Oct 15, 2010

#BDS: Pro-Palestine initiative urges directors to return Israeli prizes

The Initiative of Boycott against Israel for Palestine, a Turkish civil society organization that aims to raise international awareness of a long-running blockade on Gaza and the plight of Palestinian refugees, has called on Turkish filmmakers Semih Kaplanoğlu and Reha Erdem to return the awards they won at this year’s Haifa International Film Festival.

The group, in an open letter sent to media outlets on Wednesday, called on Kaplanoğlu, the director of the Golden Bear award-winning drama “Bal” (Honey), to return the distribution prize his film won in the 26th Haifa film festival in September. In another open letter posted on its website, www.boykotisrail.org, the group called on Erdem to return the best film prize his film “Kosmos” won at the festival’s Golden Anchor Competition for Mediterranean Cinema, which ran from Sept. 23-30 in Israel.

Kaplanoğlu’s “Bal,” billed by the Haifa festival’s judges as a “rare cinematic poem,” had won a distribution grant in the sum of 3,000 euros, funded by France’s TV5, which was awarded to the Israeli distributor of Kaplanoğlu’s film. The judges of the competition had also praised Erdem for “creating a unique cinematic world of ideas and emotions while using a brave and idiosyncratic cinematic language” in “Kosmos.”

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