Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival has dropped plans to screen a documentary about the now discredited link between the MMR vaccination and autism, amid an outcry by medical professionals.

The film, 'Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe', was co-written and directed by Andrew Wakefield, the British doctor whose study about the link was appeared in The Lancet but was later retracted.

Mr. Wakefield, who had his medical licence revoked following an investigation by the General Medical Council, has described his film as a "whistleblower documentary".

Mr De Niro, one of the film festivals' founders, said: "My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family.

"But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for."

The festival's decision to show the film had been controversial, prompting an outcry from medical professionals and other filmmakers.

The New York Times quoted William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as welcoming the festival's decision to drop the film.

"My hat is off to them for listening, thinking about it, discussing it and responding," the paper quoted him as saying.

Information about the film can no longer be found on the Tribeca Film Festival website.