Security High Ahead Of Cannes Film Festival

French authorities are on high alert ahead of the Cannes film festival which kicks off on Wednesday with 45,000 people expected to attend.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve travelled to the French Riviera from Paris to check on security before Woody Allen's Cafe Society opens the event which runs until 22 May.

France has been in a state of emergency since coordinated attacks claimed by the Islamic State on Paris killed 130 people.

"We are faced with a higher risk than ever. Faced with an enemy determined to strike us at any moment, we must prove extremely vigilant at all times. And for that reason, I want to - as I did in other cities of our country - pay a strong and solemn homage to our police forces," Mr Cazeneuve said after meeting local authorities.

He said that hundreds of police officers would be deployed, as well as special forces units ready to intervene.


In April, police staged a security exercise at the Palais des Festivals where films will be shown, to help better coordinate different police forces.

In the past, Cannes has seen a number of security breaches, including in 2014 when two men were evacuated by security staff after making their way on the red carpet.

The so-called Pink Panther gang were blamed for a €103m ($130m) gem theft in 2013 from the Carlton hotel where Alfred Hitchcock's classic film To Catch A Thief was set, and last year robbers escaped with €17.5m worth of jewellery after holding up the Cartier boutique on the Croisette.

The festival's opening film, however, comes from a seemingly more innocent era.

Cafe Society starring Kristen Stewart, is about young couple who fall in love in 1930s Hollywood.

Steven Spielberg's The BFG, starring Mark Rylance, will premiere at the festival but is not in competition for the Palme D'Or.

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