Cannes businesses ready for festival return

Cannes is building up for the return of the world's biggest film festival.

But it's not quite business as usual.

After the global health crisis put paid to the summer showpiece in 2020, the event returns from the 6th July.

But under strict social distancing and infection controls.

Beachfront restaurant owner Anny Courtarde though says she expects a "rebirth" of the festival.

The restaurant's usual clientele includes film critics taking breakfast after early showings, and VIPs eager to mingle on cocktail nights.

"Last year, we had a season without a festival", she said, "so for us it is truly a bright spell for the economy, and for the city."

Sean Penn and Wes Anderson are among the Hollywood heavy hitters vying for the spotlight this year.

But with some international travel restrictions still in place, more visitors are expected to be French rather than high-spending foreigners.

Lucile Falgeieres is director of the Mgallery hotel on the beachfront:

"Before, 50% of our clients were international, and 50% local. Now that's been turned upside down - we are of course missing the Americans, the British, the Italians, who were here during previous festivals."

Businesses though are taking a half glass full approach, most just relieved to be open at all, considering France's restrictions only eased last week.

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