attendee numbers, but the country will still be represented by a pavilion at the International Village, where around 12 Chinese companies. be present
An Asian nation planning to send an official delegation to Cannes for the first time is Mongolia. The country is forming a new film commission, and will send representatives to France for the festival.
Cannes-based MIPTV was hit this week by travel disruption after airlines, including EasyJet, canceled hundreds of flights at the last minute, citing Covid-related staff shortages. The Cannes Film Festival may still be more than a month away, but the unpredictable nature of the virus continues to bring an added bonus of uncertainty to travel planning.
The 2022 edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 17 to 28.