The man who fired blanks into a crowd at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, prompting Django Unchained star Christoph Waltz and Hidden actor Daniel Auteuil to flee the stage, has been jailed for 18 months.
Stephane Cros, 43, from Nice, had purchased a replica Smith & Wesson gun on the day of the incident and was also carrying a fake grenade, according to Le Figaro.
He fired the blanks during a live beachside taping of French chat show Le Grand Journal in May. Footage showed the audience rushing away from the stage. No-one was injured.
Cros’ defence team argued that he was a depressed individual living on the margins of society and cut off from his three children. In his handwritten papers, read by a magistrate, he quoted philosophers Benedict de Spinoza, Martin Heidegger and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
Prosecutor Gwenaelle Ledoigt said: “Using terror and violence to impose his political views is the very definition of terrorism. I’m not saying this is an act of terrorism, but intellectually the course of action is the same – only the degree of violence differs.”
This year’s Cannes Festival was notable for its off-screen controversies. Chopard jewels worth more than $1 million were stolen from a hotel room, and a $2.6 million necklace disappeared at a party. A man dressed up as South Korean rapper Psy enjoyed exclusive parties and posed for photos with celebrities.