Filmmakers pull out of Tel Aviv LGBT film festival citing Israel boycott

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Several filmmakers scheduled to participate in the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival have pulled out, citing pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The festival is scheduled to open Thursday and run through June 10.

Among those who have pulled out in support of the cultural boycott of Israel,  Haaretz reported, are South African director John Trengrove, whose film “The Wound” is the opening-night production; Canadian-Pakistani screenwriter and actor Fawzia Mirza (“Signature Move”); Nadia Ibrahim, a Palestinian living in Denmark who was to serve as a member of the festival jury and appear on a panel, and Swiss actor Jasna Fritzi Bauer.

Trengrove reportedly decided to cancel his participation after he had already arrived in Israel — a trip that was paid for by the cash-strapped festival, according to Haaretz.

The effort reportedly is being led by Pinkwashing Israel, which says that the Tel Aviv film festival “promotes the cynical use of gay rights – known as pinkwashing – to distract from and normalize Israeli occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Part of the festival’s funding comes from the government through the Ministry of Culture and Sport.

The annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade will be held near the end of the festival on June 9.

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