Controversy strikes the heart at one of Australia’s leading film festivals:
Director Ken Loach has pulled out of the Melbourne International Film festival in protest against Israeli funding.
British-based Loach pulled his film Looking For Eric after organisers refused to bow to his demands they reject Israeli government sponsorship.
The festival’s executive director Richard Moore said that Mr Loach’s emailed demands were part of an orchestrated campaign to target events that receive financial support from Israel.
He said Mr Loach, who objects to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the recent Gaza intrusion, showed another of his films It’s a Free World at last year’s festival – which was also Israeli-funded.