20 May 2011

Danish director banned by festival for Nazi remarks

10:53 am on 20 May 2011

The Cannes Film Festival has banned Danish director Lars Von Trier after he claimed to be a Nazi and that he sympathised with Adolf Hitler.

In a statement issued on Thursday, festival organisers said he was now "persona non grata".

Von Trier, 55, issued an apology on Wednesday for comments made earlier in the day.

''I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi,'' he said in a statement.

The pronouncement came after Wednesday's premiere of Von Trier's new film Melancholia, which remains in competition at this year's event.

The remarks by Von Trier, purportedly made in jest, were the talk of the festival on Wednesday.

The BBC reports the director said he ''sympathised'' with Hitler and that while he was ''not against Jews ... Israel is a pain in the ass''.