The Cannes board of directors has released a statement declaring Melancholia director Lars von Trier as a “persona non grata” at the Cannes Film Festival, following his “Nazi” comments at a press conference yesterday.

But the Cannes press office confirms to Screen this afternoon that the film is still in Competition and eligible for the Palme d’Or.

Today’s statement read:

“The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. The Festival’s Board of Directors, which held an extraordinary meeting this Thursday 19 May 2011, 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.

The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars Von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately.”

At the Melancholia press conference in Cannes yesterday, von Trier called himself a Nazi and that he “sympathised with Hitler a little bit.”

He later issued a statement apologising for his comments. (See that story here).