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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Mira Nair refuses invite for film festival in Israel in protest against apartheid

PTI  Mumbai, July 23, 2013
First Published: 10:39 IST(23/7/2013) | Last Updated: 11:38 IST(23/7/2013)

Renowned Indian film director Mira Nair has turned down an invitation to attend the Haifa International Film Festival as a guest of honour to protest against Israel’s apartheid policy.

“I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone. I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over (sic),” Mira tweeted. She added, “I stand w/ Palestine for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) & the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Mov’t (sic).”

Mira said on Friday said that she had been invited to Israel as a guest of honour at the film festival with her new movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012), an adaptation of the Mohsin Hamid novel of the same name. The film boasts of an impressive star cast, including the likes of Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber. The movie revolves around a Pakistani’s love story and subsequent disillusionment with America in the post 9/11 era.

The 29th annual Haifa International Film Festival is scheduled to take place in September. A number of prominent artistes and academics have cancelled their planned visits to Israel in the past in response to developments in the region. Renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking pulled out of an appearance at the President’s Conference in June in support of the academic boycott of Israel.

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