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(Credit: Zhifei Zhou)


Cannes Film Festival opens up its doors to shelter the homeless during coronavirus crisis


The historic Palais des Festivals in Cannes would usually be preparing to host the biggest names of cinema into its grounds at this time of the year. Now, however, the Cannes Film Festival venue is instead opening up its doors to the town’s homeless during the coronavirus lockdown.

The French Riviera resort had been due to host the world-famous film festival from May 12-23 but last week organisers announced its postponement until late June or early July with a date still undecided. Instead of leaving the grounds empty for the foreseeable future, since last Friday the event have started accommodating some of the areas local homeless population who have no place to stay whilst the district is in lockdown.

“We have between 50 and 70 people here every night,” said Dominique Aude-Lasset, an official at Cannes Town Hall. They have also set up four kennels to home dog’s of the people who are using the facility, with Aude-Lasset adding: “We know dogs are precious for people living on the streets.”

The wellbeing of the homeless staying at the Palais des Festivals is being treated with tremendous care, a worker in a face mask takes the temperature of each homeless person each time they enter the site. Additionally, there is an eating area, shower block, three long rows of camp-beds as well as a communal space with television and games to offer entertainment.

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 26th, more than 478,341 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.

France, currently one of the worst affected countries in Europe, has officially recorded 25,233 confirmed cases of the virus and reported 1,331 deaths at the time of reporting.

With more than 21,524 people having died from the virus worldwide, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy, Spain and the UK, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.

Earlier this week, following the postponement of the prestigious event, YouPorn Vice President Charlie Hughes emailed Pierre Lescure, the President of Cannes Film Festival, proposing his site live streams the festival: “We have been closely following the discussions about this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, and knowing the decision to postpone this year’s was a difficult one, we wanted to offer an alternative that will guarantee an impactful debut for selected films,” Huges writes.

“At YouPorn, in the face of a pandemic, we take our role in people’s now more socially distanced lives seriously, in terms of keeping our community connected and entertained. We’d hate to see this renowned event called off for the first time in its 73-year history, so YouPorn would like to formally offer the Cannes International Film Festival an opportunity to stream its feature films and official lineup announcement (scheduled for April 16) in a very special section on our site.”

“We have a robust infrastructure already in place for large scale content streaming and would be delighted to help keep this esteemed event on track with its initially planned programming and timing.”