The event was launched on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals by Pierre Lescure, Thierry Frémaux and David Lisnard.
Claire Burger, Damien Bonnard, Rachid Bouchareb, Charles Gillibert and Dea Kulumbegashvili were also present. They make up the Jury that will award the Palme d'or for short films and the Cinéfondation Prizes on October 28th and 29th.
Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes declared: "Our presence here is based on three things: a sense of responsibility, the joy of culture, and a taste for friendship. What the country is going through is tragic, but this country is also the one that has best defended cinema, more than any other country in the world, since its birth. In these times of pandemic, it is proving this once again, through the vitality of its professionals, its productions, and your presence here tonight is a strong testimony to this. I would like to salute the presence of the President of the CNC, his tireless activity in favour of cinema in cinemas, and his fierce defence of the maintenance of filming. We must be aware of the quality of the dialogue between the Ministry of Culture, the public authorities and film professionals.”
Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Festival de Cannes: "We are very moved tonight. When we did the technical rehearsals this afternoon in this room, where we haven't been since May 2019, we felt a twinge of emotion. Last spring, when we knew that the Festival de Cannes could not take place under normal conditions, we decided to redeploy it, to rearrange it, not for ourselves, but for the films, the artists, the professionals, the press and the public. We thus took two decisions: to make an Official Selection, on 3 June, and then to support the films. We started as soon as the first of them was released, François Ozon's film, Summer of 85, and we have continued since then. We have been welcomed by many Festivals, many cities, and it was inconceivable not to come to Cannes, here, at the Palais, in the city of the Festival. Cannes did not take place, but Cannes is happening, here, elsewhere, on the screens of the whole world!"
David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes : "It was unthinkable to have a white year for black screens. This " Cannes Special " event embodies the will to win, to make culture shine throughout the world."
Un Triomphe (The Big Hit) by Emmanuel Courcol, with Kad Merad, was screened after the speeches in the presence of the film crew and with the participation of Memento Films. The film will be released in cinemas throughout France on 23 December.
Find all the programme and news of the "Cannes 2020 Special" on the dedicated website: http://www.cannes2020.festival-cannes.com/.