Queer film festival provides platform for pro-Palestinian filmmakers

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A new international film festival, Queer cinema for Palestine (QCP), will be launched next month with the aim of “celebrating global queer realities and standing in solidarity with the Palestinians.” Taking place between November 11 and 20, the event is expected to host some of the 190+ filmmakers who oppose the simultaneous TLVFest, a film festival that QCP organizers accuse of “pink laundering” the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Hosting events online and in person across five continents, the film festival will also provide a platform for filmmakers who shot their films programming for TLVFest, as opposed to its partnership with Israeli institutions and acceptance of state funding. A special program, in particular, will pay tribute to eight Brazilian filmmakers who have withdrawn their shorts in 2020.

Another program aims to spotlight queer Jewish cinema in solidarity with Palestinians, while an “Apartheid Yesterday and Today” program will bring together South African, Palestinian and international films and speakers to discuss opposition apartheid through cinema and new media.

According to a announcement published by Queer Cinema for Palestine, the festival convened in May 2021, amid global protests against the Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza and continued oppression of Palestinians.

“As Palestinian queers, we invite you to join us for a feminist, anti-racist and anti-colonial festival that shouts YES to queer cinema and NO to Israeli apartheid,” said Ghadir al Shafie, co-founder of Aswat – Palestinian Feminist Center for Gender and Sexual Freedoms, member of the coalition which organized QCP.

In response to the widespread boycott of the Tel Aviv LGBT International Film Festival in a declaration, festival director Yair Hochner says TLVFest has “shown solidarity with the struggle for the rights, freedom and justice of Palestinian homosexuals and Palestinians in general” since its founding in 2006.

“TLVFest was and always will be for Palestinian human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQI + rights and freedom of expression,” Hochner said. “The festival will never serve as a diversion from human rights violations committed by the State of Israel. “

The full Queer Cinema For Palestine program will be announced in early November.


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