Workers at the Cannes Film Festival called for a strike over pay and conditions on Monday, just a week before the event was due to start.

Members of a collective called Sous les Ecrans la Deche ("Poverty Behind the Screens") said they did not intend to cause significant disruption but wanted to draw attention to long-running demands.

"The strike will not put the opening of the festival at risk but there could be disruptions as it goes on," a spokesperson told AFP.

The group said it represented around 100 workers, including projectionists, programmers, press agents and ticket sellers.

They work on short-term contracts but do not fall under France's unemployment insurance scheme for freelance artists and technicians in the cultural sector, which tops up salaries to a minimum wage.

"Most of us will have to give up working, which will jeopardise the events," the group said in a statement.

"The forthcoming opening of the Cannes Film Festival has a bitter taste for us this year," it added.

The festival organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The event on the French Cote d'Azur is considered the most prestigious for the world's film industry, attracting some 40,000 people each year.

This year's festival is due to run from May 14 to 25, with icons including Francis Ford Coppola, Georges Lucas and Meryl Streep set to attend.