The organisers of the Cannes Film Festival are determined to premiere Terry Gilliam's 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'.

The long-awaited adventure movie - which has been 20 years in the making - has become bogged down in legal wrangling over who owns the rights to the project, but Cannes president Pierre Lescure and general delegate, Thierry Fremaux, are refusing to bow to ''intimidation''.

The movie was set to screened at the Festival on May 19, however it hit a last-minute snag last week, when lawyers for producer Paolo Branco claimed that his Alfama Films company - not Gilliam - actually owns the rights to it.

Despite this, the Cannes bosses - who have promised to respect an upcoming court ruling - said: ''We stand squarely on the side of filmmakers and in particular on the side of Terry Gilliam.

''We know how important this project, which has gone through so many trials and tribulations, is to him. The trouble was caused on this last occasion by the actions of a producer who has shown his true colours once and for all during this episode and who has threatened us, via his lawyer, with a 'humiliating defeat.'''

The legal case is to be heard in a court on May 7, which is the day before the annual film festival is due to open in the south of France.

However, Lescure and Fremaux are determined to voice their support for Gilliam, 77.

They said: ''Defeat would be to succumb to threats.''

'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' is directed by Gilliam, and stars Adam Driver and Stellan Skarsgard.