Israeli Govt. out of our film festival
2007 - 2015
In 2007, QUIT! initiated a campaign to get Frameline, which presents the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the largest queer cultural event in the world, to drop its long-standing partnership with the Israeli Consulate. For a time it seemed that the festival had heeded this call but in 2010, the Consulate stepped up the pressure and Frameline agreed to be part of the “Brand Israel” campaign we call “pinkwashing.” In 2010 and 2011 we held spirited demonstrations outside the festival. The call for Frameline to respect the international campaign for boycott of Israeli institutions has been joined by Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestinian Queers for BDS, and a number of prominent queer artists, writers and filmmakers.
The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Frameline, is the largest queer cultural event in the world. It has for many years had a partnership with the Israeli consulate, which is aggressive in promoting Israeli filmmakers around the world, including queers. Israel is trying to use its queer-friendly policies for Israeli Jews to pinkwash its continuing denial of Palestinian rights and theft of Palestinian land. For over five years, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and other Bay Area queers have been pressuring Frameline to stop accepting money and sponsorship from the Israeli government. We are not asking them not to show Israeli films or bring Israeli filmmakers who actively oppose occupation and support Palestinian equality.
Projecting Palestinian liberation at Israeli sponsored film festival
Attendees at Frameline LGBT Film Festival in San Francisco one Saturday night were treated to an extra screening outside the theater. As people lined up for the 9:30 film, activists from Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!) projected the statements “Frameline Supports Apartheid,” “Israel Is An Apartheid State/Frameline Doesn’t Care” onto the theater wall, to music from the Brass Liberation Orchestra. Frameline has refused to sever its partnership with the Israeli government, despite five years of protests and calls by well-known queer artists, activists and filmmakers such as Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Barbara Hammer and Susan Stryker.
Read more about it here.
Queer Activists Disrupt SF Film Festival Over Israeli Sponsorship
Twenty Palestine solidarity activists briefly interrupted the screening of “The Invisible Men” at the Roxie Theater on Saturday night to protest the San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival’s relationship with the Israeli government. KC Price, Executive Director of Frameline, which presents the annual festival, was introducing the film when the group “mic-checked” him and presented Frameline with an award for being the “Grand Pinkwasher of 2012.”
The award consisted of a giant pink sponge and a scroll, which read:
- “In recognition of Frameline’s unwavering support of the Israeli government
- “Its leadership in silencing queers who want their film festival to stand up for the human rights of Palestinians
- “Its willingness to ignore the international outcry against Israel’s attacks on Lebanon, Gaza and the international freedom flotilla
- “Its craven pursuit of funding from corporate raiders and terrorist governments
- “And its steadfast defiance of the demand by Palestinian queers to stop partnering with the Israeli Consulate
“Friends of Israel Apartheid hereby honors FRAMELINE as “GRAND PINKWASHER 2012“ And proudly presents you with the FIRST ANNUAL PINK SPONGE AWARD”
Reaction from the audience was mixed. Some people erupted in applause when the protesters revealed their “Stop Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid” t-shirts, and there was a hearty round of applause when they finished reading the scroll. An equally loud chorus of boos followed. (Audio)
Price and the other Frameline officials present were quiet during the reading of the scroll, but then ushers stepped in to hustle the protesters out of the theater. Filmmaker Yariv Mozer, whose appearance at the festival was funded by the Israeli consulate, followed the protesters out to argue about the value of the cultural boycott. One activist asked how he felt about the call of Palestinian queer organizations for Frameline to end its relationship with the consulate.
“I disagree with it,” he responded. “I am sponsored by the Israeli government. I could not make films without the Israeli government….I am helping Palestinians, risking jail to help them….Israel is not some perfect pink society; we have homophobia too….But what’s happening with Israelis is that they still live in a society which is somehow more liberal and democratic than what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza. These regimes that are controlling the West Bank and Gaza are very primitive.” Listen to the discussion.