Filmmakers call out Doc Edge “art-washing” Israel racism and apartheid

International filmmakers have called out Doc Edge for its “art-washing” of Israeli racism and apartheid against Palestinians.

The filmmakers letter is here

Open Letter from DocEdge Festival Filmmakers Opposing Apartheid Funding

Tēnā koutou,

As filmmakers and participants in DocEdge Film Festival, we are deeply concerned by the festival’s continued acceptance of funding and official support from the Israeli Embassy. It is an offensive and unacceptable affiliation which we do not endorse.

Numerous human rights organisations conclude Israel’s systemic policies, practices, and human rights violations meet the legal definition of apartheid. In just over the last month alone Israel announced the ethnic cleansing of over 1000 more Palestinians, greenlit plans to build almost 4500 more homes in illegal Israeli settlements, and murdered Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in cold blood before attacking pallbearers and mourners at her funeral. By affiliating with Israel DocEdge are legitimizing an abhorrent and racist apartheid regime which attacks and persecutes the very storytellers they claim to support. It is a blatant contrast to the spirit of a festival.

DocEdge have stated they’re “apolitical” and aim to “facilitate dialogue,” but they’ve actively chosen to accept funding from the apartheid Israeli government and avoided engaging those who’ve expressed concern over the funding since as early as 2018. Unflinching affiliation with an apartheid government discredits any notion of being apolitical. This is not an issue of ‘censorship’ or ‘pressure groups’, it is an issue of Israel using culture and art as a form of propaganda, curating an image of sophistication and philanthropy to whitewash its abhorrent crimes and justify apartheid.

Our concern is not fearing Israeli influence in the festival selection, rather, the credibility and legitimisation that Israel gains from DocEdge’s endorsement and platform. Our call isn’t to take ‘sides’ or censor films, it is to recognise human rights and to keep our cultural spaces free from the harm and normalisation of racism and colonisation.

Inspired by the international movement that contributed to ending apartheid in South Africa, it is critical to mobilise non-violent pressure on Israel to end its apartheid, persecution, and illegal occupation against Palestinians, making the ‘status quo’ inconvenient enough for Israel to care, and change.

It is in firm solidarity with the Palestinian people and the global recognition of human rights that we request DocEdge end their affiliation with the apartheid Israeli Embassy and divest from a relationship that endorses and legitimizes the systemic and racist persecution of Palestinians.

In solidarity,

Cole Yeoman  –  ‘The Milford Road’ – Director/Producer

Gabriel Shipton  –  ‘Ithaka’ – Producer & brother of Julian Assange

Haidy Kancler  –  ‘Melting Dreams’ – Director/ Writer

Neasa Ní Chainaín  –  ‘Young Plato’ – Director

David Rane  –  ‘Young Plato’ – Producer

Rich Felgate  –  ‘Finite: The Climate of Change’ – Director/ Producer

Julia Maria Diana Jansch  –  ‘Coming Home’ – Director/ Producer

Olha Zhurba  –  ‘Outside’ – Director

Kaia Kahurangi Jamieson  –  ‘Scope’ – Director/ Producer


The Festival has accepted financial sponsorship from the Israel Embassy and in turn Doc Edge has put the logo of this racist, apartheid state alongside other countries which are not racist.

Doc Edge is helping Israel to “normalise” its racism and brutality against Palestinians.

The Doc Edge Film Festival organisers, Patron (Former Prime Minister Helen Clark) and Board have refused to engage in discussion or even respond to communications from PSNA.

The organisers claim the festival is “apolitical” but this is untrue. Doc Edge expressed strong solidarity with Ukrainians living under Russian military invasion and occupation but have refused solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.

Doc Edge is effectively running a protection racket for Israeli racism and brutality.


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