Cannes festival has laid out a black carpet at its entrance to pay tribute to the three victims killed during an Islamist attack in Nice this morning.
Today’s day of terror in France saw two attacks, the first at the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, and the second in Avignon, where a man was shot dead after threatening people with a hand gun.
A minute of silence was given to mark the lives lost today, at The Cannes 2020 Special event, taking place in Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France, as it finished today – it began on Tuesday.
Cinefondation jury members are seen paying respect to those who lost their lives in Nice toay, wearing all black on stage during the Best Short Film Palme D’Or Award Ceremony at Special Cannes 2020 this evening
The Black Carpet to pay Tribute To Nice Attack Victims at Palais des Festivals on October 29, 2020 in Cannes, France
The event, which replaces what would have been the 73rd annual Cannes Film Festival usually held in May, has been praised by the film industry as a show of ‘resilience’ to the coronavirus, which has rendered much of the industry unfeasible.
But today the festivities were overshadowed by the tragic news that three people had been killed in what President Emmanuel Macron called an ‘islamic attack’.
Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard said in a statement: ‘Another horrific and abominable Islamist attack. In a church in Nice.
‘Of course I feel scared and emotional, but this is precisely what the terrorists want. So it is the fierce and cold determination to eradicate this plague that must be manifested first and foremost.
Director of The Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux (pictured) requested a minute silence following the final film screening to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in Nice
A selection of special guests, some of which are residents of Cannes, arrive to the Palais des Festivals
Crowds can be seen waiting to enter the Palais des Festivals today following the attack in Nice
‘I extend our condolences to the victims families, our congratulations to the brave police officers who stopped the perpetrator.’
He added: ‘The action against Islamist fanaticism must be methodical, flawless, adamant, relentless.
‘More than ever, we must defend France and our values, and beyond our civilisation. Because the fight is for civilisation.
‘Immediately in Cannes, our flags are being put at half-mast as a tribute to the victims and we have initiated vigilance and supervision of churches and other places of worship. Strength and courage.’
During the festival yesterday French President Macron announced that France would be going into a full lockdown tomorrow morning, reportedly creating a sombre mood within as non-essential businesses such as cinemas will be forced to close.
Attendees bow their heads in respect during a minute silence for the three who died today in Nice in a terror attack
The event, which replaces what would have been the 73rd annual Cannes Film Festival usually held in May, has been praised by the film industry as a show of ‘resilience’
After the first wave of coronavirus saw the cancellation of the festival in May – for the first time in it’s 73 year history – organisers simply shared a list of 56 feature films that had made 2020’s official selection.
Over the last three days four films were screened at the event, which was intended to signal hope to the suffering industry, including; Les deux Alfred, by Bruno Podalydès; Un triomphe by Emmanuel Courcol; Asa Ga Kuru (True Mothers) by Naomi Kawase, and a debut film from Dea Kulumbegashvili, Beginning.
Those entering the Palais des Festivals to attend the three day event were subject to health checks, disinfecting mist, temperature checks and facial recognition before they could enter onto the red, and now black, carpet.
Today’s terror tragedy in France saw three killed in Nice. Vincent Loques, 45, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church.
Aoussaoui is thought to have beheaded an elderly female parishioner who had come to to pray as the church opened before attacking Loques, then fatally stabbing a second woman who ran across the street before dying of her injuries.
Armed police arrived 10 minutes later and shot Aoussaoui, before arresting him.
Elsewhere a security guard was stabbed and wounded outside the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while two other men were arrested – one while carrying a knife near a church in Sartrouville after his father reported he was about to carry out a Nice-style attack, and another who tried to board a train in Lyon carrying a long blade.
It was thought that police had foiled another Islamist attack in the town of Avignon when an armed man was shot dead by officers after refusing to drop his weapon.
However, it later transpired the man was part of the far-Right, anti-Islam Identarian Movement, and had made a Nazi Salute. French media initially reported the man shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, which turned out to be incorrect.