Pornstar and producer Michael Lucas is calling foul after his documentary Campaign of Evil: Russia and Gay Propaganda wasn’t included in TLVFest’s list of films.
“My new documentary has been rejected by the Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival, and the reason for this rejection is infuriating,” Lucas says in an open letter. “The festival’s artistic director, Yair Hochner, dislikes me — not because I am not pro-Israel enough, but because I am too pro-Israel.”
But Hochner — who, incidentally, butted heads with QuAIA activist John Greyson over the Canadian filmmaker’s decision to boycott the Israeli festival — claims Lucas’s rejection has nothing to do with his personal views.
“We got the movie after the deadline, and so it’ll be for consideration for the 2015 festival,” Hochner writes in an email to Daily Xtra.
Lucas refuses to accept Hochner’s explanation of why the film was rejected. In an email to Daily Xtra, he insists Hochner has a “personal agenda” against him.
“Last year, when we sent my first documentary (Undressing Israel) he dragged on making the decision to include my film for months,” he alleges. “In the beginning he decided not to take the movie, then finally agreed two months before the film festival.”
Lucas, who submitted his new documentary in March, claims the festival accepted films as late as April this year.
Lucas is known for being vocal about his pro-Israel stance, which he believes has made him many enemies. “But it is discouraging to find an enemy in Israel itself, blocking my work out of personal and political spite,” he writes.
In 2011, Lucas was instrumental in pressuring the New York LGBT Community Center to cancel its plans to host an event for Israeli Apartheid Week.
In the above video, Lucas talks about his new film in a previously taped interview with Daily Xtra.
The TLVFest runs June 7 to 16.