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Filmmakers express solidarity with Gaza at Berlin Film Festival

Filmmakers Ben Russell (L) and Guillaume Cailleau receive the Encounters Jury Prize for Best Film for their documentary, 'Direct Action', at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany on February 25, 2024.

The closing ceremony of the Berlin International Film Festival has been the scene of protests against Israel’s genocidal war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, with several filmmakers criticizing the occupying regime for its months-long aggression on the besieged territory.

In an awards ceremony concluding Europe’s first major film festival of the year, better known as the Berlinale, Palestinian filmmaker Basel Adra called on Israel’s allies, including Germany, to put an end to delivery of arms and military equipment to the Israeli regime, in remarks that received applause and cheers from the audience.

"It is very hard for me to celebrate when there are tens of thousands of my people being slaughtered and massacred by Israel in Gaza," said Adra, whose film "No Other Land" depicts the displacement of Palestinians by Israeli settlers in villages in the occupied West Bank.

Ben Russell, an American filmmaker and artist, blasted Israel's bombardment of Gaza as "genocide."

Russel, who wore a keffiyeh in a clear message of support for Palestinians, and Guillaume Cailleau, directors of “Direct Action,” said the gesture was one of “solidarity with Palestinians," and adds their "voices to the many voices calling for a ceasefire to end the genocide.”

American director Eliza Hittman had “ceasefire now” stitched onto her outfit over Israel's indiscriminate attacks that have killed nearly 30,000 people, destroyed 80% of the Gaza Strip and displaced at least 1.5 million people since the regime's war began in October.

Jewish filmmaker Yuval Abraham also condemned onstage the apartheid conditions being endured by Palestinians over decades.

Several people onstage held up a sign with the words "ceasefire now" on it.

Israel waged its brutal US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

However, almost five months into the onslaught, the occupying regime has failed to achieve its objectives of “destroying Hamas” and finding Israeli captives despite killing at least 29,692 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 69,879 others.

The regime has also intensified the siege of Gaza, leaving the city, home to more than 2.3 million Palestinians, without water, electricity, fuel, and internet.

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