The Tricycle Theatre has performed a U-turn in its objection to hosting the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).
The controversial decision from the Kilburn High Road theatre in Kilburn to withdraw from the annual event which showcases cinema of Jewish heritage was made as theatre bosses opposed that the festival was part-funded by the Israeli Embassy amid the bloody on-going conflict in Gaza.
Artistic director of the theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, wrote on the venue’s website earlier this month: “Given the situation in Israel and Gaza, we do not believe that the festival should accept funding from any party to the current conflict.”
Such was the strength of feeling behind the decision that more than one hundred people signed a petition by Green party campaigner Martin Francis supporting the theatre, while hundreds also picketed the theatre chanting: Do not punish London Jews.
However festival organisers and the theatre have now reached an agreement.
In a jointly-agreed statement, The Tricycle posted on its website: “‘Some weeks ago the UKJFF fell out, very publicly, with the Tricycle over a condition imposed by the Tricycle regarding funding. This provoked considerable public upset. Both organisations have come together to end that.
“Following lengthy discussions between the Tricycle and UKJFF, the Tricycle has now withdrawn its objection and invited back the UK Jewish Film Festival on the same terms as in previous years with no restrictions on funding from the Embassy of Israel in London.”
The festival is not able to return to The Tricycle this year, however it is now hoped that future festival events will be hosted at the theatre.
The statement added: “We both profoundly hope that those who take differing views on the events of the last few weeks will follow our lead and come together to acknowledge that dialogue, reconciliation and engagement will resolve points of difference and ensure that cultural diversity thrives in all communities.”