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Cinema For Gaza Raises $50,000 In First Day

A number of prominent figures from the film and TV industry, such as Jonathan Glazer, Tilda Swinton, and Brian Cox from Succession, have generously contributed unique gifts to Cinema For Gaza, a fundraising auction aimed at supporting aid for people in Gaza. The auction commenced on April 2nd.

As of today, the donations have exceeded £41,650 ($52,343) in cash. The donated gifts and experiences range from tickets to Ramy Youssef’s live show and afterparty to a porridge tutorial with Josh O’Connor from Challengers and even a bedtime story read over Zoom by Tilda Swinton.

Included in the auction lot are two signed film posters, namely “The Zone of Interest” and “Under the Skin,” by filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. Glazer, who has faced criticism following his Oscar speech, joined the campaign just before its launch on April 2nd, according to organizers speaking to Deadline. Additionally, veteran filmmaker Ken Loach contributed a signed Old Oak poster and script, while documentary filmmaker Asif Kapadia provided a signed collection of his movies and accompanying posters.

The list of contributors is expected to expand, with new gifts set to be added, including a signed Supernova film poster from Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, and Harry Macqueen. Actress Rebecca Hall has also pledged to read a bedtime story, and Maisie Williams has donated a signed Game of Thrones DVD.

The Cinema for Gaza initiative was initiated by UK film professionals Hanna Flint, Julia Jackman, Leila Latif, Sophie Monks Kaufman, and Helen Simmons. Operating without any financial backing, the group has largely coordinated their efforts through a WhatsApp group chat, which was established during a dinner meeting in February. Celebrity contributions have been received through both direct requests from the group leveraging their industry connections as well as unsolicited offers from actors and filmmakers who became aware of the campaign.

The auction is scheduled to conclude on Friday, April 12, at midnight BST. All cash proceeds will be directed to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a healthcare organization actively responding to the crisis in Gaza.

The UN has warned of an imminent “man-made” famine in the region. Recently, seven humanitarian aid workers lost their lives in Gaza due to an unintended Israeli airstrike, prompting some aid agencies to suspend their operations due to safety concerns.

The health ministry in Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas, reported on Monday that at least 32,845 individuals have perished in the territory during the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants. The latest escalation in hostilities was triggered by Hamas’ attack on Israel last October, resulting in over 1,100 fatalities and more than 200 individuals being taken hostage.

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