Directors withdraw films from Jerusalem Film Festival
Palestinian and international filmmakers alongside actors are calling on festival participants to withdraw from the festival strongly tied to the far-right Israeli government.
Oscar-winning New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion and Basque filmmaker Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren are some of the many filmmakers who asked to withdraw their films and projects from the controversial Jerusalem Film Festival, being held on the occupied lands of Palestine.
Three other directors and filmmakers from the UK and the US, already did so, as Campion's 1989 film 'Sweetie', and Urresola's debut feature '20,000 Species of Bees', were scheduled to be screened this week during the festival.
Co-founder and former CEO of Focus Features and Award-winning screenwriter, producer and director James Schamus, reacted in response, "Last year, Emma Watson spoke for a growing chorus of international cultural workers in support of Palestinian rights when she attested that 'solidarity is a verb.'"
"This summer, as the world watches the Israeli government ramp up its assaults on and dispossession of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, filmmakers are bravely taking that phrase to heart", he added.
View this post on Instagram
Palestinian and international filmmakers, alongside actors, called on festival participants to withdraw from the festival strongly tied to the far-right Israeli government.
“Until the festival ends its complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime, participating in Jerusalem Film Festival can only prolong injustice, regardless of good intentions... We urge you to join thousands of artists, including many filmmakers, who have respected the nonviolent Palestinian picket line, by canceling your participation", a statement read.
The BDS movement has won several fights before against concerts and festivals hosted or supported by the Occupation, such as the indie rock band Big Thief who canceled their concert in "Tel Aviv" in June last year after public outrage.
Additionally, 30 acts, including bands, individual artists, companies, and panel members, canceled their performances or attendance at Sydney Festival 2022 which kicked off in Australia last year over funding from "Israel".