100 LGBT filmmakers to boycott Tel Aviv festival to support queer Palestinians

Over 130 figures from the film world sign pledge, organized by divestment movement, to not attend TLVFest event

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: A protester holds a sign reading 'Boycott Israel, Free Palestine' during a Quds-day demonstration in Berlin, on June 9, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ)
Illustrative: A protester holds a sign reading 'Boycott Israel, Free Palestine' during a Quds-day demonstration in Berlin, on June 9, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ)

Over 130 filmmakers from around the world, including at least 100 from the LGBT community, have pledged to boycott an upcoming government-sponsored gay film festival in Tel Aviv, the Hollywood Reporter said Monday.

The boycott targets Tel Aviv’s International LGBT Film Festival, known as TLVFest, and aims to show solidarity with the Palestinian members of the LGBT community.

TLVFest is sponsored by the Culture and Sports Ministry, the Israel Film Council, and the Tel Aviv Municipality.

Those who signed the pledge committed “not to submit films or otherwise participate in TLVFest or other events partially or fully sponsored by complicit Israeli institutions until Israel complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights,” the report said.

LGBT liberation “is intimately connected to the liberation of all oppressed peoples and communities,” the text reads.

The boycott was called by Palestinian queer organizations along with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, the cultural arm of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as BDS.

Organizers say TLVFest is being used by Israel for so-called “”pinkwashing efforts” with the goal of projecting “a progressive image while denying the rights of all Palestinians, queer and non queer alike.”

Among those who signed were Turner Prize winner Charlotte Prodger, Palme d’Or nominee Alain Guiraudie, and “America in Transition” director Andre Perez, the report said.

The coming TLVFest, the 15th year for the annual event, is scheduled for June 4-13.

Pro-Palestinian activists regularly call for shunning Israel, ostensibly as a way to pressure the Jewish state to change its treatment of the Palestinians. Critics allege that many boycott supporters actually seek Israel’s destruction.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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