Magazine article Screen International

Tricycle Refuses UK Jewish Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

Tricycle Refuses UK Jewish Film Festival

Article excerpt

Theatre refuses festival while it is backed by Israeli Embassy amid Gaza crisis; industry reacts via social media.

The Tricycle Theatre has refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) as long as it is backed by the Israeli Embassy in London amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

The festival was due to host at least 26 films at The Tricycle in north London, but organizers are now searching for another venue for the November event and have criticized the move as "unacceptable".

In a written explanation Jonathan Levy, chairman of The Tricycle, said: "Given the present situation in Israel/Palestine, and the unforeseen and unhappy escalation that has occurred over the past three weeks, including a terrible loss of life, The Tricycle cannot be associated with any activity directly funded or supported by any party to the conflict.

"The Tricycle will be pleased to host the UKJFF provided that it occurs without the support or other endorsement from the Israeli Government."

Organisers expressed "shock and sadness" over the decision.

Judy Ironside MBE, founder and executive director of the UKJFF said: "We pride ourselves on showing a diverse programme of films, which present a comprehensive view of international Jewish life and Israeli films are of course an important part of that.

"We have always sought to convey a wide perspective on the conflicts in the Middle East and initiate open dialogue with our audiences and guest speakers; and the Israeli Embassy have always supported us in this. The Tricycle have refused to take this into account in their decision."

Stephen Margolis, chairman of the UKJFF, added: "The Jewish community as a whole has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Tricycle and it is extremely saddening that they should look to politicise this festival by making demands that the UKJFF could never accept."

Social media outrage

The boycott has prompted outrage from some industry and media on social media. …

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