On Friday night a man was arrested at the Cannes Film Festival for shooting a starting pistol. The gun was fired during a live television broadcast forcing the actors Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil to take cover.
French TV station Canal+ was interviewing Austria’s Oscar-winning Waltz and French actor Auteuil live on program Le Grand Journal when what sounded like gunfire rang out.
Television footage showed Auteuil and Academy Award winner Waltz – a member of the Cannes festival jury – scrambling from the seaside stage with dozens of others as a voice said “there’s someone shooting.”
When transmission resumed minutes later, host Michel Denisot said the noise had been caused by blanks. There were no reports of injuries.
Arthur Laiguesse, who witnessed the event, told Reuters, “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.”
Authorities said that when the French police arrested the man at the scene they found that he was carrying a dummy grenade and a knife. A police source said at the time, “It really appears to be a crazy guy.”
After the man had been arrested and taken away, the Canal+ producers told the crowd the program would continue: “The show must go on.”
Christoph Waltz, who was awarded an Oscar as the Best Supporting Actor for his role in Django Unchained in this years Academy Awards ceremony on top his first Oscar for his work in Inglourious Basterds is serving on the Cannes jury with Danny Auteuil, who is also the proud owner of at least two Best Actor awards, one of which was from the BAFTAS, returned to the set after the all clear was given.
The shooting was the second security incident on day three of the 12-day world famous film festival, Cannes is the world’s largest cinema showcase that attracts thousands of actors, directors, film executives, journalists and fans every year.
Earlier a police source said that $1.4 million worth of Chopard jewellery that was on loan for the actors, movie stars and other dignitaries to were to the event had been stolen from the Novotel suite room safe where they had been stored on Thursday.
But the Chopard representative said that the estimated value of the jewellery had been exaggerated and that the items were not for the actors or actresses to use. The company declined to give further details.
It has been a very busy week in the area of crime occurring around the rich and famous outside the borders of North America. Just five days ago the proceeds from Justin Bieber’s South African concert had been stolen after the show had ended. With an estimated $300,000 taken from the box office takings for the evening. This highly publicised event combined with the theft of the Chopard jewellery at Cannes and today’s incident of the blank pistol being fired in public, could put some folks off of world travel.
With nine days left in the film festival we are sure that the organisers are praying that nothing else happens that will garner the wrong sort of attention.
By Michael Smith