Film-makers including Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Peter Kosminsky have called on the Curzon and Odeon cinema chains and Bafta to drop screenings for an Israeli film festival opening this week.
Seret 2015 , the London Israeli film and television
festival opens at Bafta followed by screenings at cinemas including Curzon Soho and Odeon Swiss Cottage in London.
In a letter to the Guardian, more than 40 artists and film-makers express sadness and disappointment that the festival has been
given a berth. It says the Israeli state is promoting this festival and supporting it financially.
By hosting it, these cinemas are ignoring the 2004 call by Palestinian civil society for sanctions against Israel until Israel abides by
international law and ends its illegal displacement of Palestinians, discrimination against them, and occupation of their land.
A concert pianist has won a legal battle to publish an autobiographical book giving details of sexual abuse he experienced as a child.
James Rhodes, persuaded Supreme Court justices to lift an injunction that had barred its publication.
Court of Appeal granted a temporary injunction in October, blocking parts of the memoir, entitled Instrumental. This was after Mr Rhodes's ex-wife raised fears it would cause their 12-year-old son serious harm .
The judgement was given
jointly by Lady Hale and Lord Toulson, in which they said:
The only proper conclusion is that there is every justification for the publication.
A person who has suffered in the way that the
appellant has suffered, and has struggled to cope with the consequences of his suffering in the way that he has struggled, has the right to tell the world about it.
And there is a corresponding public interest in others being able
to listen to his life story in all its searing detail.
Rhodes' book, titled Instrumental, is now due to be released next week. It includes accounts of physical and sexual abuse and rape inflicted on him from the age of six by the
boxing coach at his school. The alleged abuser was prosecuted but died before he could face trial.
Speaking outside the court, Rhodes said the ruling was a victory for freedom of speech :
If this had been
allowed to continue anyone could have used this to ban any book. We do not ban books in this country.
Nanak Shah Fakir is a 2015 drama by Harinder Singh Sikka. Starring Tanmay Bhat, Gurmeet Choudhary and Amyra Dastur.
Police were called and a cinema cleared and closed after protestors pushed through the main entrance and
headed for the screen showing Bollywood blockbuster, Nanak Shah Fakir.
Once inside the Cineworld multiplex at Bentley Bridge in Wednesfield., the Sikh protestors sat down on the floor and began to shout, refusing to move until cinema bosses
met their demands and stopped the screening.
Nanak Shah Fakir, which is directed by Sartaj Singh Pannu, has been mired in a blasphemy controversy since its release last week. Apparently the depiction of the religious figures in human form is
considered to be a blasphemy by many Sikhs.
It has been banned in many parts of India and attracted mass protests, while some UK cinemas have refused to show it through fear of religious strife. Cineworld said it has no plans to show the film in
future following the incident. Odeon also confirmed it would also cancel planned screenings following the protest.
One cinema goer said he was among dozens of customers asked to leave the multiplex when the commotion ensued. He said:
It was extremely intimidating. For a group of people to be able to get a film stopped and then banned is just ridiculous. It's an attack on freedom of speech. The atmosphere was quite aggressive in there and it's not what
you expect to face when you go and watch a film.
Cineworld spokeswoman Liz Larvin, said:
We have taken the decision to cancel screenings of Nanak Shah Fakir because we want our customers to enjoy
visiting our cinemas and experience a wide range of films without disruption from others. We apologise to anyone disappointed by this decision and to those customers impacted on Sunday.
The film was passed PG uncut by the BBFC for
mild violence. For some reason the film was submitted twice in versions running 138:18s and 146:35s. The BBFC commented:
NANAK SHAH FAKIR is a Hindi language historical drama about the life and teachings of Sikhism
founder, Guru Nanak, as he embarks on a spiritual journey during the reign of the Mughal empire.
There is mild violence in a scene in which a yak stamps on a man, who is out to fetch some water in the snow. There are also some
images of battle and some rifle gunshots from soldiers, although there is no detail of injury shown.