Cinema for Gaza raises $315,000 with items from Jonathan Glazer, Ramy Youssef and more

Handwritten lyrics of Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox sells for more than $26,000

Joaquin Phoenix, Jonathan Glazer and Tilda Swinton all took part in the event. EPA, Getty Images
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Cinema for Gaza, a group initially launched by female filmmakers and journalists, has raised more than $315,000 for medical aid in a celebrity auction.

Formed by British celebrities before expanding, the group includes Tilda Swinton, Joaquin Phoenix, Guillermo del Toro and Annie Lennox.

Proceeds from the ten-day online auction will go to Medical Aid for Palestinians, a British charity that offers medical services in Gaza, where more than 33,200 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's bombardment.

Auctioned items receiving the highest bids included handwritten lyrics to Sweet Dreams by Lennox, which went for over $26,000, and a “cup of tea on Zoom” with Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn for $13,800.

Meanwhile, signed The Zone of Interest posters from director Jonathan Glazer went for $13,700. The English film director and screenwriter made headlines last month when he mentioned the Gaza conflict in his acceptance speech at the 96th Academy Awards.

Other notable sales included a Zoom serenade by British singer Olly Alexander ($11,200); a portrait session with Nigerian-British photographer Misan Harriman ($7,800); a chat with actress Melissa Barrera ($6,300); and a signed copy of a Doctor Who script from Peter Capaldi ($4,300).

Among the other items auctioned off were a signed rugby ball from Heartstopper star Kit Connor ($6,600); a Zoom call with The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri and a map of her favourite restaurants ($4,400); and tickets to a live Ramy Youssef show complete with an after-party and meet and greet ($3,800).

“We thought we might raise maybe £20,000 ($25,000),” London film journalist and critic Hanna Flint, one of the co-organisers of the fund-raiser, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re a very diverse group of women, we’ve got women of colour, we’ve got Jewish women, Muslim women, Christians and atheists who all came together out of this need to do something tangible to show our support and activism for the humanitarian crisis that’s going on [in Gaza].

“We really believe that cinema can be a powerful tool – a political tool to speak about the world, to reflect and engage with what’s going on – and we thought what better way [to get] people in our industry to come together [and] unite to try to help people who are not doing that well.”

Updated: April 13, 2024, 12:36 PM