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Cannes spends millions on security ahead of film festival

Security personnel during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival in May 2016 in Cannes, France. Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

The 70th Cannes Film Festival is ramping up security measures this year.

The festival isn’t taking any chances as the city is spending millions to strengthen security plans, according to Variety.

The city has reportedly spent US$6 million to place automatic retractable bollards at every entry point to town, Cannes police chief Yves Darros told Variety.

READ MORE: Canada at Cannes: Strong lineup shows bright future for our filmmakers

The massive wall structures are meant to prevent the types of terror attacks such as the one in Nice, France on Bastille Day last year.

Darros added that security will “reach new heights” this year.

The last two years have seen an increase in terror attacks in France, including in Nice, where 84 people died after a truck plowed into a crowd.

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The juried film festival, which showcases nearly 100 feature films from around the globe, draws in thousands of tourists and Hollywood elites to France each year.

In 2016, security for the festival included 500 security cameras and 200 armed officers.

READ MORE: ‘My daughter!’: Horrifying amateur video captures moment of Nice terror attack

The festival descended into chaos when a group of men riding in a speedboat, dressed in ski marks, bulletproof vests and combat uniforms stormed a French hotel.

The incident was later confirmed as a publicity stunt by a French company named Oraxy.

Security was also increased last year following the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015. But after 130 were killed in the Paris attacks of November 2015, France remains in a state of emergency.

“Cannes must be protected not because of the cocktail parties, but because it is a professional event of a high level which brings honour to France,” Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said at the time.

In 2015, up to $19 million worth of jewelry and watches were stolen from Cartier boutiques in the city just before the festival. The number of surveillance cameras were increased from 400 to 550 across the city’s tourist areas and festival venues in the last two years.

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This year’s festival, which starts on May 17, is expected to attract A-listers such as Nicole Kidman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kristen Stewart, Joaquin Phoenix, Isabelle Huppert and director Sofia Coppola.

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 17-28.

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