Since November 1, unknown activists via a blog of the so called international film community have been severely criticizing Lars Henrik Gass, the director of the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, and now also Orwa Nyrabia, the director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, must face far-reaching accusations in connection with the Israel-Palestine conflict, the AG Filmfestival has now published a statement (first published by Artechock).

„The AG Filmfestival stands – according to its principle more as an open network than as a hierarchically organized association – for the great diversity and the pleasing polyphony of a German film festival landscape. In its approximately 120 member organizations and, of course, many other film festivals, a uniquely plural and ever-changing spectrum of perspectives on art, film and the world in which we live is manifested through the daily interaction of a wide variety of people. We respect different perspectives, but we are united in our stance: extremism, racism, anti-Semitism, violence (including in language) and discriminatory resentment towards population groups and individuals do not belong at the festivals and not in our society. This applies to those who engage with us or visit us, and also to our own work. We consider polarizing statements to be of little use and see it as our task to create opportunities for constructive dialogue that brings people together to listen to each other. We therefore reject it just as strongly when festivals are now caught in the crossfire of hostility that is not aimed at understanding, especially when their creators explain themselves and try to clear up misunderstandings.“