According to Variety, the COVID-19 tests covered the approximately 28,000 attendees at the Cannes Film Festival, which took place from July 6 to 17

By Jen Juneau
July 21, 2021 02:40 PM
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Onlookers wearing masks for protection against the COVID-19 pandameic watch guests arriving for the screening of the film "Benedetta" at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes
Masked onlookers at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival
| Credit: VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty

The 2021 Cannes Film Festival was a major in-person success despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Variety reports that the event in France spent more than $1 million to test some 28,000 people in attendance, without any cost to the attendees.

Anyone from the European Union who showed proof of vaccination was able to opt out of testing, according to the outlet.

"It was a wonderful festival and an exceptional one as well," Cannes Artistic Director Thierry Frémaux told Variety after the 11-day celebration of film wrapped on July 17.

"We managed to pull it through at the right time and in conditions that were almost normal thanks to a protocol that was intelligent and responsible," Frémaux added.

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The Poster For The 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival Is Installed At The Palais Des Festival
Poster for the 2021 Cannes Film Festival
| Credit: Olivier Anrigo/Getty

Notably absent from Cannes this year was actress Léa Seydoux, who tested positive for the virus recently and issued a statement last week announcing she would be skipping the festival. She had four films screening at the event.

"Sadly, I have to self-quarantine in Paris and won't be able to attend the Cannes Film Festival this year," said the French actress, 36, in the statement obtained by Variety. (The outlet also learned from a spokesperson for Seydoux that she contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated, and had no symptoms.)

"I wish I could celebrate the return of cinema to my favorite festival, but it is in everyone's best interest to err on the side of caution and do my part to keep everyone safe and healthy," added Seydoux, who stars in multiple films that were spotlighted at Cannes including Wes Anderson's latest project, The French Dispatch.

She concluded, "I applaud all four of my directors and the cast ensembles for their remarkable achievements. From a distance and in thoughts, I am with you with all my heart."

Covid tests
COVID-19 test
| Credit: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

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In March of last year, the festival's official Twitter account announced that its 2020 edition would no longer take place due to the pandemic.

"Due to the health crisis and the development of the French and international situation, the Festival de Cannes will no longer be able to take place on the dates planned, from May 12 to 23," Cannes' official account tweeted at the time.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, festival organizers were originally hoping to reschedule the annual film event for June 2020.

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