Associations Urge Claire Denis and Florent Zeller: Withdraw from Jerusalem Film Fest

The France Palestine Solidarity Association, in the lead, believes that the participation of the two directors on the festival jury amounts to approving the actions of the Israeli state.

French directors Claire Denis and Florian Zeller, future president and member of the jury of the next Jerusalem Film Festival, must withdraw from this demonstration or “publicly condemn the crimes committed by Israel”, urged several pro-Palestinian associations on Wednesday.

“Dear Claire Denis, Dear Florian Zeller, can you imagine, seriously, that your presence in the jury of this festival is not interpreted and used as a guarantee for the State of Israel and its policy? an open letter from the France Palestine Solidarity Association, but also Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theater and Culture of Palestine, two more modest structures. “Would you have agreed to chair and participate in a jury at a film festival sponsored by the Russian state?”, Questioned these three NGOs again. The Jerusalem Film Festival, “to which you will give your support”, is “sponsored and financed by the far-right Israeli government which includes ministers who claim to be openly fascist”, they added.

Israel’s ruling coalition ranges from right to far right to ultra-Orthodox clerics. It is the most right-wing government in the country’s history.

“We urge you to give up”

“Out of respect for all that you have contributed to cinema and theater, we urge you to renounce this compromising participation or, at least, to clearly and publicly condemn the crimes committed by the State of Israel, which finances the Jerusalem Film Festival”, concluded the three associations.

The Jerusalem Film Festival will run from Thursday July 13 to Sunday July 23. More than 200 films will be screened there, including works that have already won awards at Sundance, Cannes, Berlin or Venice, in the presence of famous actors and directors, notably Oliver Stone or the Dardenne brothers. Claire Denis, awarded in particular at Cannes and Berlin, will be the president of its 40th edition. Florian Zeller, writer, screenwriter and director, who won numerous awards, including an Oscar, for his first film, The Father, in 2021, is a member of the jury.

Some pro-Palestinian organizations have the strategy of carrying out their action also in the cultural field, by calling for a boycott of cultural events in this country. Contacted by AFP, Florian Zeller’s entourage did not wish to react.

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