Aug 4, 2010

Everyone's taking sides on Tel Aviv films

Some artists are angered by the spotlight on Israeli films, which they maintain is part of Israel's attempt to divert attention from the Palestinian conflict. They complain the program excludes Palestinian voices, comes on the heels of a devastating bombardment in Gaza and amid a global publicity campaign by the Israeli government known as "Brand Israel."

TIFF and a spokesman for Israel's consulate in Toronto have flatly denied the allegations.

The critics, backed by the likes of Fonda and Mortensen, called a news conference and demonstration yesterday to voice their displeasure with TIFF. The protest drew about 250 people to Ryerson University.

On the other side of the argument are equally prominent entertainment industry figures, including Seinfeld, Portman, Sacha Baron Cohen and Lisa Kudrow. They are arguing for freedom of speech and have an ad in today's Starexplaining their position (on page A13).

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