China's 50-strong state-owned press contingent has been ordered not to coversensitive subjects at the festival - in particular Lou Ye's controversialcompetition title Summer Palace.

Sources say that followingan official communique from Beijing,a number of journalists returned home. Lou's film is creating controversybecause it screened in competition on Thursday at Cannes before being approved by China's censors.

The film was made in China through official channels, but according to Chineseregulations, the censorship committee of the Film Bureau must approve thecompleted film before it screens in overseas festivals.