Yesterday’s Ha’aretz reported that the Edinburgh International Film Festival has decided to refund a £300 grant from the Israeli Embassy that was to have funded travel to the festival for Tali Shalom Ezer, director of the 57 minute film Surrogate.
According to the EIFF site,
In light of recent press reports and in the interests of clarity, the EIFF confirm the following:
The programmed film screenings of SURROGATE are unchanged. The filmmaker’s attendance at the EIFF is still anticipated and will be funded by the Film Festival from their own budget.
This is a tremendous victory for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Committee and all those who demanded EIFF return the blood money to whence it came. Ha’aretz credits British filmmaker Ken Loach with swaying the organisers and it wouldn’t surprise me if his intervention carried considerable weight.
And yet it’s disappointing that the EIFF has not withdrawn their invitation to Ezer and still intends to screen her film, not once, but twice, as well as two other Israeli shorts, Olga Sitovotsky’s Mexico, and Michal and Uri Kranot’s The heart of Amos Klein.
If we’re serious about getting a cultural boycott to bite, we’re going to have to do better next year.