Security high at Cannes Film Festival amid possible threat

 Security-high-at-Cannes-Film-Festival-amid-possible-threat.  CANNES, France,  Security at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is stronger than it has ever been before due to potential terror threats against the world’s preeminent movie festival.

Eva Longoria arrives on the steps of the Palais des Festivals before the screening of the film “Cafe Society” at the opening of the 69th annual Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on Wednesday. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
















The festival began Wednesday and is being attended, as always, by some of Hollywood’s most popular stars. In addition to the celebrities, however, maximum security is also present — owing to various attacks in Europe in recent months.

“We must demonstrate extreme vigilance at all times,” France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said Wednesday. “We must keep in mind as we prepare to open this festival, that we are faced with a risk which has never been as high, and faced with an enemy determined to strike us at any moment.”

No specific threat has been cited by authorities, but police have been training and running mock emergency drills in the run-up to the event.

 “Cannes must be protected not because of the cocktail parties, but because it is a professional event of a high level which brings honor to France,” Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said.

Film stars began arriving in the French city on Wednesday, walking the red carpet amid the backdrop of heightened alert.

“Oh, listen, I worry about that when I go to the supermarket or I get the newspaper,” filmmaker Woody Allen told Variety Tuesday. “I’m the world’s biggest worry-wart. So you can’t judge by me. I’m hypochondriacal when it comes to terrorism.”

Several security checkpoints have been set up and officials will conduct checks of tickets and IDs, bag searches, use metal detectors and frisk attendees, as needed.

The festival, expecting to see abut 45,000 visitors, runs from Wednesday through May 22.

By Doug G. Ware