Festival also moves Dancing Arabs screening indoors.

Spike Jonze has cancelled his Jerusalem Film Festival masterclass on July 16 because of the current conflict.

Jonze did travel to Jerusalem as planned but decided not to go ahead with the event. He said in a statement: “Dear filmmakers and filmgoers, I apologise for not being there with you tonight. It felt like the wrong time for me to be talking about movies with everything going on. I hope you understand. I will come back again and screen movies and talk film with you when the time is right. My heart is with you and everyone who is suffering right now.”

The festival said it appreciated Jonze coming to Jerusalem and understood his decision.

Noa Regev, director general of the Festival, said “We respect Mr. Jonze’s decision, and we apologize to the many people who we’re looking forward to this event.”

The festival is still screening his film Being John Malkovich as scheduled. It is offering refunds to masterclass ticketholders.

A number of other high-profile guests including Ulrich Seidl cancelled their trips to the festival in light of the current political situation (full story here).

Dancing Arabs outdoor screening cancelled

The festival had been scheduled to open on July 10 at the open-air Sultan’s Pool venue which holds 6,000 people. Due to security risks, that screening was postponed from last Thursday to this Thursday July 17, but the festival has now confirmed that the outdoor screening won’t be held at all.

Instead, Eran Riklis’ Dancing Arabs will screen on Thursday night at the Jerusalem Cinematheque at 19:15.

The festival said the decision was “due to the escalation in the security situation and in accordance with instructions from the home-front command.”