Spat heats up Greenhouse

Mediterranean workshops cross borders

CANNES — A brace of European Union-funded Mediterranean filmmaking workshops are breaking down borders and sparking heated debate in equal measure.

Mediterranean Films Crossing Borders wrapped a three-day workshop Wednesday in Cannes aimed at supporting 25 filmmakers from around the Med.

While MFCB was declared a success by its participants, it emerged the EU has sent accountants to London to pore over the books of the Ramallah Film Institute, one of the partners in fellow EuroMed project Greenhouse.

The news follows on from Greenhouse’s controversial bow at Berlin in February. Some Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers criticized the choice of Greenhouse partners, particularly Israel’s state-funded New Foundation for Cinema and Television and the Ramallah Film Institute.

Ironically, some of the Palestinian filmmakers leading the campaign against Greenhouse are working with MFCB.

“You cannot overlook the political issues, it’s impossible,” said Najwa Najjar, an MFCB participants and one of the most outspoken critics of Greenhouse. “What is good about the MFCB is that it is a neutral project. There were Israelis, Lebanese, Palestinians. There is no problem with the individuals.”

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