Channel 1 Won't Finance Gitai's New Film Due to His Left-wing Politics

Panel rejects Israel Broadcasting Authority director general's proposal to finance Amos Gitai's new film on the 2005 Gaza pullout.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority's Channel 1 television committee on Thursday rejected a proposal seeking to help finance a new film by Israeli director Amos Gitai, citing the filmmaker's left-wing politics and the fact that he lives outside Israel as reasons.

IBA Director General Mordechai Shklar proposed participating in the financing of the controversial director's new film, as well as purchasing for the authority nine of his films for broadcasting on Israeli television. The rejected proposal would have cost at least $200,000.

Gitai's new film "Hitnatkut" (disengagement) is almost complete, and deals with Israel's unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The film is scheduled to premier next month at the Toronto film festival.

Deputy IBA chair Dorit Inbar said at the television committee's meeting that it is unwise to purchase a finished product, rather than examining the project prior to its execution before deciding whether to finance it.

Inbar raised several other reasons for rejecting Shklar's proposal, among them the desire to spread the IBA's funds among many artists, rather than investing a large sum in one person's work. She also said that Gitai's old films can be purchased at a much lower price than Shklar proposed.

Inbar stressed that it would be inappropriate to purchase the work of an artist who currently resides outside Israel, and had lived abroad for much of his career. Other committee members cited the controversial left-wing nature of many of Gitai's films as a reason to reject the deal.