According to a number of reports, Danish director Lars Von Trier was banned from the Cannes Film Festival after he made comments during a press conference about how he sympathizes with Adolf Hitler and that he is a Nazi.

The AFP released a statement saying that the board of directors for the festival condemns these statements and declares Lars Von Trier persona non grata at the Cannes festival, with immediate effect.

Despite his ban, his film Melancholia which stars Kirsten Dunst will remain in the competition.

During the press conference Von Trier said, I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out I was really a Nazi which also gave me some pleasure. What can I say, I understand Hitler. I think he did his wrong things ... but I understand the man. He's not what you would call a good guy but I understand him, I sympathize with him. I'm not against the Jews; I am of course very much for the Jews. How can I get out of this sentence? Ok, I'm a Nazi.

According to reports, Dunst, as well as reporters in the room seemed quite uncomfortable with his statements.

Von Trier later apologized for his comments.

If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize, he said via email. I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.