The show goes on as Cannes Film Festival announces 2020 line-up despite coronavirus

Event was cancelled when France introduced lockdown restrictions to fight coronavirus

epa07579303 Indian actress Deepika Padukone arrives for the screening of 'Dolor y Gloria' (Pain and Glory) during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 17 May 2019. Green tulle dress by Giambattista Valli. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 14 to 25 May.  EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
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The 2020 Cannes Film Festival fell victim to the coronavirus but organisers have decided that the show will go on, belatedly announcing the official selection of 56 movies.

As in previous years, this should have been the time for Hollywood A-listers and independent hopefuls to converge on the south of France, but the festival, due to take place last month, was cancelled when lockdown restrictions were introduced to impede the coronavirus pandemic.

The list of films announced on Wednesday will receive the official Cannes recognition, but there will be no parties, red carpet, frocks to fete or slate, or any of the usual goings-on that make the prestigious event one of the most important in the industry's calendar.

Another difference is that the festival organisers did not split the chosen films into sections, but announced all 56 on the one list.

Among those selected are Wes Anderson's French Dispatch, Francois Ozon's Summer of 85, Naomi Kawase's True Mothers and two films by Steve McQueen, Lovers Rock and Mangrove.

The McQueen titles are episodes from the Small Axe television series.

All the titles will be given an official Cannes 2020 label that can be used when they open in cinemas and at other festivals taking place this year.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux said complete cancellation was never an option.

"As you probably know, the festival was cancelled only once, in 1939," Fremaux said on the Cannes website.

“And only one other edition did not go to completion. It was in 1968.

"In 2020, if the International Film Festival (the FIF, as locals like to call it) could not take its usual form, it was necessary for it to take another form. It could not just disappear.”

Fremaux said organisers did not want to give up on the event because of all the hard work put in by filmmakers.

He said it was inconceivable to think of sending everyone straight from 2019 to 2021.

"So we continued our selection. And it was the right decision," Fremaux said.

"By choosing to work until the end to establish a selection, we received more than 2,000 feature films – 2,067, to be precise.”

Movie theatres have been shut for three months, but the selection, which Fremaux described as a "beautiful one", showed cinema was more alive than ever.

“It remains unique, irreplaceable,” he said. “We live in a world where moving images are in constant evolution, whether we talk of the way the movies are shown or the movies themselves.

"Cinema makes a difference thanks to those who make it, those who give it life and those who receive it and make it glorious.

"‘Coming soon to a theatre near you’. The formula has never been so compelling. We will see it soon. Cinema is not dead, it’s not even sick.”

The 56 films on the officially selected list are:

The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson (US)

Ete 85 by Francois Ozon (France)

Asa Ga Kuru (True Mothers) by Naomi Kawase (Japan)

Lovers Rock by Steve McQueen (UK)

Mangrove by Steve McQueen (UK)

DRUK (Another Round) by Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

ADN (DNA) by Maiwenn (Algeria/France)

Last Words by Jonathan Nossiter (US)

Heaven: to the Land of Happiness by Im Sang-Soo (South Korea)

El Olvido Que Seremos (Forgotten We'll Be) by Fernando Trueba (Spain)

Peninsula by Yeon Sang-Ho (South Korea)

In the Dusk (Au crepuscule) by Sharunas Bartas(Lithuania)

Des Hommes (Home Front) by Lucas Belvaux (Belgium)

The Real Thing by Koji Fukada (Japan)

The newcomers

Passion Simple by Danielle Arbid (Lebanon)

A Good Man by Marie Castille Mention-Schaar (France)

Les Choses Qu'on Dit, Les Choses Qu'on Fait by Emmanuel Mouret (France)

Soaud by Ayten Amin (Egypt)

Limbo by Ben Sharrock (UK)

Rouge (Red Soil) by Farid Bentoumi (France)

Sweat by Magnus Von Horn (Sweden)

Teddy by Ludovic et Zoran Boukherma (France)

February (Fevrier) by Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria)

Ammonite by Francis Lee (UK)

Un Medecin de nuit by Elie Wajeman (France)

Enfant Terrible by Oskar Roehler (Germany)

Nadia, Butterfly by Pascal Plante (Canada)

Here we are by Nir Bergman (Israel)

Septet: The Story of Hong Kong by Ann Hui, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo-Ping et Patrick Tam

The first features

Falling by Viggo Mortensen (US)

Pleasure by Ninja Thyberg (Sweden)

Slalom by Charlene Favier (France)

Casa de Antiguidades (Memory House) by Joao Paulo Miranda Maria (Brazil)

Broken Keys (Fausse Note) by Jimmy Keyrouz (Lebanon)

Ibrahim by Samir Guesmi (France)

Beginning (Au commencement) by Dea Kulumbegashvili (Georgia)

Gagarine by Fanny Liatard and Jeremy Trouilh (France)

16 Printemps by Suzanne Lindon (France)

Vaurien by Peter Dourountzis (France)

Garcon Chiffon by Nicolas Maury (France)

Si Le Vent Tombe (Should the Wind Fall) by Nora Martirosyan (Armenia)

John and the Hole by Pascual Sisto (US)

Striding into the Wind (Courir au gre du vent) by Wei Shujun (China)

The Death of Cinema and My Father Too (La Mort du cinema et de mon pere aussi) by Dani Rosenberg (Israel)

Three documentary films

En Route Poure Le Milliard (The Billion Road) by Dieudo Hamadi (Democratic Republic of Congo)

The Truffle Hunters by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (US)

9 Jours A Raqqa by Xavier de Lauzanne (France)

Five comedy films

Antoinette dans les Cevennes by Caroline Vignal (France)

Les Deux Alfred by Bruno Podalydes (France)

Un Triomphe (The Big Hit) by Emmanuel Courcol (France)

L'Origine du Monde by Laurent Lafitte (France)

Le Discours by Laurent Tirard (France)

Four animated films

Aya To Majo (Earwig and the Witch) by Goro Miyazaki (Japan)

Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark)

Josep by Aurel (France)

Soul by Pete Docter (US)