Cannes Festival Bans Red Carpet Selfies

In an interview with a French magazine, Thierry Fremaux also bans press screenings ahead of red carpet premieres for competition films.

It's official: Selfies are banned from the Cannes Film Festival red carpet.

After trying for years, unsuccessfully, to get stars and fans to stop self-snapping at festival premieres, festival director Thierry Fremaux has outlawed the selfie all together.

In an interview with Film francais magazine, published Friday, Fremaux said he and Cannes festival president Pierre Lescure have decided to “outright forbid” selfies for the 71st edition of the festival, which runs May 8-19.

"The untimely disorder created by the practice of selfies" interferes with the experience of the red carpet and the festival as a whole, Fremaux said, saying cell-phone snapping trivializes the grandeur of Cannes and, on a practical level, slows down foot traffic on the carpet, with crowds backed up behind self-snapping celebs.

Fremaux has been anti-selfie from the start, calling the procedure “ridiculous and grotesque.” But previous calls to stop self-snapping had little impact. 

In another move aimed at restoring Cannes' red carpet prestige, Fremaux said competition films will no longer screen for the press and public ahead of their official world premiere gala in the evening. Instead, for 7 p.m. premieres, the press and critics will watch competition titles at the same time as the gala audience in a neighboring theater. For 10 p.m. premieres, the press will have to wait until the following morning for a screening.

Cannes and other international festivals have complained in recent years that red carpet screenings have lost some of their allure as festival critics, who've watched the same film earlier in the day, often post reviews before the movie's official world premiere.

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