Many filmmakers, including Oscar winner Jane Campion (Best Director, 2021) and Basque filmmaker Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren, asked for their films to be withdrawn from the Jerusalem Film Festival, which ends tomorrow, Palestinian BDS National Committee reported Saturday, July 22, 2023.
BDS said at least three other directors, from the US and UK, also did so. Campion’s 1989 film Sweetie, and Urresola’s debut feature 20,000 Species of Bees, were expected to screen at the festival this week.
“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,” said James Schamus,
an award-winning screenwriter, producer, director, and former CEO of Focus Features.
“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,” Schamus added.
Palestinian and international filmmakers and actors called on participants in the Jerusalem Film Festival partnered with the far-right, sexist, homophobic, fundamentalist, and transphobic Israeli government, to withdraw.
“Until the festival ends its complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime, participating in Jerusalem Film Festival can only prolong injustice, regardless of good intentions,” he added.
Schamus completed, “We urge you to join thousands of artists, including many filmmakers, who have respected the nonviolent Palestinian picket line, by canceling your participation.”
BDS also called on all other directors and other artists to refuse to participate in the apartheid Israeli regime’s attempts to hide its human rights violations against Palestinians.