Fremaux told a reporter in an interview with Film francais that he finds the taking of selfies “ridiculous and grotesque” and will “outright forbid” the practice at the festival this year. Celebrities glide down the red carpet for interviews and official photo opportunities, only to be repeatedly stopped by fans asking to take a selfie every few moments; Fremaux cites the “untimely disorder” this causes, and its “triviality” on the prestigious carpet.
In addition to the new no-selfies policy, the way the press experiences Cannes is going to change this year as well. Many international festivals and critics have reportedly grumbled at the thought of having to sit through screenings of competition titles earlier in the day and watch them again at the official premiere. So Cannes will no longer allow the press or the public to view films at pre-premiere screenings—they will have to wait for the official gala in the evening like everyone else, or see the films the following morning.
The Cannes Film Festival has also been accused of attempting to ban flat shoes in the past, when some women attending a screening of Carol in 2015 were reportedly denied entry for wearing flats at the festival. (Fremaux tweeted that the rumor was “unfounded” and the festival’s official dress code does not mention wearing high heels.)
Rather than request an autograph (a fan practice that has been in place at red carpet events for decades), fans take selfies because they are potentially a quicker and more efficient way of capturing proof that they saw their favorite celebrity on the red carpet. But to be fair, taking selfies does slow things down, and business does not always run smoothly when hordes of fans swarm the premieres. Celebrities are being asked to heed the new policy this year as well, but remember when Met Gala attendees were banned from sneaking in their phones to take selfies at the function in 2017? That rule was implemented in order to keep the details of the evening exclusive, but of course it did not stop most celebrities from participating in a little mischief. Kylie Jenner whipped out her phone in the bathroom to take a selfie with her sister Kim Kardashian, A$AP Rocky, Brie Larson, Slick Woods, and others. Leave it to the kids to break the rules at one of fashion’s biggest and boldest nights of the year, and good luck to anyone who attempts to wrangle them away from taking selfies at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, too.