Claude Chamberlain, thefounder and director of Montreal's Festival of New Cinema (FNC), has resignedabruptly.

The festival today issued abrief statement, announcing with "regret" the departure, effective immediately.

"For more than three decades, Claude Chamberlain hascontributed with success to the recognition of a high quality and uniquecinema. He leaves a distinguished track record in Quebec's cultural scene andhis tremendous legacy will continue inspiring people," said the statement.

"The festival team wouldlike to express its gratitude towards him and will support his futureprojects."

An FNC spokesperson wasunavailable at time of going to press.