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Artistes rue Toronto spotlighting Israeli

MUMBAI: The Toronto International Film Festival that presented a series of films spotlighting Israeli, a group of high-profile artistes and celebrities protested the move likening the programme to a celebration of apartheid-era in South Africa.

A statement published online signed by more than 50 artistes, academics and filmmakers accused the festival of taking direction from the "Brand Israel" campaign, which seeks to improve the country‘s image and has focused on Toronto as a test city.

Last week, Canadian filmmaker John Greyson pulled out his documentary Covered from the festival in protest. Earlier this year, the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees passed a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions while Israeli Apartheid Week founded in Toronto in 2005, is held annually on several Canadian university campuses.

Officials of the Israeli consulate in Toronto did not immediately want to comment on the outcry.
The 34th edition of the festival will commence next Thursday.

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