It won't be long until the best in the film industry descend upon Cannes, France, for the eponymous film festival in May. Hollywood film stars, Oscar-winning directors, and the rich, beautiful, and famous are all guaranteed to be in attendance this year, but one potentially noticeable absence from the festival (if the organizers have their way) could come as quite a surprise--it turns out that "ridiculous and grotesque" selfies are off the guest list.
The 68th Cannes Film festival is already set to be a notable event. The jury boasts the Cohen brothers among its esteemed members and, out of the 17 films already nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or, two of the contenders are previous winners. Stars such as Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Matthew McConaughey are expected to grace the Croisette with their presence. This year's Cannes Film Festival looks like it will be as exciting as ever for movie-lovers.
But what will the Cannes Film Festival be like if film stars and celebrities alike can't upload their red carpet selfies onto Instagram? Selfie culture has recently faced considerable backlash with many deeming the practice to be narcissistic, but star-struck fans and red carpet attendees needn't fear; Thierry Frémaux, the festival's director, told British newspaper The Guardian that there is no outright ban: "We don't want to prohibit it, but it's really a matter of timing. We have a certain amount of time to get people across the red carpet and up the steps and it really slows things down if people stop every two metres to take a picture of themselves, with themselves." Considering there is a substantial number of films to be screened and a lot of pedestrian traffic on the red carpet, Frémaux has a point. But president of the festival, Pierre Lescure, takes the festival's firm stance on selfies one step further by bluntly saying, "It's always the ugliest picture of you anyway."
But with the dominance of social media and selfies becoming an integral part of the red carpet experience, it's anyone's guess as to how this will play out. The most retweeted, shared, and parodied selfie of all time took place at the Oscars, and with 17 million selfies uploaded on social media every week, selfies have become commonplace in all aspects of life. The organizers of the Cannes Film Festival refuse to enforce an outright ban, and without any legislation that rules out all forms of selfies, our guess is that this selfie-warning may fall on deaf ears.
The good news (whatever your stance on selfies on the red carpet) is that there is a lot more to the Cannes Film Festival than celebrity culture. The move to put an end to countless red carpet selfies could be a refreshing change and allow the film industry, the media, and the public to remember the real reason why everyone is so enthralled bythe Cannes Film Festival in the first place: the stars, the glamour, and the fanfare, to name just a few of the many reasons everyone is so engrossed by the festival's goings-on--and none of them involve stopping to take selfies. If you're a film aficionado, consider planning a trip to Cannes this year for the festival, and if you're near the red carpet, why not snap a selfie and Tweet it to us?