What Could Have Been: Cannes 2020 Official Selection

Created by Ariana Aguilar

The Cannes Film Festival has recently announced this years Official Selection, or what could have been. Cannes is a no-go this year due to COVID-19, though they continued to showcase their selections with films that would have premiered last month. On the bright side, film-goers and critics are still able to catch some of these premieres at other film festivals and theaters later in the year. It’s a great action taken by the festival as it continues to aid the films with distribution and giving them the official Cannes label.

Some of the showstoppers that were to premiere include Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch”, Pixar’s new animation “Soul”, the sequel to the insane 2016 zombie film “Peninsula”, Studio Ghibli’s and Gorō Miyazaki’s “Earwig and the Witch”, and the period-piece drama between Rose Winslet and Saoirsa Ronan’s “Ammonite”. The festival was also to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wong Kar-wei’s classic “In the Mood for Love” and have Spike Lee as the president of the Grand Jury.

As someone who was planning to go to the festival, I am somehow even more bummed out about the festival’s cancellation. Before the virus broke out in Europe, I was studying abroad in Budapest. I figured it was the perfect time to finally be able to attend such a prestigious festival I’ve only dreamt of attending. I applied to the 3 Day in Cannes program when the portal submission opened (I stayed up till 4am to work on my letter of motivation and had an 8am class the following morning) and was accepted within a week. I can’t quite find the words to explain how I felt at the moment, but it didn’t seem real at all. I was already giving myself a pep talk to tell my professors I wont be attending their class the week before finals due to my attendance at the festival. Of course, everything changed and the chance of attending the Cannes Film Festival was long gone.

Although this year has been out of our hands, it’s exciting for the films in 2020 Official Selection to be acknowledged by Cannes Film Festival and the rest of the world. Those who were accepted the to 3 Days in Cannes program this year were emailed a notice that they will be prioritized for 2021. It’s unaware how things will stand within the next couple of months and I can only hope that I have the chance to attend the festival next year.

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