The Cannes film festival has laid a black carpet at its entrance to pay tribute to the three victims killed in an Islamist attack in Nice this morning.
Today’s day of terror in France saw two bombings, the first at Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice and the second in Avignon, where a man was shot dead after threatening people with a handgun.
A minute of silence was given to mark the lives lost today, during the Cannes 2020 special event, which takes place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, as it ended today – it has started on Tuesday.
The members of the Cinéfondation jury pay tribute to those who lost their lives in Nice today, dressed in black on stage during the award ceremony for the best short film at the Palme D’Or at the Special Cannes 2020 this evening
The black carpet to pay tribute to the victims of the Nice attack at the Palais des Festivals on October 29, 2020 in Cannes, France
The event, which replaces what would have been the 73rd annual Cannes Film Festival which is usually held in May, has been hailed by the film industry as a display of ‘resilience’ to the coronavirus, which has returned much of industry unachievable.
But today the festivities were overshadowed by the tragic news that three people were killed in what President Emmanuel Macron called an “Islamic attack”.
Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said in a statement: ‘Another horrific and abominable Islamist attack. In a church in Nice.
“Of course I feel scared and moved, but that is precisely what the terrorists want. It is therefore the fierce and cold will to eradicate this scourge which must manifest itself first and foremost.
Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux (photo) asked for a minute’s silence after the film’s final screening to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in Nice
A selection of special guests, including some residents of Cannes, arrive at the Palais des Festivals
Crowds wait to enter the Palais des Festivals today after the attack on Nice
“I offer our condolences to the families of the victims, our congratulations to the courageous police officers who arrested the attacker.
He added: “Action against Islamist fanaticism must be methodical, blameless, categorical, relentless.
“More than ever, we must defend France and our values, and beyond our civilization. Because the fight is for civilization.
“Immediately in Cannes, our flags are half-masted in homage to the victims and we have initiated the vigilance and surveillance of churches and other places of worship. Power and courage.’
At the festival yesterday, French President Macron announced that France would enter a full lockdown tomorrow morning, which would create a grim atmosphere as non-essential businesses such as cinemas will be forced to close.
Participants bow their heads respectfully during a minute’s silence for the three people who died today in Nice in a terrorist attack
The event, which replaces what would have been the 73rd annual Cannes Film Festival which was usually held in May, has been hailed by the film industry as a spectacle of ‘resilience’.
Sameh Alaa (center), winner of the Palme d’Or for short film, attends the Palme d’Or award ceremony for the best short film of the ‘Special Cannes 2020: The Festival Returns To The Croisette!’
After the first wave of coronavirus saw the festival’s cancellation in May – for the first time in 73 years of history – organizers simply shared a list of 56 feature films that had made the official selection for 2020.
Over the past three days, four films have been screened at the event, which was intended to signal hope to the struggling industry, including; Les deux Alfred, by Bruno Podalydès; A triumph by Emmanuel Courcol; Asa Ga Kuru (True Mothers) by Naomi Kawase, and a first film by Dea Kulumbegashvili, Beginning.
Those who entered the Palais des Festivals to attend the three-day event were subjected to health checks, disinfectant mist, temperature checks and facial recognition before they could enter the red carpet, and now black.
Today’s terrorist tragedy in France left three people dead in Nice. Vincent Loques, 45, sacristan of Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice, was brutally killed while preparing for the first mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church.
It is believed that Aoussaoui beheaded an elderly parishioner who came to pray at the opening of the church before attacking Loques, then fatally stabbed 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 that his father announced that he was about to carry out an attack in Nice. , and another who tried to board a train in Lyon carrying a long blade.
Police were believed to have foiled another Islamist attack in the city of Avignon when a gunman was shot dead by police after refusing to drop his gun.
However, it later emerged that the man was part of the anti-Islam far-right Identarian movement and had given a Nazi salute. French media initially reported that the man shouted “Allahu Akbar”, which turned out to be incorrect.