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Security for Cannes Film Festival being ramped up

IANS | Cannes |

The security cover for the 70th Cannes Film Festival, due to begin May 17, is being beefed in the wake of attacks in France.

The forthcoming edition of the film jambooree will be its first since the tragic July 2016 attack in Nice, just 29 km away from Cannes.

The city, which hosts numerous events such as Mipcom, MipTV, and the Cannes Lions, is working on its security standards to make international visitors feel secure, reports

Cannes mayor David Lisnard has taken strong measures; substantial barriers, mostly in the form of huge concrete planters, have been installed along the sidewalk which leads to the Palais, the headquarters for most Cannes premieres and festivities.

Yves Darros, who heads up Cannes police, says the city will also spend $6 million to place automatic retractable bollards at every entry point to the town.

The city has also increased maritime surveillance of Cannes bay and the harbour. Mock drills have also been taking place.

Darros said: "I've been doing the festival for 35 years and the security has always been great, but this year it will reach new heights."

From India, no film has made it to Cannes film fest this year, but actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone will attend the gala as brand ambassadors of a cosmetic giant.

Despite having some of France's tightest security standards, Cannes has had some high-profile heists, reported.

In 2015, as much as $19 million worth of jewellery and watches were stolen from Cartier boutiques in in the city just before the festival. With the aim to prevent such thefts, the number of surveillance cameras was increased from 400 to 550 across the city's tourist and festival venues in the last two years.

Cannes has also recruited a wide network of 500 local volunteers plus 80 "vigilant neighbours", who are in charge of patrolling across the city to watch out for suspicious activity and report it to authorities.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about revealing any details of the preparations for security reasons, as well as political ones, since the presidential and legislative elections are coming up.

Some stars will arrive with their own security staff, who would have to be cleared by Cannes authorities and the festival staff.