Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 12:50 UK

Cannes row leads to press boycott

The Palme d'Or prize
The winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or prize is announced at the event

One of the film calendar's most important events is being snubbed by the world's biggest news agencies.

The press conference announcing the line-up for The Cannes Film Festival is being boycotted because of a row over red carpet access.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters, AP and Getty TV will not attend the announcement on Thursday in Paris.

The agencies gather and distribute news stories to newspapers and broadcasters around the world, including the BBC.

They are upset about the announcement of restrictions on video footage from red carpet events and news conferences at the festival, which opens on 12 May.

'Public interests'

The limitations are linked to a contract signed by the festival's organisers, French broadcaster Canal Plus and pay TV service Orange.

AFP's news director Philippe Massonnet said: "We have decided to boycott this conference due to these restrictions.

"If these restrictions, which we have not been informed of officially, were upheld they would be unacceptable. They would penalise many media subscribers of the agencies the world over."

In a press release, the agencies said they "may be forced to suspend their presence at the festival altogether" if an agreement was not reached.

Organisers of the festival have not yet responded publicly to the release.

The opening film of this year's festival has already been announced as Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.

US director Tim Burton is to head the jury which will award the best film prize, the Palme D'Or.

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