After two massive terror attacks in Paris during the whole of 2015, the Cannes Film Festival has taken extra precautions to not only prevent a disaster from occurring at the famed event, but to also hone their response to any sort of incident that may occur. Just ask anyone who participated in a recent drill, where a massive amount of extras and law enforcement agents simulated such an attack, right on the red carpet.
Cannes' mayor, David Lisnard, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the somewhat "extreme" measures that were being taken to prepare the famed French resort for any sort of incursion on the festivities of next month's Cannes Film Festival. Lisnard's justification for such drills is pretty much what you'd expect, as he stated the following:
One has to be prepared in case the worst occurs. Therefore, we hold these real-life rehearsals in case of attacks — in the hotels, in the Palais, in the schools — but it's above all a simulation, a test run, in case of necessity.
So what was the Cannes Film Festival's big drill like? Well, for starters, several explosions were simulated at the Palais des Festivals et des Congres, the convention center that is home to the festival's main events. Also, for the purposes of the drill, four "armed terrorists" were used to storm the entrance, leaving extras strewn as the possible corpses such an event would leave in its wake. Local schools also participated in preparedness drills, as well as all first responders who would be responsible for the safety of the festival. Even with advanced warning, some spectators may have been a little frightened by the spectacle, but ultimately it was all for a good cause.
It certainly can't be easy for those organizing the Cannes Film Festival to go into this year's ceremonies and not think about the attacks in January and November of last year. Just as any American going to Broadway after 9/11, or any citizen of the world after their a part of their country was terrorized by armed insurgents, and they'll tell you that in the immediate year or so after said attack, no security level is "too much."
Still, it is a unique challenge for those who normally worry about the debut of Woody Allen's Cafe Society or Steven Spielberg's The BFG, rather than be worried about any sort of recurrence of last year's attacks on the relative tranquility of France. But alas, the times call for such vigilance, and Mayor David Lisnard knows that better than anyone else. The 2016 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11th to May 22nd.