I have no way of verifying the authenticity of this email, although its contents are accurate enough and on the basis of the stand Robert Lantos took back during the 2009 attempts by some pro-Palestinian Canadian and non-Canadian filmmakers to
censor “protest” Toronto International Film Festival’s film selections when it came to Israeli films, I believe it is most likely a real email. In the email, Lantos resigns from a film awards program at John Greyson‘s university, York in Toronto, Canada, because of Greyson’s behavior.
By the way, for lots of gooey goodness about the 2009 Festival and some of these characters, go to our search box and enter one of the following search terms: Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF, Klein or Greyson.
The source of this email is the website Blazing Cat Fur. Robert Lantos, of course, is one of the giants of Canadian film, Amnon B to whom the email is addressed is almost certainly Amnon Buchbinder who is a professor of Film at York University and is listed as the department Chair. Cinesiege appears to be an awards program for York student films. Presumably because of this some talented students from that department have now lost an opportunity to impress a producer who is able to launch their careers.
John Greyson is, egregiously, a professor in York’s film department who, as mentioned in the letter, attempted to generate a boycott of the Tel Aviv Student Film Festival. In other words, a man who teaches film at a university is encouraging the boycott of student films because he disagrees with their government’s policies. And, of course, he’s only taking this course of action with the student films of one country. I’ve asked before and I ask again whether York subsidizes, directly or indirectly, the propaganda films Greyson makes to promote his pro-Palestinian views. Here is the letter:
From: R Lantos
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 12:11 AM
I have screened the student films. On the end credits of one of them I noticed the name John Greyson. I went back and checked the ones I had already seen and realised his name is on all of them.
The involvement of this individual presents an insurmountable problem for me. Greyson has been an aggressive advocate of hate propaganda directed against the Jewish Homeland and its people. He spearheaded the crusade to boycott TIFF a couple of years ago because of the Festival’s spotlight on films from Tel Aviv. By championing the censorship and oppression of art due to the ethnicity of the artists he violated the most sacred principles of free expression and betrayed his own profession, losing all credibility as a film maker. Subsequently, he attempted to organize a boycott of Tel Aviv University’s Student Film Festival and forged the name of James Cameron on a list of his alleged supporters. He fraudulently attempted to use his podium to sabotage the free flow of ideas in order to promote his own prejudices.
As a film maker, I will not be involved with conferring laurels on any film that is associated with someone who takes a page from the fascist handbook to try and suppress works of art. As a Jew, I will not be associated with someone who promotes hate propaganda against my people. (Fashionable as that may be in certain circles).
Some of the York student films show evidence of skill and talent. So I regret that I have no alternative but to resign from the Cinesiege Jury.