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PACBI-Film Industry to Locarno Film Festival: Dont Give Israeli Apartheid a Carte Blanche

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10 April 2015

Film Industry to Locarno Film Festival: Dont Give Israeli Apartheid a Carte Blanche

It has come to our attention that the Locarno Film Festival has chosen to place Israel as the center of this year's festival in its "Carte Blanche" initiative, in cooperation with the Israeli Film Fund. This fund is an Israeli government-funded agency which receives support from the Israel Film Council, the government appointed film funding advisory body, as well as support from the Film unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whose aim is to “promote Israeli films abroad with the support of the cultural attachés in the Israeli embassies throughout the world.”

We, the undersigned filmmakers and industry professionals, would like to express our deep concern with the fact that the Locarno festival is choosing to partner with the Israel Film Fund and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, despite the fact that Israel has not just continued, but intensified its decades-old occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.

We are particularly disturbed about the timing of this Locarno Film Festival decision to promote Israel, coming on the heels of Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza in the summer of 2014, where more than two thousand Palestinians were killed, including more than five hundred children. Locarno’s decision also follows the election of the most racist, far-right government in Israel's history.

Given the current belligerence exhibited by Israel in its ongoing brutal attacks on Palestinian civilians and infrastructure, justified by the same Ministry of Foreign Affairs that you have chosen to be a partner of the festival, we demand that the festival organizers reconsider their relationship to the government of Israel, and withdraw their partnership with the Israel Film Fund, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all other official Israeli entities. If the idea is to support individual Israeli filmmakers or screen Israeli films, there are many ways to do so without accepting funding or other forms of support from the Israeli state and government organizations.

We make this demand in consideration of the Palestinian filmmakers who have lost their lives or their loved ones this year due to Israel’s military attacks. We do so in consideration of the many cultural centers, arts institutions and universities targeted by Israeli bombs and missiles. We do so because we are in solidarity with those who are under siege. Under these circumstances, the actions of the State of Israel cannot be treated as normal. We do so because some of us are under siege, clinging on to our art and our humanity and contributing to our collective struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

We hope that our colleagues and friends at the Locarno Film Festival will stand with us. We hope you will recognize the direness of the present situation, and that you will choose to stand for human dignity in the face of barbarity and injustice perpetrated against any and all peoples.

It is well worth revisiting the timeless words of the German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, from his Theses on the Philosophy of History:

"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. One reason why Fascism has a chance is that in the name of progress its opponents treat it as a historical norm. The current amazement that the things we are experiencing are 'still' possible in the twentieth century is not philosophical. This amazement is not the beginning of knowledge - unless it is the knowledge that the view of history which gives rise to it is untenable."




Annemarie Jacir, Filmmaker, Palestine

Elia Suleiman, Filmmaker, France

Ken Loach, Director, UK

Jean-Luc Godard, Filmmaker, France/Switzerland

Mira Nair, Director, India/Uganda

Hany Abu-Assad, Director, Palestine

Mohammad Bakri, Actor, Palestine

Saleh Bakri, Actor, Palestine

Simone Bitton, Film Director, France

Joslyn Barnes, Producer, USA

Richard Horowitz, Composer & Producer, USA

Irit Neidhardt, Distributor & Co-Producer & Curator, Germany

Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker & Scholar, France/Israel

Rebecca O'Brien, Film Producer, UK

Walter Bernstein, Screenwriter, USA

Yasmine Hamdan, Singer, Lebanon/France

Jasmila Zbanic, Filmmaker, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Paul Laverty, Screenwriter, UK

Ossama Bawardi, Producer, Palestine

Karine Guignard, Actress & Hip Hop Artist, Switzerland

Hazem Berrabah, DOP, Tunisia

Abdel Salam Shehada, Filmmaker, Gaza/Palestine

Khaled Abol Naga, Actor & Producer & Director, Egypt

Marie-Pierre Macia, Producer, France

Ula Tabari, Filmmaker & Actress, France

Helene Louvart, Cinematographer, France

Kamran Rastegar, Music Composer, USA

Georgina Paget, Producer, UK

Zeina Durra, Filmmaker, UK

Rasha Salti, Film Programmer, Lebanon

Monica Maurer, Filmmaker & Journalist, Germany/Italy

Tala Hadid, Writer & Director, Morocco

John Greyson, Filmmaker, Canada

Hala Lotfy, Filmmaker, Egypt

Nicolas Wadimoff, Filmmaker & Producer, Switzerland

Dictynna Hood, Director, UK

Mai Masri, Filmmaker, Palestine

George Azar, Documentary Filmmaker, USA

Cat Villiers, Producer, UK

Mahdi Fleifel, Director, Amsterdam

Khalid Abdalla, Actor & Producer, Egypt/UK

Sally El Hosaini, Filmmaker, UK

Ounouri Damien, Director, Algeria

Enas Al Muthafar, Director, Palestine

Nicole Ballivian, Screenwriter & Director, USA

Najwa Najjar, Film Director, Palestine

Yahya Barakat, Film Director, Palestine

Nahed Awwad, Film Director, Palestine

Patrick Campbell, Producer, UK

Samir, Director & Producer,  Switzerland

Alain Bottarelli, Producer, Switzerland

Palmyre Badinier, Producer, France

Stina Werenfels, Director, Switzerland

Frederic Choffat, Filmmaker, Switzerland

Saed Andoni, Producer, Palestine

Kamal Jafari, Filmmaker, Palestine

Nicholas Blincoe, Screenwriter, UK

George Khleifi, Filmmaker, Palestine

Dima Abu Ghoush, Filmmaker, Palestine

Najwa Mubarki, Casting Director, Palestine

Salim Abu Jabal, Filmmaker,  Syria/Palestine

Majdi El-Omari, Filmmaker, Canada/Palestine

Jenny Morgan, Filmmaker, UK

Ramzi Maqdisi, Actor & Filmmaker, Palestine

Raed Helou, Filmmaker, Palestine

Dahna Abourahme, Filmmaker, Lebanon

Georgina Asfour, Filmmaker & Script Supervisor, Palestine

Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker, Palestine

Rana Kazkaz, Filmmaker, USA/Syria

Mary Ellen Davis, Director, Canada

Norma Marcos, Filmmaker, Palestine/France

Hatem Alsharif, Writer, Jordan

Narimane Mari, Director & Producer, Algeria

Rashid Masharawi​, Director & Producer, Palestine

Omar Robert Hamilton, Writer & Director, Egypt

Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker, India

Susan Youssef, Filmmaker, Lebanon

Osama Abed, Screenwriter & Director, Palestine

Sylvain L'Esperance, Filmmaker, Canada

Rama Mari, Filmmaker, Palestine

Riyad Deis, Filmmaker, Palestine

Buthina Canaan khoury, Filmmaker, Palestine

Nasri Hajjaj, Writer & Filmmaker, Palestine

Jumana Manna, Artist, Palestine

Lyana Saleh, Director & Producer, France

Martin Duckworth, Filmmaker, Canada

Brett Story, Filmmaker, Canada

Hanna Atallah, Filmmaker & Producer, Palestine

Dr. Ezzaldeen Shalh, Film Critic, Palestine

Shannon Walsh, Filmmaker, Hong Kong/Canada

Nora Alsharif, Director, Jordan

Zain Duraie, Filmmaker, Jordan

Akram Safadi, Filmmaker , Palestine

Hicham Kayed, Filmmaker, Lebanon

Suha Arraf, Filmmaker, Palestine

Pacho Velez, Filmmaker, USA

Linda Mutawi, Producer, Jordan/Sweden

Khadijeh Habashneh Abu Ali, Filmmaker, Jordan

May Odeh, Director & Producer, Palestine

Liana Badr, Author & Filmmaker, Palestine

Sophia Al-Maria, Screenwriter, UK

Hanan Abdalla, Documentary Filmmaker, Egypt/UK

Maher Abi Samra, Filmmaker, France

Amber Fares, Filmmaker, Canada/Palestine

Thaer Alsahli, Director & Writer, Netherlands

Ashraf Mashharawi, Filmmaker, Palestine

Alisa Lebow, Filmmaker & Scholar, UK

Maysoon Pachachi, Filmmaker, UK/Iraq

Guy Sherwin, Filmmaker, UK

Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, UK

George Costigan, Actor, UK

John Smith, Filmmaker, UK

Miranda Pennell, Filmmaker, UK

Jill Daniels, Filmmaker, UK

Samir Abdallah, Filmmaker, Egypt/France

Claus Josten, Filmmaker, Germany

Ruba Blal Asfour, Actress, Palestine

Fenia Cossovitsa Producer, Greece

Alaa Al Ali, Multimedia Artist, Sweden

Yaser Fares, Artist & Filmmaker, Germany

Tarazan Nasser, Filmmaker, Gaza/Palestine

Arab Nasser, Filmmaker, Gaza/Palestine

Larissa Sansour, Artist, UK

Mahmoud Al Massad, Writer & Director, Jordan

Dima Hamdallah, Writer & Producer, Jordan

Sherif Elbendary, Filmmaker, Egypt

Hamada Atallah, Costume Designer, Palestine

Khaled Jarrar, Filmmaker & Artist, Palestine

George Hencken, Filmmaker, London

Eyad Hourani, Actor, Palestine

Ridha Tlili, Filmmaker, Tunisia

Amer Shomali, Filmmaker, Palestine

Marco Pasquini, Documentary Filmmaker & Cinematographer, Italy

Kassem Hawal, Filmmaker & Writer, Iraq

Khalo Matabane, Filmmaker, South Africa

Yahya Alabdallah, Filmmaker, Jordan

Sabah Haider, Filmmaker, Canada/Lebanon

Sean Jacobs, Film Faculty, USA/South Africa

Rashid Abdelhamid, Producer, Palestine

Meriem Varone, Script Consultant, France

Firas Khoury, Director, Palestine

Leila Sansour, Film Director & Producer, UK/Palestine

Hakim Noury, Filmmaker, Morocco

Farida Benlyazid, Filmmaker, Morocco

Alison Poltock, Director of East End Film Festival, UK

Khalil Benkirane, Filmmaker, Qatar

Audrey Maurion, Editor & Director, France

Bendimerad Adila, Actress and Producer, Algeria
Karim Aitouna, Filmmaker and Producer, Morocco
Avi Hershkovitz, Filmaker, Spain
Nawaf Al Janahi, Film Director, UAE
Majd Hijjawi, Producer, Jordan
Mounir Baaziz, Director, Tunisia
Hiram George Na’man, Filmmaker, Lebanon
Christophe Ruggia, Filmmaker, France
Richard Fung, filmmaker, Canada
Driss Chouika, Filmmaker & Producer, Morocco
Eliane Raheb, Filmmaker, Lebanon
Marc Siegel, Scholar, Germany
Margo Harkin, Filmmaker, Ireland
Yacine Mohamed Benelhadj, Director & Scriptwriter, Algeria
Khalid Al Mahmood, Filmmaker, UAE
E. Nina Rothe, Film Journalist, USA/Italy
Asma Chiboub, Producer, Tunisia
Joana Hadjithomas, Filmmaker, Lebanon
Khalil Joreige, Filmmaker, Lebanon
Ikbal Arafa, Director Of Photography, Tunisia
Rabih El-Amine, Filmmaker, Canada/ Lebanon
Aimen Toumi, Sound Engineer, Tunisie 
Moncef Taleb, Sound recorder, Tunisia 
Mohamed Ben Becher, Director, Tunisia
Sawssen Saya, Director, Tunisia
Azza Chaabouni, Editor & Curator, Tunisia
Rona Even Merrill, Filmmaker, Israel/USA
Cynthia Beatt, Filmmaker & Writer, UK/Germany
Nejma Zeghidi, Filmmaker, Tunisia
Vanni Bianconi, Writer, Switzerland 
Niam Itani - Filmmaker, Lebanon
Sadri Jemail, Filmmaker, Tunisia
Dhia Jerbi, Director, Tunisia
Faouzi Bensaidi, Filmmaker, Morocco
Maryse Gargour, Filmmaker, France
Kathy Wazana, Filmmaker, Canada
Travis Wilkerson, Filmmaker, USA
Véronique Goël, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Saad Chraibi, Director, Morocco
Selma Bargach, Director, Morocco
Driss Idrissi, Director, Morocco
Hamid Faridi, Director, Morocco
Fouad Souiba, Director & Writer, Morocco
Naoufel Berraoui, Director, Morocco
Abdellilah Eljaouhary, Director, Morocco
Mohcine Besri, Filmmaker, Morocco /Switzerland
Catherine Hess, Festival PFC'E Organiser, Switzerland 
Wafa Jamil, Film Director & Producer, Palestine/Sweden
Odd Geir Sæther, Director of Photography, Norway

Cahal McLaughlin, Professor of Film Studies, Belfast

Yanis Koussim, Director & Screenwriter, Algeria

Rima El Mismar, Film Programs Manager, Lebanon

Bob Quinn, Filmmaker, Ireland

Clara Khoury, Actress, Palestine/USA

Anne-Marie Miéville, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Jackson Garabed Allers, Filmmaker, Lebanon/USA
Hania Mroue, Filmmaker, Lebanon
Naima Bachiri, Film Editor, Switzerland / Morocco 
Francis Reusser, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Juan José Lozano, Filmmaker, Switzerland

Michel Bühler, Writer & Singer, Switzerland

Jean-Jacques Dünki, Pianist & Composer, Switzerland

Abdallah Chamekh, Filmmaker, Tunisia

Alex Mayenfisch, Filmmaker, Switzerland

Julie Gilbert, Script Writer, Switzerland

Mohamed Naceur Sardi, Cinema Critic, Tunisia

Yazid Chabbi, Sound Engineer, Tunisia

Nidal Hassan, Director & Producer, Syria
Prune Jaillet, Editor, Switzerland
Orsola Valenti, Editor, Switzerland
Jasmin Basic, Film Programmer, Switzerland
Jean Reusser, Editor and Filmmaker, Switzerland
Carlos Lopez, Filmmaker, Argentina
Daniel Calderon, Producer, Switzerland
Thierry Jorand, Comedian, Switzerland
Sé Merry Doyle, Filmmaker, Ireland
Joe Comerford, Filmmaker, Ireland
ALESSANDRO NEGRINI, Film Director, Ireland
Laurence McKeown, Filmmaker, Ireland
Tareq Daoud, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Zoltan Horvath, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Daniel Künzi, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Ufuk Emiroglu,Filmmaker, Switzerland
Dominique de Rivaz, Filmmaker, Switzerland
Marco Poloni, Filmmaker & Photographer, Germany/Switzerland
Fernand Melgar, Filmmaker, Switzerland

Posted on 10-04-2015

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