Fans and industry figures alike are left stranded in Paris after flights are cancelled Hong Kong film industry executives were left stranded in France yesterday when they were caught out by a nationwide strike while trying to get to the Cannes Film Festival. The 56th Cannes festival is due to begin today but follows a strike that hit transport networks. Golden Harvest's head of distribution Teerachai Triwongwaranat said from Milan yesterday: 'We've had to scramble for alternate transportation because there were no flights going into Nice. 'Some of my Singapore colleagues are stuck in Barcelona and I know a few of our Hong Kong industry people are stranded in Paris. 'A couple of us who are here in Milan are renting a car and getting ready for a long drive to Cannes.' Executives from another group of Hong Kong film companies - including Mandarin Films, Universe Films and Edko Films - managed to get on a British Airways flight to Cannes. 'When we heard that the Air France flight was cancelled, we quickly switched to a BA flight. We managed to get through without any problems,' said Mandarin Films' distribution manager, Virginia Leung. Sabrina Chen, general manager of distribution of Han Entertainment, said: 'During the course of our conversations with the French consulate about Sars precautions and measures, we were also told that there was a strong possibility of a strike. We decided to arrive two days earlier.' Despite initial concerns that Hong Kong buyers and sellers might not be allowed into France - or might be quarantined - because of fears over Sars, none of the Hong Kong contingent reported any difficulties in getting through immigration. Ms Chen said: 'We had our doctors' certificates ready but we weren't asked for them. They didn't even take our temperature. And since being in Cannes we have not experienced any kind of discrimination from our friends from other countries. It's been business as usual.' Flights and trains to the Riviera were virtually non-existent yesterday as French trade unions walked off the job to protest over government plans to reform the country's pension system. Thousands of film industry representatives and fans from around the world have been hit by the industrial action.