Against the backdrop of a Culture Ministry debate to halt funding for the TLVFest gay film festival, organizers of the event are hoping this year's annual fundraiser will be enough to keep the festival alive.
The fundraiser, scheduled for January 16 at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque, will feature independent New York filmmaker Jonathan Lisecki's "Gayby," about a straight woman and gay bachelor who decide to bring up a child together.
The film festival is planned for June in Tel Aviv.
"We must begin reserving films for the festival, and that costs money, especially when you hope to screen new and important films," said festival director Yair Hochner.
The Israeli Film Council, under the auspices of the Culture and Sports Ministry, is currently debating a change in criteria for supporting film-related projects. Hochner has warned that without the council's support, TLVFest might be canceled.
"Unfortunately, the gay film festival doesn't enjoy the support of rich families such as the Van Leer, Ostrovsky and Haggiag families, who fund projects and prizes for the Jerusalem Film Festival," Hochner says. "Nor do we have the support of the Haifa municipality, which transfers hundreds of thousand of shekels to its local festival."