November 24, 2014

London Palestine Film Festival 2014

The London Palestine Film Festival 2014 opens on Friday November 28.  Here's brief history of the festival from the sites, "about" page:
The first London Palestine Film Festival was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in Spring 1999. In response to public interest, the organisers decided in 2004 to establish the Palestine Film Foundation (PFF) as a body dedicated to the coordination of the festival and to the archiving of audiovisual materials related to Palestine.

The PFF is a nonprofit initiative which seeks to develop an audience for and to encourage the development of a Palestinian cinema and cinema related to Palestine. It is managed by a network of academics, curators, filmmakers, and volunteers from Palestine, the UK and elsewhere.

In addition to the annual festival, the PFF coordinates film and video related tours, special screenings and film linked seminars throughout the year and across the UK. These activities allow the PFF to introduce innovative and important works of documentary and fiction to new audiences and to provide a forum for visiting artists to engage UK audiences with work that is otherwise seldom screened.

From 2012, the PFF began developing a new web portal designed to increase access to its expansive archive of film and video related resources. Funding is currently being sought for this new online platform for research, exhibition, and distribution, with the site expected to launch in summer 2013.

The PFF relies on charitable donations, partnerships, and funding to deliver its projects. Please consider making a secure donation to the PFF using the button at the left of this page.
And details of the current year's festival are here.

November 22, 2014

The World is my Country - Leon Rosselson in Covent Garden

The Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton Street
Covent Garden
0207 420 9888
Fourth Friday takes place at the Poetry Cafe from 8pm to 10:30pm -ish on the fourth Friday of almost every month.

There is a bar, food and disabled access.

The nearest tube station is Covent Garden.
Admission £7 (£5 concessions).

Next fourth friday, 28th November, we consider pacifism in WW1: singer songwriter Leon Rosselson ; poets Jenny Lewis, Alan Brownjohn, Anna Robinson; singers Krysia Mansfied, Dan Kennedy

November 28thThe World is my Country. One key aspect of the First World War receiving little or no attention in this year’s commemorations is the history of the people and organisations that opposed it. We offer new insights on World War One and its objectors with poems and songs commissioned by Peace News and introduced by PN’s Emily Johns.  In addition, there’ll be great anti-war songs and more from acclaimed singer songwriter Leon Rosselson.       Jenny Lewis will be reading from her collection, Taking Mesopotamia, published this year by Carcanet and inspired by her search for her lost father—who led his troops  across the desert by starlight in the ill-fated Mesopotamian campaign of World War One and died in the Second World War when Jenny was a few months old. Jenny Lewis (below) trained as a painter at the Ruskin School of Art before reading English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry as well as two pamphlets with the Iraqi poet Adnan Al-Sayegh.  She teaches poetry at Oxford University. ‘Taking Mesopotamia in one slim volume mines a rich seam from the Epic of Gilgamesh via Welsh mining communities and the First World War to the most recent Iraq wars.’  (Poetry Society)

Items from the floor, especially on themes of peace and war, welcomed.

November 08, 2014

Opposing Zionism from the West Bank to the South Bank

Press report from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:

No Israeli Funding of the Arts
Southbank, London, 5 November 2014.  A lively and colourful 50 person-strong protest outside the BFI (British Film Institute) condemned the BFI for hosting an Israeli-sponsored film festival only weeks after Israel committed mass-murder, killing 2100 people, including over 500 children during its 51-day assault of Gaza.

Called by a new initiative, No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) [1], protestors from all walks of life, including Muslim, Jewish and Israeli, chanted and spoke out against the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) because it had insisted on accepting Israeli funding – in the midst of Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide [2] – even when offered alternative funding.
Protestors spoke out against the presence of Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, at this opening gala of the UKJFF – he had slandered opponents of Israeli funding of the film festival by implying they were guilty of antisemitism.  The tiny Zionist counter-protest used the same slur.
Protests against the film festival at the Tricycle last year called for it to reject Israeli funding, and this summer the Tricycle made its courageous decision to reject the tainted funding. Last night’s protest publicised that over 500 artists and theatre practitioners had publicly defended the Tricycle from the false accusation of antisemitism when it had offered to replace Israeli funding so that the film festival could take place there.
Public protest had already closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Besides the Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival and artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial had all rejected Israeli Embassy funding in this last period.
There will be further protests against the Israeli-funded film festival.

[1] See No Israeli Funding of the Arts letter to all the cinemas hosting the UKJFF here.
[2] Russell Tribunal on Palestine

November 06, 2014


From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!

The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2100 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festival.  Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our BDS protest against collaboration with mass-murderers

Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.
See our No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) letter to all the cinemas here.
Contact your the cinemas by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio. (All cinema contact details are here.)