BELGRADE, Serbia -- A French intellectual has been struck in the face with a pie in Serbia by left-wing activists.

Bernard-Henri Levy, known for his criticism of Serbian nationalist policies during the 1990s Balkan wars, was in Belgrade for the showing of his documentary film about the Kurds' battle against the Islamic State group.

A young man chanting "murderer, leave Belgrade" hurled a cake at his face as he was presenting his film, "Peshmerga," on Wednesday. Another man climbed the stage with a banner with a communist hammer and sickle that read "Bernard Levy advocates imperialist murders."

Levy reacted by shouting "long live democracy" in French.

Serbian nationalists perceive Levy as one of the main advocates of the NATO bombing of the country in 1999 over its crackdown against Kosovo Albanian separatists.

"He deserved much worse than a cake in his face," Serbian ultranationalist official Vojislav Seselj said in parliament on Thursday.

Organizers of the documentary festival apologized to Levy on Thursday, giving him a cake as a present during an appearance that saw tough security in the hall.

The French-Jewish intellectual has a history of being the target of pie-wielding critics.

Noel Godin, a Belgian actor who has made a career out of throwing pies at celebrities, has pied Levy at least seven times since 1985, the last time in 2015.