Posted: 9/3/2013 7:27:00 PM
Author: Creative Community For Preace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lana Melman, Director of Creative Community for Peace (Lana@CreativeCommunityForPeace.com)
(Los Angeles -- September 3, 2013) The recent decision by the organizers of the ‘International Federation of Television Archives’ competition to disqualify an Israeli film is a ridicule of artistic freedom and a clear case of institutionalized bigotry.
The film, titled ‘Israel: A Home Movie’ had already been selected by a jury as one of the best nine movies from countries that included Lebanon and China and was supposed to compete in the finals along with two other films. It tells the story of Israel from the beginning of the last century onwards, and shows Israeli and Arab children playing together, sharing languages and culture. “The film is a perfect example of how art can heal and open a narrative to positive outcomes and challenge misconceptions. However, the movie and its creators have been denied this opportunity, due to their being Israeli.” says Ben Silverman, Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) advisory board member and founder & CEO of Electus.
The ‘International Federation of Television Archives’ awards are set to take place in Dubai this year. Local as well as European anti-Israel groups demanded that the organizers remove the Israeli film from the competition’s roster. The organization, rather than stand up for its own integrity and mission statement, caved in and opted to cancel the film’s screening, not mention it in the award ceremony and disinvite the films creators, solely on the grounds of their nationality.
The organizers weakly claim that the disqualification was due to “political tension in the region.” “If the entry from Lebanon had made it to the finals, would Dubai have asked for it to be disqualified because of ‘political tension in the region’? Or how about the filmmaker from China whose government routinely denies its citizens access to information?” queries Silverman. “I think not. Only artists from democratic Israel are singled out for this kind of discrimination and are subjected to separate standards from the rest of the world.”
It is time to stop the politicization of art. “The festival organizers,” says David Lonner, CCFP advisory member and CEO of Oasis Media Group, “substituted artistic and professional considerations with one-sided political ones.” We, Creative Community For Peace, a coalition of entertainment industry executives [CCFP] and fans worldwide who have signed our petition [Petition], reject this injustice. We believe art and music must be embraced as tools to transcend political tensions.
Unfortunately, the winner of the “International Federation of Television Archives” award will not be the best film, but simply the best non-Israeli film.