More than 300 of Israel’s top filmmakers have signed an open letter, saying they will not seek funding from, nor cooperate with the recently–established “Shomron Film Fund”, following the fund’s inaugural film festival in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. The filmmakers call on the Israeli Academy of Film and Television not to partake in “whitewashing the occupation” ahead of the Ophir Awards — Israel’s Academy Awards — later this month.
Filmmaker Avi Mograbi among the signatories of the letter against “whitewashing the occupation” (Photo: International Leipzig Festival)
Among the signatories are multiple Academy Award winners and nominees. They have signed a public letter in which they state that they will not receive grants and will not participate in the selection of films for development and production or in professional events held by the “Shomron Film Fund”. The goal of the fund, write the filmmakers, is “to invite Israeli filmmakers to actively participate in whitewashing the occupation in exchange for financial support and prizes.
Signatories include Oscar-nominated filmmakers Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir), Guy Davidi (Five Broken Cameras), and Oren Moverman (The Messenger); Oscar-winner Sharon Maymon (Skin); Cannes alumni Nadav Lapid (Ahed’s Knee), Avi Mograbi (Avenge But One of My Two Eyes), Keren Yedaya (Or), and Amos Gitai (Kippur); Emmy-winner Rachel Leah Jones (Advocate); Israel Academy Award winners Eran Kolirin (Band’s Visit), Yaron Zilberman (Incitement), and Shira Arad (Avinu); Sundance Grand Jury winners Raanan Alexandrowicz and Liran Atzmor (The Law in These Parts); HBO creators Hagai Levi (Our Boys), Hilla Medalia, Mor Loushy, and Daniel Sivan (Oslo Diaries); veteran filmmakers and film educators Ram Loevy, Michal Aviad, Ran Tal, Barak and Tomer Heymann (Comrade Dov), and dozens of other established narrative and documentary cineastes.
The full text of the letter (in English):