Cannes Film Festival disrupted after 'suspicious parcel' found

Police have since confirmed the incident has been resolved, after a brief evacuation

Cannes Film Festival was disrupted on Thursday afternoon, after a suspicious package was found outside the Palais des Festivals.

Local police confirmed they were investigating after the package was discovered at the back of the conference centre, which is currently hosting the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival, Variety reports.

However, they stressed that the incident was not a “bomb” scare, as had been reported on social media and in local French media.

“This is not a bomb alert. Explosives department is currently investigating. Please clear the area in order to facilitate access,” regional police said in a tweet.

Pictures on social media show armed police patrolling the area, however, it is being reported that festivalgoers have since been allowed back into the plaza, following a brief evacuation.

The premiere of Memoria, directed by Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul, took place just after 3pm local time, with Tilda Swinton and the film's other stars seen walking the red carpet.

Police later confirmed that the incident had been resolved.

The festival, which regularly draws some of the world’s biggest stars, as well as thousands of bystanders, has operated under strict security in recent years due to an ongoing terrorism risk.

France has this year again deployed anti-terrorist forces and squads of heavily armed soldiers to the festival centre and along the rue d’Antibes, where festival guests and summer tourists mix to form large crowds.

The festival, which was this year delayed from its usual May dates, was cancelled entirely in 2020, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, Cannes has introduced an advance booking system for screenings, those attending from outside the EU must submit to regular Covid-19 testing, and mask-wearing is mandatory.

Updated: July 15th 2021, 2:27 PM
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