Toronto idiots go after Tel Aviv Student Film Festival....
More people need to stand up to these bullies...
Organizers of last summer's boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival who are now turning their sights to a student film festival in Tel Aviv have inadvertently raised the ire of two of Hollywood's biggest stars, director James Cameron and actress Jane Fonda.
In a draft letter addressed to international film schools participating in this year's Tel Aviv University student film festival, Toronto-area filmmaker Kathy Wazana and York University film professor John Greyson urge professors and department heads to boycott the festival, saying the Israeli government "uses cultural events such as this one to whitewash their tarnished international image."
The letter, circulated several weeks ago by Ms. Wazana to fellow filmmakers, academics and friends she expected would be sympathetic to the boycott call, listed Mr. Cameron and Ms. Fonda as two "example" signatories -- individuals who might help the boycott gain a higher profile.
However, the group's efforts took an unusual turn when Mr. Cameron and Ms. Fonda learned their names were included in the draft letter. Their names were not on the final letter later sent to film schools.
"Ms. Fonda did not know such a letter existed and, of course, did not sign anything and does not agree with its contents," Pat Kingsley, Ms. Fonda's publicist, told the National Post yesterday.
"I believe ... one of the two drafters of the letter added her name and James Cameron as a joke. Contents of this letter certainly do not represent Jane Fonda's thinking."
Mr. Cameron did not respond to interview requests, but one of his colleagues, Simcha Jacobovici, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, showed the National Post a Feb. 4 email he received from the Canadian director when he learned his name was included in the letter.
"I'm shocked by this," Mr. Cameron wrote. "I never signed such a letter or agreed to let my name be used ... please forward the letter to me so I can get my name taken off and demand a very public apology."
The letter states the boycott is not an action against the students submitting films to the festival, but the Israeli government, a key sponsor of the event. It also says the boycott is not anti-Semitic or a form of censorship. "The urgent humanitarian crisis of Gaza demands urgent action. This is one way for all of us -- students, teachers, filmmakers to take a stand," it says. "Our action is not against a religion or a people, it's against a government notorious for its human rights abuses."