Friday, August 30, 2013

  • Friday, August 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is outrageous:

The creators of the Israeli documentary "Israel: A Home Movie" were recently informed that their film has been dropped from an international competition for films based on archival footage, because the awards ceremony is to be held in the Arab emirate of Dubai.

The competition is being sponsored by the International Federation of Television Archives. According to the film's producer, Arik Bernstein, the organization's chairman informed him that because the ceremony is taking place in Dubai (which has no diplomatic relations with Israel) and the film deals with the history of Israel, it will not be shown at the event. In addition, the film’s creators cannot be hosted there and the film will be disqualified from winning a prize in the competition and not mentioned at the awards ceremony.

...Two months ago Bernstein was officially informed that the film, which is known as "Kach Ra'inu" in Hebrew and directed by Eliav Lilti, had made it to the finals. A jury chose it as one of the nine best movies and the film was in the running in the “Preservation and special use of archival material” category, against two competing movies. The notice invited the filmmakers to attend or send a representative to the October 26 award ceremony. The ceremony is held in a different country every year, and Dubai was chosen as this year’s location.

However, two weeks ago Bernstein was informed that the invitation had been withdrawn and his film had been removed from the competition. "This is an international organization of which Israel [through the state broadcaster Channel 1] is a member," Bernstein said Thursday. "The total disqualification of the film followed pressure from the authorities in Dubai, which are hosting and funding this year's conference," he said.
The film is still listed as a nominee on the IFTA webpage:


How could IFTA cave so easily?

In 2009, under pressure, the UAE allowed an Israeli tennis player to enter the country. at the time, here was their statement:

The decision to issue the permit is in line with the UAE's commitment to a policy of permitting any individual to take part in international sports, cultural and economic events or activities being held in the country, without any limitation being placed on participation by citizens of any member country of the United Nations.

OK, we don't expect Dubai to keep its word. That's a given. But the UAE would have been shamed into allowing the Israeli film to be in the competition, and allow its director to come to the country - if IFTA had pushed back for what is right.

Instead, the International Federation of Television Archives has shown the world that is has no principles. And it is IFTA that must be shamed now.

I hope other directors who are nominated will now refuse to attend the ceremony. Perhaps someone who is a member of IFTA has some residual morality and cares about what is right. 

Similarly, the sponsors of the awards - which includes such major companies as Oracle and EMC - should tell IFTA that their sponsorships will be pulled immediately unless this discrimination is reversed and condemned. Tweeting and posting on their Facebook pages asking if they support institutionalized discrimination in the arts might give them pause.

(h/t Zvi)

UPDATE: This morning I emailed a number of people to complain.

Oracle public relations:
deborah.hellinger@oracle.com
jessica.moore@oracle.com
gaye.hudson@oracle.com

EMC public relations:
farmer_dave@emc.com

Two of the other nominees for awards:
J.S.DeLeeuw@uu.nl
dpeck@reelinintheyears.com

You might want to write and politely ask them if they will withdraw from sponsorship/the awards to protest the discriminatory practices of Dubai that IFTA is sanctioning.

IFTA's Twitter handle is @FIAT_IFTA. The only email info I have so far is office@fiatifta.org.

There are others you can find from the sponsors page and the list of nominees but it takes time to research to find the right contact people.

UPDATE 2: IFTA has written an EoZ reader saying that they are not discriminating against Israel and that they will be releasing a statement on their website shortly.

UPDATE 3: Their statement is a joke. See here.

UPDATE 4: Oracle denied sponsoring the event; their name is off the page.



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