The imminent U.S. release of Shirel Peleg’s Tel Aviv-shot love story Kiss Me Kosher has been postponed in light of the attack on Israel over the weekend by Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Menemsha Films was due to launch the German-Israeli production in the U.S. in select theatres on October 13, followed by a wider release and as well as on VOD and Digital on October 20.
The company put out a joint statement on Tuesday with producers at Berlin and L.A.-based company Fireglory Pictures announcing their decision to pull the film for now.
“We are horrified by the events unfolding in Israel. The details of the horrendous attack on the country — on Shabbat morning, as the joyful period of the High Holidays draws to a close — need not be recounted here. Too many innocent lives have been lost. Too many lives are still at risk as the fighting continues without end currently in sight,” it read.
“In a world where storytelling can either be a weapon of hatred and terror or a tool for spreading love and forging connections, we are steadfastly committed to bringing stories to the world that nurture love and build bridges,” it continued.
“We strongly believe hatred needs to be countered with humor and love, so it is with extra heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision to postpone the U.S. release of Kiss Me Kosher, a film that is very much a labor and message of love and peace and of bridging unsurmountable gaps for all who collaborated on it. “
The irreverent rom-com stars Moran Rosenblatt as wise-cracking Tel Aviv bar owner Shira who embarks on a relationship with non-Jewish, German biologist Maria and faces stiff opposition from her Holocaust survivor grandmother, who in turn is in love with her Palestinian neighbor.
Producer Christine Günther told Deadline that the film was essentially about the power of love and that it did not make sense to release the film in the current situation. She said the U.S. release would now likely be pushed into 2024.
The decision to pull the release follows the brutal attack on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday, which killed at least 900 Israelis and wounded 2,400, while another 100 to 150 people have been kidnapped and moved to the Gaza Strip.
Israel has retaliated by with a full siege on the Palestinian territory as well as heavy bombardments, which Palestinians say have killed 830 people so far with more than 4,000 wounded.
Earlier in the day, Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival also said it was postponing its sixth edition, which was due to have kicked off on Friday, due to the Israeli conflict. It is now due to run from October 27 to November 2.
In other related news, C*A*U*G*H*T, the Sean Penn-starring war satire series, has also been pulled from next week’s Mipcom event in Cannes due to the fresh Middle East crisis.