A telephone conference callbetween MPPA chief Jack Valenti and top brass from the US majors and other MPAAsignatories to discuss the screener ban ended inconclusively yesterday (16) asall parties agreed to resume talks at a later date.

Sources said the partiesagreed to disagree following a lengthy discussion in which the ramifications ofthe ban and possible alternatives featured high on the agenda.

"We are continuing todeliberate on the matter," an MPAA spokesperson told Screendaily.

"Conversations arecontinuing and we will have some further meetings. An announcement will be madewhenever one is warranted."

Opposition to the ban,announced on Sept 30, grew steadily this week as more film-makers, actors andindependent executives joined the protest.

A coalition of independentfilm-makers headed up by IFC/New York director Michelle Byrd ran a protestadvertisement in a Hollywood trade.

Both East and West chaptersof the Writers Guild of America as well as Screen Actors Guild (SAG) presidentMelissa Gilbert have also denounced the ban.

A formal statement from SAGis expected after its board of directors meets this weekend.