Film fest official says he misled on Hoffman attendance


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Reports that actor Dustin Hoffman had pulled out of an appearance at the Jerusalem Film Festival were incorrect.

Jerusalem Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo said over the weekend that comments he made last week implying that Hoffman had considered attending the festival were misleading.

“Dustin Hoffman was among the guests the Jerusalem Film Center had hoped to welcome to this year’s film festival, however our aspirations never reached the level of direct discussion with his office, nor at any point was there confirmation he would be available to attend,” Hayo said in a statement.

Hayo said last week that both Hoffman and actress Meg Ryan had decided not to attend the festival in an apparent reaction to the Gaza flotilla incident on May 31. Ryan canceled her appearance, which had already been confirmed, the day after the incident.

Hayo said Hoffman had broken off negotiations, which had reached an “advanced" stage, the Jerusalem Post reported last week — an assertion from which Hayo has backed off.

In addition to the actors, Prince Albert of Monaco canceled his participation in the event, which began July 7 and runs for two weeks. The film festival is scheduled to have a tribute to actress Grace Kelly, the prince’s mother.

Recommended from JTA