Bomb scare forces evacuation at Cannes Film Festival screening

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A bomb scare at the Cannes Film Festival caused the audience at a screening of one of the event's most anticipated films to be evacuated.

Critics were waiting at the Debussy Theatre for the start of director Michel Hazanavicius' Redoubtable, which is in competition for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize, when the security scare took place.

The audience were ushered away from the theatre, which reopened after about 30 minutes with journalists being told that a suspicious item was not found to be dangerous, according to the Associated Press.

The movie by Hazanavicius, who directed Oscar-winner The Artist, tells the true story of French director Jean-Luc Godard's romance with 17-year-old actress Anne Wiazemsky.

A security guard told The Hollywood Reporter that the suspicious item had been a bag left at the entrance to the Palais Des Festivals, the convention centre where the festival takes place.

Police squads with dogs were seen going into the theatre to make checks.

Security has been a major focus at Cannes this year after a number of recent terror attacks in France.