A prestigious international film festival came under attack at the weekend from a group of Chinese hackers intent on stopping it screening a film about a political activist from the country's northwest Xinjiang region.

The documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, The Ten Conditions of Love, apparently angered some Chinese enough to drive them to organise an attack on the ticketing systems of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Carts as a weapon

As well as using the festival's online ticket site to seemingly buy all the tickets by holding them indefinitely in shopping carts, the hackers have inundated organisers with junk faxes and phone calls that block up the telephone lines.

Festival director Richard Moore explained: "So this has really seriously escalated and it's a direct attempt to sabotage the festival.

"I've got here a whole pile of faxes... this one here shows 'LOL, a bunch of pathetic kangaroos' and then behind is reams and reams of Chinese text."

Official protest too

The visit of Kadeer is already making waves, with the Australian Ambassador in Beijing being summoned to hear an official protest next week.

Regardless of the attacks, the festival organisers say tickets are still available at the box office.

Via ABC News