Last minute cancellation of three Israeli movie festivals in France | EUROtoday

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“II didn't suppose that the postponement of our competition would have such an affect! » sighs Nicole Berditchewsky, founding father of the Shalom Europa competition. Since the environmentalist mayor of Strasbourg Jeanne Barseghian introduced, on May 24, that this occasion initially deliberate for June 16 to twenty in a cinema within the metropolis was going to be postponed, feedback have been rife on social networks.

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Although the competition director clarified that “no pressure was exerted for the festival to be canceled”, many observers proceed to suppose that the requires a boycott coming from small pro-Palestinian teams weighed closely on this resolution. The organizer refuses any controversy and political restoration. She repeats that it was as a result of she feared that the occasion can be disrupted by demonstrations that she herself determined to postpone the occasion.

“We did not want to endanger the spectators who would come to our screenings,” she specifies, earlier than including that she is “impatiently waiting for the news to be more lenient so that we can bring together cinema lovers again “. She also says she doesn't want to complain. “Given what’s happening there, this date shift really isn’t much. We also have a thought for all those who are currently suffering in Israel and in Gaza,” insists Nicole Berditchewsky.

READ ALSO Block Out: who is behind this pro-Palestinian boycott movement? In a press release, Strasbourg town hall declared that “the City has always supported the Shalom Europa festival and will continue to do so”. Gabrielle Rosner-Bloch, opposition councilor (Union of the Right and Center), is delighted that the municipality is thus reaffirming its support for this demonstration. “The elected officials of La France insoumise may well be calling for a boycott of Israel [leurs représentants locaux ont demandé, en vain, le déjumelage de Strasbourg avec la ville de Ramat Gan le 22 mai dernier, NDLR]“, it is important that events like the Shalom Europa festival continue to exist,” insists the municipal representative, who is also a regional councilor responsible for culture and worship.

A festival created 16 years ago

For 16 years, this Strasbourg event has offered filmmakers from all backgrounds the opportunity to present their films to a French audience. Independent of any government structure, this festival offers invited directors and actors the opportunity to express a wide diversity of opinions. Some also take very critical positions vis-à-vis the current Israeli government.

READ ALSO Cannes 2024: behind Cate Blanchett's gown, help for the Palestinians “The very binary way in which current events are approached today does not allow such exchanges to take place in a calm manner,” notes Nicole Berditchewsky. Which additionally regrets that, confronted with the multiplication of anti-Israeli mobilizations in France, the Alsatian competition is just not the one one to have to vary date. “The calendar of two other similar events, in Carpentras and Marseille, has thus been modified,” she remembers.

When contacted, the organizers of those two different occasions didn’t reply to our interview requests. But on the movie market which was held final week on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, cinema professionals famous that the phenomenon goes past borders. Several Israeli movie festivals have additionally been canceled lately within the United States and Canada.