Loud Pro-Palestine Protest Causes Major Disruption at Indie Spirit Awards

Liem Soeng

Loud Pro-Palestine Protest Causes Major Disruption at Indie Spirit Awards

A protestor interrupted Sunday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards with a message to “Free Palestine,” and called for a “Ceasefire Now.”

A single protestor standing just outside the security barriers held a loudspeaker that was blaring a short, recorded message about Palestine on a continuous loop.

Attendees at the Indie Spirits, which are held outdoors in a tent on the beach at Santa Monica Pier, could hear the protestor from inside as the show was taking place. The message started being heard as presenter Jim Gaffigan took the stage to present an award to the cast of “Jury Duty.” The protestor could also be heard from the livestream of the show via IMDB TV and Film Independent’s YouTube channels.

A few attendees stepped outside to acknowledge the incident and see what was going on, but the awards show continued. Host Aidy Bryant said on stage, “We’re at the beach and people are exercising their freedom of speech.”

The festival attempted to block out the noise by parking a shuttle bus in front of the individual and by closing the entrance to the tent with a large curtain.

Presenter Jimmy O. Yang on stage acknowledged the “heckler” heard from outside, saying he couldn’t make out what was being said specifically, but said, “We’re a bunch of people making indie films here, we’re used to getting yelled at.”

Babak Jabari, the director of “Fremont” and the winner of the John Cassavetes Award, said before his acceptance speech, “There are people speaking outside. Whatever they’re saying is far more important than what I’m about to say.” Set Hernandez, director of “Unseen” and winner of the Truer Than Fiction Award, during the presentation of his award, held up a Palestinian keffiyeh.

A Pro-Palestine protest also made its mark at Sundance last month when a group of roughly 150 protestors took to Main Street in solidarity with Palestine. Protestors were joined at Sundance by former “Scream” actress Melissa Barrera and “Pose” star Indya Moore.

VIA

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