Drama at Cannes: Shots fired at film festival, actors flee for cover


AFP/Reauters

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Shots fired at film festival, actors flee for cover

 

A MAN WAS arrested at the Cannes film festival on Friday after firing a starting pistol during a live TV broadcast on the palm-lined waterfront, sending actors Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil running for cover.

French TV station Canal+ was interviewing Austria’s Oscar-winning Waltz and French actor Auteuil live on its nightly news show from a beach-front set before a crowd of spectators when a man fired two shots into the air.

“The bodyguards jumped over the barriers into the crowd and pulled him to the ground. The police arrived and told everyone to run because there was a grenade in his hand,” witness Arthur Laiguesse said.

Police arrested the man at the scene.

“It really appears to be a crazy guy,” said a police source.

After the man was taken away, the show’s producers told the crowd the programme would continue: “The show must go on.”

Waltz, who has won two best supporting actor Oscars for Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds, and Auteuil, both of whom are serving on the Cannes jury, returned to the set.

The attacker reportedly had a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said.

TV channel, France’s Canal +, resumed broadcasts after a break of several minutes.

The suspected assailant fired twice in the air as he approached the temporary studio, set up on the Croisette seafront for special coverage of the film festival, they said.

“He said to a woman next to him ‘if I were you, I wouldn’t stick around here’,” said Michel Denisot, the programme’s presenter.

“The police intervened. He had a hand grenade. There were no bullets in the gun and the grenade was a fake,” he told viewers.

There was a brief moment of panic in the crowd around the seafront studio, but no one was hurt.

Marcel Authier, in charge of public security in the local Alpes-Maritimes department, said that the arrested individual was a 42-year-old man.

“It’s someone mentally unstable who was immediately arrested,” Authier said.

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