The fate of France's top summer arts festival hung in the balance Wednesday after actors voted to continue strikes over plans to cut back their unemployment benefits.
Shows and street entertainment were called off for a second day, and festival organizers pondered their next move after performers and stagehands rejected in late-night talks a compromise to phase in the proposed deal.
The strike led to the cancellation of another summer hit, the popular Francofolies music festival in western France, and disrupted filming by Jack Nicholson.
"You know it's a paradox. If they discourage foreign film companies from coming, then there's no work for anyone," the American actor told LCI television.
France's center-right government wants performers and stagehands to put in more hours before they can claim unemployment benefits, a potential blow to artists who often are out of work for long periods.
Avignon festival director Bernard Faivre d'Arcier so far has made no comment on the vote, and organizers were to hold a crisis meeting that could lead to the three-week festival's cancellation for the first time in its 57-year history.