Pre-sales down 40% following shootings in the Danish capital less than two weeks ago.
Pre-sales for the 9th Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival are down 40% on last year in the wake of the shooting in the Danish capital on Feb 14, which left two people dead - including Danish director-producer Finn Nørgaard - and five police officers wounded.
“People are scared,” festival director Anne Boukris told Danish television TV2 News. “All the time people are asking me about security – after what happened in Copenhagen, they are anxious about what is going to happen next.”
The festival launches tonight and runs till March 21 with a programme comprising 24 international films with Jewish themes, held atthe Cinemateket at Copenhagen’s Film House.
“I am sure people are scared to come,” added Boukris.
The festival will open with Golden Globe-nominated Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem from Israeli directors Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, introduced by Danish member of Parliament Özlem Cekic.
CJFF will also screen several Holocaust films, including UK director André Singer’s Night Will Fall. The documentary, which included shots from the liberation of Nazi concentration camps Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz is produced by Danish producer Signe Byrge, of Final Cut for Real, who will be in attendance
“Just for a while, during the festival, je suis juive is on the map of Danish culture,” said Boukris. “While the political conflicts grow, documentaries on Jewish themes become increasingly confrontational, critical, authentic and clarified.”
Last night (Feb 24), Copenhagen’s Jewish synagogue in Krystalgade held a memorial service for the two victims of the Copenhagen Shootings - Nørgaard and synagogus security guard, Dan Uzan - attended by family, friends and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The shootings were carried out by Danish Jihadist Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussain who swore allegiance to Islamic State before hitting a free-speech event at Copenhagen’s Krudttønden culture centre in Østerbro, killing Nørgaard and wounding three police offers.
El-Hussain then tried to enter the synagogue, celebrating a young Jewish girl’s bat mitzva – during the attempt he murdered Uzan and injured another two policemen. The police traced him to the city’s Nørrebro district, and in a final shoot-out with the action force he died from 38 bullets.
The gunman, of Jordanian descent, had two weeks before been released from prison after serving part of a two-year sentence for stabbing a 19-year-old man on a subway train. According to Danish Intelligence, he was still “on the radar” of the service – but eventually slipped the net.