Israel’s military attack behind stars snubbing film festival

Israel’s military attack behind stars snubbing film festival

Hollywood actors and high profile names including Prince Albert of Monaco, son of legendary actress Grace Kelly, Meg Ryan,  and Jewish actor Dustin Hoffman backed out of attending this year’s annual Jerusalem Film Festival, which was  slated to begin  Thursday.

Cancellations are alleged to have followed the international uproar over Israel ’s attack on the Miva Marmara from the Freedom flotilla which had attempted to break the Gaza blockade on May 31 carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged Gazans.

According to Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo, no reasons were given for the cancellations however it was evident the Israeli military attack was the reason behind the withdrawals since it followed close after the attack.

He expressed disappointment to their withdrawal alleging that "It is obvious that Israel has much influence and many people are swayed by the political situation".

 The festival is expected to bring in some 150 official guests from all over the world, including heads of other international festivals, actors, producers and directors despite the obvious boycotting by the high profile guests.

More than 70,000 people are predicted to participate at the two-week event, which will take place at the Cinematheque and at various other locations around the capital. Hayo asserted the festival, will continue to provide an avenue for coexistence between Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers, where a delegation from the Cinematheque in Ramallah is expected to attend.