The Cannes film festival has cancelled the screening of a new film, titled “The Anti-Semite,” by controversial French comedian Dieudonne, himself a notorious anti-Semite.
The film, which was produced by the Iranian Documentary and Experimental Film Center and also known as “Yahod Setiz,” was not scheduled to be shown at the Cannes festival proper but as part of its Marché du Film, or film market, where works are screened and sold for international distribution.
"The Anti-Semite” stars Dieudonné as a violent and alcoholic character who dresses as a Nazi officer at a party, and also features Robert Faurisson, a prominent Holocaust denier, as well as imagery that mocks the Auschwitz concentration camp, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
The Cannes Film Market, the festival's business counterpart, called for the film to be dropped from the program when it heard about it at the beginning of the week.
"Our general conditions ban the presence of all films threatening public order or religious convictions, as well as pornographic films or those inciting violence," the film market's executive director Jerome Paillard told AFP.
While the film will not be played at cinemas, it will be sold over the Internet.
The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism has called for the film to be banned from a DVD release.
Earlier this month, four shows by Dieudonne, scheduled to take place in Montreal, were cancelled following opposition from Jewish groups. His show, titled “Rendez-nous Jesus (Give us back Jesus),” denied the Holocaust and praised Hitler.
Last year the Cannes festival expelled the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier when he joked about Hitler at a news conference saying, “He’s not what you would call a good guy. But I understand much about him, I sympathize with him a little bit.”