Saturday, September 12, 2009

Israeli Film Fund Backed Lebanon Wins Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival

Does this prize do anything to alleviate the protests against Israel's films being shown at such festivals as Toronto, Melbourne or Edinburgh? Are the protesters finding their actions are an unpopular distraction from the purpose of the festivals themselves to showcase world cinema and the visions of filmmakers? Thank you to the jury led by director Ang Lee of Venice Film Festival for awarding the Golden Lion to Samuel Moaz’s directorial debut Lebanon. Silver Lion for Best Director went to Lebanese woman director Shirin Neshat for Women Without Men, and a special jury prize went to Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen.

Jane Fonda has reportedly repudiated her stand with the letter writers condemning the choice of Tel Aviv in the inauguaral City to City Section of TIFF. Jane Fonda abandons protest against Israel at Toronto film festival

Screen International - Film industry news from UK, US, Europe, Asia and The World: "Film-maker Atom Egoyan has weighed in on the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Tel Aviv sidebar dispute claiming the protestors have failed to substantiate their charge that the Israeli government interfered with TIFF’s programming."


  1. Hollywood did not show concern when the Israeli
    fiction film, the Band's Visit, was "uninvited"
    by Abu Dhabi's film festival due to Egyptian
    pressure, nor did any of the American programmers
    who were recruited by the Emirates stood by their
    invitation to the film. Where was Jane Fonda then?

    Edinburgh bowed to pressure from Ken Loch regarding
    returning a $ 500 travel grant from the Israeli
    ministry of culture for the presentation of the
    non political featurette, "Surrogate", there.

    I wonder under which category would they put 'Lebanon' or 'Waltz with Bashir' and other such films which were made with Israeli government money...

    Had Ken Loch cared to protect the persecuted, had
    he truly cared about killings and the causes of
    misery in the Middle East, had he harbored
    genuine concern for free speech, civil society &
    gay/women's rights (in Gaza, in Egypt and Iran to name a few) then he would have
    taken his protest elsewhere. But Mr. Loach is a
    man with a mission to defame Israel, the root
    cause for all evil in the Middle East.

    Opposing the Tel Aviv section in the 2009 Toronto
    International Film Festival is not only
    ridiculous because it achieves the opposite
    purpose (hinders free speech from such vibrant-
    liberal minded city), but mainly because the
    false premise behind it is based on a carefully
    spanned myth that only Israel is to blamed; the famous double standard goes to work...

    Those who want to de-legitimate
    the "evil" of the middle east have found their
    narrative and their platform: throw Tel Aviv into
    a hundred years of solitude.

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