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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Cannes film hit by legal tussle
Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant directed one segment of Paris Je T'Aime
A film showing at the Cannes festival has been blighted by a legal wrangle between its producers.

Emmanuel Benbihy has obtained a court order blocking the distribution of Paris Je T'Aime after rejecting the final cut of the film.

He is unhappy that two segments have been dropped by co-producer Claudie Ossard and says he will not attend Thursday night's gala screening.

The film is a series of shorts made by 20 directors including Gus Van Sant.

'Cut out'

But contributions from film-makers Raphael Nadjari and Christoffer Boe ended up on the cutting room floor.

Mr Beniby said: "It's not at all the film I wanted to make. It's not right to cut out two great directors, I don't want to damage the film, but I can't shut my mouth completely."

Ms Ossard, who joined the long-running project two years ago when it hit difficulties, took charge of the final editing and is also alleged to have dropped a sequence made by Mr Beniby.

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman stars in one of the film's 20 vignettes
Ms Ossard said rows between producers were not unusual and denied the row had cast a shadow over the film's screening and promotion at Cannes.

"The dispute is in the process of being resolved," she told a press conference at the festival.

The film will be screened in full in front of the participating directors for the first time on Thursday.

Ms Ossard's lawyer has said that the court ruling would be contested, while a further hearing will be held on 13 June in which a compromise is expected to be offered.



One suggestion is to release two versions of the picture.

The film, which is a series of vignettes shot in the French capital, is due to be released in France on 21 June.

Its stars include Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche and Bob Hoskins.

Gerard Depardieu and Wes Craven are among the directors who worked on the individual parts.

British director Gurinder Chadha described the film as a "wonderful project".

"Within 10 minutes of getting an email asking me to take part. I had written out the plan of the story," she said.

"I knew I wanted to make a film about a Paris Muslim."

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