The Cannes film festival's 70th edition began Wednesday, and it made headlines as expected yet in some unexpected ways.In the wake of terrorism in France, security was heightened.
Poster for 2017 Cannes Film Festival
Local authorities in France sustain the elevated threat levels and have chosen to increase security at the festival throughout its duration.
The level of security is reportedly unprecedented with extra armed police, military personnel and cutting-edge anti-drone technology.
Many officials worry that these are the makings of a parallel to the Bastille Day attack in neighboring Nice a year ago wherein a large vehicle mowed down congregates at a promenade and killed 86 people.
To hedge against similar attacks, access to the festival has been very limited to certain vehicles, partly by way of concrete barriers.To preserve the trademark atmosphere of the festival, though, the barriers are shaped like flower pots.
At the same time, officials patrol the central area in large numbers.This also marks the first instance in which law enforcement has been authorized to carry handguns; moreover, as many as 500 civilian volunteers banded together to make sure that any suspicious behavior is reported posthaste.Security at the festival has become a unifier at the festival in large part.
Cannes is one of the most illustrious film festivals in the world, and as such, it is deemed a likely target for terrorist activity.The 2015 Paris attacks heralded a series of new safety measures, which were doled out with a trumpet call, so to speak, at the festival.
Organizers of the 2015 festival felt discomfiture about a fake terrorist attack at the luxurious Hotel Du Cap at the hands of men in military garb.As such, the perimeter is further reinforced this year all the way around Palm Beach, and the area has been designated a no-fly zone.