Stockholm Film Fest Apologizes for “Misunderstanding” Over Israeli Actress Invite

The Stockholm International Film Festival has issued a fulsome apology to Israeli TV creator and actress Aleeza Chanovitz after she apparently felt her invite to attend and host a screening of her Chansi TV series had been pulled over the Israel-Hamas war.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we at the Stockholm International Film Festival are deeply sorry and take responsibility for the misunderstanding that was communicated to Aleeza Chanowitz and the team behind Chanshi,”  the festival said on Monday.

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Chanowitz had been due to fly to Sweden for a Nov. 16 screening of Chansi, which co-stars Henry Winkler. The Israeli series, which bowed at Sundance, portrays an Orthodox Jewish woman who moves from Brooklyn to Israel to claim her agency outside her conservative religious community.

The series from production company Kastina Communications is set mainly in Israel. Chanovitz was not available for comment, but her criticism of the Stockholm festival was first covered by Deadline Hollywood.

“It has come to our attention that incorrect information was spread about a cancellation of Chanshi and Aleeza Chanowitz’s attendance due to political viewpoints. This is not correct at all,” the festival continued in its statement.

The Stockholm festival said in the wake of the October 7 attacks on southern Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization it had offered to arrange an online Q&A for Chanovitz to participate in, which led to confusion in communications with the Israeli filmmaker.

“Stockholm International Film Festival always stands behind its films and filmmakers and would never refuse a participating director’s visit, nor cancel the screening of their work for political reasons. We are incredibly sorry about this bad communication that has caused pain for the team and for the wider Jewish community,” the festival added.

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