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Cannes Chaos: Man fires blanks, sends actors, onlookers running for cover

By Chelsea J. Carter and Pierre Meilhan, CNN
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Sat May 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A man fired two rounds from a starter pistol on a Canal+ set in Cannes, police say
  • Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil were doing a live interview at the time
  • Canal+ anchor tells viewers: "The shots fired were blanks and the grenade was fake"

(CNN) -- A man was arrested Friday at the Cannes Film Festival after firing a gun loaded with blanks during a live television interview, sending an Oscar-winning actor running for cover.

Canal+ was interviewing Christoph Waltz, who won the Academy Award for best supporting actor in "Django Unchained," and actor Daniel Auteuil when a man fired two shots from a starter pistol, according to authorities and the French television station.

The man allegedly had a dummy grenade in one hand, and footage and photographs of the incident show Waltz and Auteuil being taken offstage and attendees scrambling for cover.

The incident, which occurred on the Canal+ set along the popular Promenade de la Croisette -- the main boulevard in Cannes -- briefly interrupted the show.

Canal+ anchor Michel Denisot came back on the air a short time later and told viewers: "The shots fired were blanks and the grenade was fake. That's what we know."

No injuries were reported; French authorities have not identified the man.

Pictures of the arrest obtained by The Hollywood Reporter show police wrestling the man to the ground.

The man said to a woman next to him, 'If I were you, I wouldn't stick around here'," Denisot later told France 24.

It was far from the typical scripted fare of the Cannes Film Festival, where chaos plays out on screen and not among the audience.

The annual festival brings together the rich and famous from around the world for movie screenings and glittering parties.

The incident followed news the same day that more than $1 million in jewels belonging to the Swiss firm Chopard were stolen from a hotel room in Cannes.

The theft of the jewels occurred Thursday night, on the second day of the festival, which opened Wednesday and runs through May 26.

Commandant Bernard Mascarelli, of the Nice police, said the jewelry was stolen from a safe in the Suite Novotel hotel on Boulevard Carnot in Cannes.

A Chopard employee was staying in the room but left it to go to dinner from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. local time, he said. She returned to discover the safe containing the jewels was missing.

The whole safe had been unscrewed from the inside of the hotel room and carried out, Mascarelli said.

No detailed description has yet been given of the stolen jewels.

Chopard, which is an official sponsor of the festival, has provided the Palme d'Or trophy awarded to the director of the best feature film for the past 15 years. The trophy features a 24-carat gold palm attached to a piece of cut crystal.

The firm is promoting its Red Carpet Collection 2013 at this year's festival, with a number of actresses sporting its gems.

CNN's Saskya Vandoorne and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

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