French police used the steps of the Cannes Film Festival’s famed Palais on Thursday as the focal point of a security exercise that included a simulated terrorist attack. The planned event went down less than a month before the French Riviera town hosts the 69th edition of the festival.
France has been on high alert since the attacks in Paris in November killed 130, and the Brussels attacks last month. The country is also playing host to soccer’s European Championship this summer. The fest runs May 11-22, while Euro 2016 runs June 10-July 10 in Saint-Denis, Lens, Lyon, Lille, Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Saint-Etienne, Marseille and Cannes neighbor Nice.
In the terror simulation Thursday, attackers scaled the Palais steps with police in pursuit attempting to secure the area and eliminate the threat (see footage below courtesy of AFP; click through to YouTube). Reuters reported that 200 volunteers took part in the exercise, which occurred right at the epicenter of Cannes’ glitzy and A-list-plus red carpets that go along with films’ world premiere screenings inside.
The festival is responsible for security inside the Palais and the immediate perimiter; the local police are responsible for the rest. The seaside town recently installed its 500th outdoor security camera, meaning there is one for every 147 people in the population.
Last week during the festival’s press conference unveiling this year’s lineup, Cannes president Pierre Lescure said it was important there be “an equilibrium between the level of security and that the festival remains a place of freedom.”
Check out the video here.