Movies

Tel Aviv mayor defend filmmakers protest at Toronto

MUMBAI: Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai has defended the right of filmmakers and artistes to protest a controversial Israeli film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"If they protest, let them protest. We are for freedom of speech," Huldai told a gathering of Israeli filmmakers in Toronto. The Israeli mayor took the high road as TIFF‘s spotlight on films and directors from Tel Aviv got under way in Toronto.


"To represent a democratic, pluralistic city, with a creativity and film community such as we have, if that‘s a shame, I take the blame," Huldai added.


He was responding to a growing artiste-led protest over the Tel Aviv program in Toronto that includes support from actors Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, British director Ken Loach and around 1,000 signatories to an open letter to the Toronto festival.


Israeli filmmakers in Toronto to showcase their latest work expressed disappointment that the online protest was undermining the film festival and their premieres.


Other Israeli films in and out of the City-to-City spotlight in Toronto deal with war and religion that include Eytan Fox‘s The Bubble and the Venice award winner Lebanon, by Samuel Moaz, which has its North American premiere here on Monday.

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