Cannes Film Festival Bomb Scare Prompts Evacuations

The Cannes Film Festival faced disruption on Thursday afternoon, as a section of the Palais des Festivals was evacuated amid a bomb scare.

In a series of photographs uploaded to Twitter, police and fire trucks were seen descending on part of the usually bustling area in the French Riviera resort town.

According to France Info, a security perimeter was set up by police around the Palais des Festivals, while people were evacuated from the convention center and areas nearby. Also evacuated were those in boats and restaurants in the vicinity.

France Info further reported that shortly after 3 p.m. local time, a bomb squad destroyed a suspicious package outside the venue, eventually allowing the day's proceedings to continue as planned.

According to Deadline, Hong Sang-Soo's premiere of In Front Of Your Face was scheduled to screen in the Debussy from 3 p.m. The outlet reports that the scare did not disrupt in the main Lumière cinema where Memoria, starring Tilda Swinton, is screening.

Despite the threat of danger, crowds of onlookers were seen gathering in the surrounding streets as local law enforcement guarded the area.

French Journalist Jean-Baptiste Morel took to Twitter to share a series of photographs from the scene, writing: "Bomb scare at the casino, evacuated area."

Noting a "strong police presence," Morel stated in a follow-up tweet at 2:16 p.m. local time that the scare, which he said was prompted by an "abandoned package," was over, and a screening he was attending was going ahead.

This isn't the first time such a scare has disrupted proceedings at the glitzy film festival, which started 74 years ago in 1946.

Forte présence policière, les démineurs sont attendus sur place.

— Jean-Baptiste Morel (@JB__Morel) July 15, 2021

According to The Associated Press, a bomb scare saw the Debussy theater briefly evacuated before the first screening of Michel Hazanavicius' movie Redoubtable, which was in competition for the Palme d'Or prize.

It was reported that patrons were ushered away from the entrance, after a bag was left unattended at the entrance to the Palais des Festivals.

A festival spokeswoman said at the time, per The Hollywood Reporter: "Following reports of a suspicious object in the Debussy Auditorium, the safety protocol was initiated and the theatre foyer was evacuated as a precautionary measure. The verification procedure cleared up the matter and everything is back in order.'

Last week, it was reported by Variety that thieves had broken into actress Jodie Turner-Smith's hotel room, stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewels, including her mother's wedding ring.

According to the publication, Turner-Smith was immediately moved to another hotel a few blocks down the Croisette. She was also given a large security detail.

Taking to Twitter on July 11, the British screen star, who had traveled to France with her one-year-old daughter, wrote: "didn't think i would be spending 2.5 hours in the police station on my final day in cannes, but here we are..."

Newsweek has contacted representatives for the Cannes Film Festival and Police Nationale for comment.

Cannes Film Festival bomb threat prompts evacuation
A police officer guarding the Cannes film festival in 2017. Getty Images