51 Canadian filmmakers protest festival’s normalization with Israel

Fifty-one Canadian filmmakers issued a letter last week to the co-chairs of the Hot Docs documentary film festival to protest its partnership with the Israeli organization CoPro Documentary Marketing Foundation. According to a press release issued today, “The funders of CoPro include the Israel Film Council, an official part of the Israeli Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Golan Heights Winery, which operates illegally in the occupied Syrian Golan heights.”

In their letter to the festival co-chairs, the filmmakers state: “We are not calling for a boycott of Hot Docs. We are encouraging Hot Docs to find alternative ways of engaging both Palestinian and Israeli progressive forces, while bypassing the Israeli state, in a principled stand of cultural solidarity,” in respect with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions to hold the government of Israel accountable for its apartheid policies.

The BDS movement in Canada is going strong — last year, 500 Montreal artists pledged to boycott Israel in support of the BDS call.

And as was blogged on EI earier this week, significant gains are being made in the campus divestment movement as Carleton University is one step closer to divesting, and campaigns are underway at Toronto universities.


Maureen Clare Murphy

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Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada.