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Israeli film pulled from Iraqi festival competition

A film festival in Iraqi Kurdistan pulls an Israeli picture from its official competition, prompting the jury to protest by refusing to present a top award.

Israeli director Yona Rozenkier’s “The Dive,” which portrays three brothers carrying out their father’s last wish, was screened this month at the Duhok International Film Festival in northern Iraq.

But festival organizers say they had “unwillingly” withdrawn the film from the world cinema competition, “due to regional complications and considerations.”

The move led the jury to refuse to announce a winner for the best international feature film, saying in an online statement the change to the selection “compromised our ability to make a final decision.”

Jury president Kristian Feigelson said in a separate statement that the film’s withdrawal was the result of “political pressure coming officially from Baghdad.”

— AFP

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