Indian filmmaker shuns Haifa film festival

Indian filmmaker shuns Haifa film festival
Sun Jul 21, 2013 20:04:22

Award-winning Indian born film director Mira Nair has refused Israel’s invitation to attend Haifa Film Festival in protest to the regime’s “Apartheid Wall”.

“I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over,” she twitted on Friday in her account.

Nair began her work as an actress before turning into a documentary and feature films director.

In 1988, her first feature film Salaam Bombay was nominated for an academy award for the best foreign language film. The film won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival before being awarded for the academy award. Following that, she made name as director of films as Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.

Nair who was graduated from New Delhi and Harvard University said she was invited to attend Haifa International Film Festival with her new film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” but she refused to attend the event.

Nair tweeted that she supports "Palestine for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) & the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement."

The 29th International film festival was about to occur in September. Nair’s move has been repeated in the past by various prominent figures including artists and academics in reaction to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the occupied lands.

Renowned physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking pulled out of an appearance at the President's Conference in June in support of the academic boycott of Israel. Director Mike Leigh and recording artist Elvis Costello suddenly chose not to come in 2010.

The boycott movement has made increasing inroads in the film-making community, spurred by director Ken Loach, who refused to attend the Haifa International Film Festival several years ago.

In 2009, several prominent actors and filmmakers, among them Danny Glover and Jane Fonda, threatened to boycott the Toronto International Film Festival to protest a week of screenings of Israeli films to mark the Tel Aviv centennial.


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