Hollywood’s biggest names auction one-off experiences for Gaza fundraiser

Hollywood’s biggest names auction one-off experiences for Gaza fundraiser
Big names in the entertainment industry have come up with a unique way of raising money for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
3 min read
05 April, 2024
Actor and comedian Ramy Youssef was among the creatives who donated to the recently launched initiative Cinema for Gaza in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the territory [Getty]

A host of top talent from the world of TV and film will help raise money for the Gaza humanitarian crisis by auctioning off an array of unique and exclusive experiences with the stars themselves. 

Cinema for Gaza launched its online auction on Tuesday to raise funds for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), amid Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian territory. 

Backed by donations from the likes of Tilda Swinton, Ramy Youssef, Brian Cox, Peter Capaldi, Josh O’Connor and more, the auctions offer a series of encounters with some of the renowned stars, as well as exclusive memorabilia.  

The experiences on offer include a Zoom bedtime story read by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, a Zoom porridge tutorial led by actor Josh O’Connor, and a Zoom chat over a cup of tea with Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn.

Additionally on offer are a Zoom chat about astrology with Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood, an all-access pass to Ramy Youssef’s stand-up show plus a meet and greet, and a Zoom serenade of the other person’s choice from singer Olly Alexander.

The showbiz magazine Variety reported that one of the auction's most highly demanded items was posters of the 2023 acclaimed film The Zone of Interest, which were donated by director Jonathan Glazer and producer James Wilson. 

According to Variety, the items have a current bid of £2,750, with the auction so far raising over £63,000.

Glazer received widespread attention following his award win at the 2024 Academy Awards, where he denounced the war on Gaza in his winning speech. 

The director later faced criticism from pro-Israel supporters for his condemnation of Israeli occupation, while other Jewish activists praised Glazer for speaking out.

The founders of Cinema for Gaza, Hanna Flint, Julia Jackman, Leila Latif, Sophie Monks Kaufman, and Helen Simmons, emphasized that its position was critical in amplifying support for Palestine and Palestinians in need within the arts industry and beyond.

“As we enter the sixth month of Israel’s military siege of Gaza, it has never been more vital to raise funds for the urgent humanitarian work conducted by Medical Aid for Palestinians. Their efforts are not only essential but lifesaving, as Israel’s bombardment has obliterated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,” the group wrote in a statement. 

“We believe that art and politics are inextricably linked and are called to act in word and deed to help those subjected to unspeakable horrors across the occupied Palestinian territory.  

“Cinema For Gaza is a passionate, inclusive fundraising space powered by the generosity of people from all corners of the film industry who will not stand idly by while Palestinians are dehumanised and attacked with impunity."