CANNES -- An incident apparently involving a gun briefly interrupted a French television interview with actors Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday and sent nearby pedestrians scurrying for safety.
According to several news accounts and eyewitnesses near the city's Martinez Hotel, a man brandishing a gun and another suspicious object appeared near a booth where jury members Waltz and Auteuil were speaking to Le Grand Journal, a program that broadcasts nightly from a seaside location in front of the hotel.
Witnesses heard shots fired, and the actors were hustled off stage as pedestrians scattered. The French TV outlet Canal+ reported that the shots were blanks. No injuries were reported.
Police arrived within minutes of the incident and the man was taken away; there are no reports as yet of his background or motive, or what the other object was that he was holding.
The Martinez is on the eastern end of the roughly mile-long spur of Cannes' Boulevard de Croisette, which is lined with hotels and beachside cafes; the eastern end is marked by the Palais des Festivals, the upscale complex where many of the festival's films are shown. Like much of the Croisette, on most evenings during the festival the area is crowded with passers-by strolling near the seaside cafes or waiting outside one of the hotels for a glimpse of a celebrity.
A Martinez worker who asked not to be identified described Friday evening's events as a "scary" scene but said it was over quickly. The area is well-patrolled by police, who are often concentrated at the other end of the Croisette, especially during red-carpet events at the Palais, but who also fan out along the length of the boulevard.
The news comes after reports earlier in the day of a jewel heist involving Chopard gems valued at about $1 million at another Cannes hotel.