Moviemaker Paul Schrader has blasted officials at the South by Southwest festival in Texas for negatively critiquing his new Lindsay Lohan film, The Canyons - because the feedback set the movie back months.

Schrader considered pulling the much-maligned film from release following the early criticism. It finally opened in New York last weekend (02Aug13) and will roll out to Los Angeles this Friday (09Aug13) before hitting the Venice Film Festival in Italy later this month (Aug13).

But the director is still sore about the South by Southwest negativity.

He tells Wenn, "This woman who runs South by Southwest did a major breach of etiquette and protocol when she lambasted this film saying it's cold and dead at the centre... We made this film and we damn well know it's cold and dead at the centre! That's what it was designed to be. But people who run film festivals simply do not do that.

"You have to have a condition of privacy and confidence when you submit to a film festival. They are announcing the films that are in their festival and they blow their own announcement by taking a swipe at this film, which is not in the festival!"

Schrader believes the criticism was driven by the fact Lohan was the star of the film: "There is something about Lindsay that makes people get red. They just can't see straight because they have these intensified feelings about her. But the phenomenon of Lindsay is such that it makes normal people do stupid things.

"Even the New York Times, which changed the title of their article from 'The Misfits' to 'This Is What Happens When You Hire Lindsay Lohan'... I liked The Times story. It was to our advantage enormously. It got hijacked by the Lindsay phenomenon but then she tends to do that.

"But people do want to hire her. I would work with her again in a heartbeat. She is enormously talented and charismatic but it's the reliability issue. If she can get a reputation of reliability she'll have an enormous career in front of her. She is magic."