Theatre In Row Over Refusal To Host Israeli Funded Festival
Wednesday 6th August 2014
The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London has found itself in a row over funding after declining to host the Israeli Embassy sponsored UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) in the midst of ongoing conflicts in the Gaza region.
After an eight year relationship with the festival, Tricycle artistic director, Indhu Rubasingham, announced that the theatre could not, in any way, be involved with the tense ongoing crisis.
In a statement published on the theatre’s website, Rubasingham said: “The Tricycle has always welcomed the Festival and wants it to go ahead. We have proudly hosted the UK Jewish Film Festival for many years. However, given the situation in Israel and Gaza, we do not believe that the festival should accept funding from any party to the current conflict.”
“For that reason, we asked the UK Jewish Film Festival to reconsider its sponsorship by the Israeli Embassy. We also offered to replace that funding with money from our own resources.”
Organisers of the festival said they were “shocked and saddened” by confirmation that the Tricycle Theatre would not be hosting the festival so long as it was partially funded by the Israeli Embassy.
Stressing the festival’s 17- year relationship with the Israeli Embassy, festival organisers called the theatre’s request “entirely unacceptable” saying the event was apolitical in nature.
The theatre did clarify that it would not be accepting funding from any government organisation aligned with either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that the decision was not exclusive to Israeli funding.
The UKJFF had planned on showing 26 films as well as hosting 6 high profile events and are now pursuing alternative arrangements in light of the theatre’s decision.