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Hamilton's Playhouse Cinema cancels Jewish Film Festival over ‘security concerns’

Citing escalating security concerns, an independent cinema in Hamilton says it has had to postpone an upcoming film festival organized by the Hamilton Jewish Federation (HJF).

Playhouse Cinema shared the news on social media Tuesday, calling the decision “difficult” and apologizing to ticketholders.

The movie theatre, located on Sherman Avenue, has hosted several film festivals over the years and has worked with the HJF to host events in the past.

However, it says the decision to cancel the Hamilton Jewish Film Festival comes amid a rise in “security and safety related emails, phone calls and social media messages,” at a “particularly sensitive time.”

HJF says it’s outraged by the decision.

“In withdrawing its support of a Jewish film festival based on outrageous claims by a few individuals that any film produced in Israel is a form of ‘Zionist propaganda,’ the Playhouse Cinema is prioritizing the will of antisemites over an apolitical cultural festival that stands for artistic excellence and integrity,” the federation wrote in a statement on its website.