Filmmakers protesting Berlin festival


BERLIN (JTA) — Berlin’s international film festival is a purveyor of anti-Semitic propaganda, a filmmakers organization says.

The Club of Iranian and European Filmmakers will protest Thursday outside the screening of "Letters to the President," a film about Iranian citizens writing to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an announcement Tuesday, the club called festival director Dieter Kosslick "a willing supporter" of hate propaganda for including the film by Czech director Petr Lom in the 59th Berlin International Film Festival.

"Our protest is directed against a film festival, the Berlinale, which for years has cooperated in promoting a false view of the reality of Iran, while shutting out the critical perspectives of exiled Iranian filmmakers," the statement read in part.

In so doing, the festival director "backs up a regime that denies the Holocaust, finances and supplies weapons to Islamist and anti-Semitic bands of murderers like Hamas and Hezbollah, the statement said, and "is patching together an atom bomb in order to erase Israel from the map."

The film was approved for release by the Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance. The Berlin festival runs through Feb. 15.

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