Film pro­duc­ers back Regev in spat over ‘Is­raeli Os­cars’

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By AMY SPIRO

Two prom­i­nent Is­raeli film pro­duc­ers an­nounced on Fri­day that they will not at­tend this week’s Ophir Awards cer­e­mony af­ter the or­ga­niz­ers dis­in­vited Cul­ture Min­is­ter Miri Regev.

Leon and Moshe Edery – broth­ers and fi­nancers of a slew of Is­raeli films in­clud­ing Beau­fort, Foot­note and Walk on Wa­ter, and part own­ers of Cinema City – sent a let­ter to Mosh Danon, chair­man of the Is­rael Film Acad­emy, de­cry­ing the de­ci­sion.

“We be­lieve this is an in­cor­rect and un­demo­cratic de­ci­sion, ex­press­ing the will of an un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive hand­ful of artists who are un­will­ing to ac­cept and re­spect the ‘other,’” wrote the broth­ers. “They want to boy­cott and si­lence a min­is­ter in Is­rael only be­cause she holds dif­fer­ent opin­ions.”

Regev, they added, has been an “unswerv­ing sup­porter of the Is­raeli film in­dus­try,” and the de­ci­sion to dis­in­vite her should be re­versed.

Danon seemed un­moved by the let­ter, re­spond­ing only that “every­one should make his own de­ci­sion.”

Last Tues­day, the Is­rael Film Acad­emy an­nounced that no politi­cians would be in­vited to this year’s awards, sched­uled for Tues­day this week.

The acad­emy lamented that in re­cent years the cer­e­mony has be­come an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate tus­sle that dis­re­spects the event, and, even worse, dis­re­spects the artists and the artistry it is meant to honor and rec­og­nize.”

Last year Regev left the awards cer­e­mony part­way through in protest, and this year she has re­peat­edly slammed the film Fox­trot, which has been nom­i­nated for 13 Ophir Awards.

Regev, who called the acad­emy’s de­ci­sion “cow­ardly and un­demo­cratic,” praised the broth­ers on Fri­day.

“The Edery broth­ers are the back­bone and main en­gine of the Is­raeli cinema in­dus­try,” she said. “To­day they have yelled ‘Cut’ at the hand­ful of peo­ple who are try­ing to cling to power no mat­ter what and yelled ‘Ac­tion’ to a sane Is­rael.”

Regev, speak­ing on Chan­nel 2’s Meet the Press on Satur­day evening, threat­ened sanc­tions against the Is­rael Film Acad­emy.

“They in­vited me, but they told me, ‘If we in­vite you, we want to ne­go­ti­ate, we want it to be a hol­i­day and we will have a cease­fire,’” she said in the in­ter­view recorded be­fore Shabbat be­gan. “A cease-fire means I’m sup­posed to sit there and ap­plaud Fox­trot?”

Regev added that the fund­ing deal be­tween the state and the Is­rael Film Acad­emy is up for re­newal next year, and “what was is, is not what it will be.”

(Eli Sa­bati)

CUL­TURE MIN­IS­TER Miri Regev smiles along with film pro­duc­ers Leon (left) and Moshe Edery at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val last May.

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