Lars Von Trier banned from Cannes for Hitler rant

Kirsten Dunst in Von Trier's new film Melancholia

Kirsten Dunst in Von Trier's new film Melancholia

Lars Von Trier has been declared "persona non grata" at the Cannes Film Festival following his bizarre rant about understanding Adolf Hitler.

The controversial Danish director expressed regret if his comments had hurt anyone, and the Cannes organisers released a statement saying they would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements".

But, in what appeared to be a bid to distance themselves from the negative publicity, the festival's board of directors went a step further. At a special meeting convened this morning they condemned the comments and said the director was banned from the rest of the event, "with effect immediately".

They said: "The festival provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation.

"[The board] profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars Von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the festival."

Kirsten Dunst, the star of his new film, told reporters afterwards that Mr Von Trier liked "to run his mouth".

She said: "I think he dug himself in a deep hole."

Last updated: 1:07pm, May 19 2011