Witness Palestine Film Festival to continue without Little Theatre

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The 2023 Witness Palestine Film Festival will continue as a virtual event this weekend, after the Little Theatre canceled its in-person screenings.

The event was scheduled to run October 21-22 and 28-29 at the Little Theatre until political pressure began mounting earlier this week.

The Republican candidate for Monroe County Executive, Mark Assini, held a press conference in front of the theater Monday, saying if the festival went on as scheduled, he would not participate in a debate with incumbent Democrat candidate Adam Bello, scheduled to air on WXXI.

The Little Theatre is a subsidiary of WXXI, and announced the festival’s postponement hours after the press conference, citing “safety concerns for festival organizers, Little patrons and staff.”

“It is our firm belief that postponing the festival at this critical moment in history would contribute to the silencing of Palestinian voices, when it is more important than ever that these voices are heard,” the festival said in a statement issued Friday. “We are deeply troubled by the threats of violence received by The Little Theatre, which were a clear attempt at censorship of both the Theatre and of the Witness Palestine Film Festival.”

The festival will proceed with virtual screenings, each followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. Click here for more information and to register for a screening.


  • Saturday, October 21st, 2023 @ 3:00 PM
    • Coming Home | 9 min
    • Israelism | 94 min
  • Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 @ 3:00 PM
    • Coming Home | 9 min
    • H2 – The Occupation Lab | 90 min
  • Saturday, October 28th, 2023 @ 3:00 PM
    • The Law and the Prophets (2023) | 114 min
  • Sunday, October 29th, 2023 @ 3:00 PM
    • Coming Home | 9 min
    • Liwan: a Story of Cultural Resistance | 28 min
    • Hummus: a Story of Appropriation | 51 min

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