Film director beats boycott with cash plea


An Israeli film-maker, who was denied funding to attend a prestigious festival in Britain because of a boycott, has raised the money himself through an online appeal.

Yoav Hornung's film Deserted was selected for the Encounters short-film festival this month.

But he faced not being able to get to the screening in Bristol after festival organisers rejected the Israeli embassy's offer to pay his travel expenses.

Mr Hornung was not to be denied, however. He set up a crowd-funding petition online which has raised around £1,000 in only three days, allowing him to come to the UK.

He said: "I received one very generous donation of $1,000 [about £600} by someone who wanted to remain anonymous. Others gave what they could. I'm very grateful for all the donations."

Mr Hornung has offered donors the chance to be the first to see his film.

He said: "Deserted is not a pro-Israeli or a pro-Palestine film. It's a fictional work that anyone can relate to. It's about morality, human values and decision making.

Encounters made the decision to reject Mr Hornung's funding last month, with festival director Debbi Lander explaining that the move was a protest against Israeli action in Gaza.

Funding rules meant the money could not be paid directly to Mr Hornung but had to go through the festival.

Ms Lander added that the screening would go ahead and Mr Hornung would be welcome to attend.

The director said he would now use his visit to Britain "to raise awareness around the boycott issue".

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