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The Schmooze

John Cleese Will Star in Israeli’s Film

British comic actor John Cleese has signed on to a film by Israeli director Reshef Levi.

Cleese will play a disgraced, eccentric British lord in the heist comedy “Hunting Elephants,” in which three Israeli senior citizens help a 12-year-old boy hatch a plan to rob a bank in order to save his family home.

Cleese’s participation was announced last week at the Cannes Film Festival and reported first by the Hollywood Reporter.

Also at Cannes, an Egyptian director told reporters that he does not want his film distributed in Israel, according to Yediot Achronot. Yousry Nasrallah learned during the interview at Cannes that his film “After the Battle” was picked up for distribution in Israel.

“I do not know at all if the film was sold to Israel,” he said. “But if you want my opinion, no, I do not want it to be. Not as long as the Israelis still occupy the Palestinian territories.”

Several reporters reportedly applauded the director’s statement.

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