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Last Updated: Friday, 16 April, 2004, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Strikers 'could disrupt Cannes'
Artistic workers' strike
Strikes brought havoc to arts events in France last year
Striking showbusiness workers in France have threatened to disrupt next month's Cannes film festival, it is reported.

Film industry website Screen Daily said a group representing the workers had planned an "occupation committee".

The artists and technicians, who have been striking since last summer, are protesting against government reforms that affected their benefits.

A spokeswoman for the festival told Screen Daily they hoped "everything will go in a positive direction".

Cancelled festivals

The striking workers are due to discuss their grievances with France's newly-installed culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres on 19 April, the website reported.

They have already disrupted several festivals and industry gatherings, including the French premiere of the third Lord of the Rings film in December.

Last year, France's premier cultural festival, in Avignon, was cancelled because of the strike.

A sister event in nearby Aix-en-Provence was also scrapped.

This year's Cannes festival takes place from 12-23 May, and will be opened by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's latest film, La Mala Educacion (Bad Education).

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