In response to the deadly terror attack in Manchester, the Cannes Film Festival has canceled a fireworks display planned for its 70th anniversary celebration Tuesday night and further beefed up security around the Palais.
The fireworks display was to have taken place over the Cannes bay after a retrospective screening and special anniversary dinner. But festival officials decided Tuesday to call off the pyrotechnics.
They also moved to increase security staffing around the Palais by another 10%, sources say. With a terrorism alert in force in France, security measures in Cannes had already been ramped up to unprecedented levels, to the point where some attendees have said the heavy vigilance detracts from the festive ambiance.
“The level of security is the highest we’ve ever had at the Cannes Film Festival. We can’t give you a staffing figure, but whatever you can imagine, it’s more,” said Georges-François Leclerc, prefect of the Alpes Maritimes region.
Leclerc participated in a special security briefing in Cannes on Tuesday afternoon with France’s newly appointed minister of culture, Françoise Nyssen.
“It’s our way of life, festivity, youth and culture which have been attacked, so we can only be dismayed,” said Nyssen, who was appointed last week by France’s newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.
Nyssen also said that “the president and the interior minister have taken immediate steps to ensure the security of the entire population and in particular the festival attendees here in Cannes.”
There are currently no plans to cancel or modify other official festival events.
Despite some complaints, most festival-goers have found the heavy security measures reassuring. Kino Lorber topper Richard Lorber said, “The initial feeling about the increased security in Cannes was frustration and annoyance, but in light of what happened in Manchester, people’s attitudes have shifted. We’re much more tolerant of these measures. [There’s] a sense of somberness and gloominess overhanging here today.”