The doors of a cinema have been vandalised ahead of a planned protest over it taking part in an Israeli film festival.

The doors of the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley were daubed with red graffiti reading 'Say no art washing' this morning (May 23).

As part of the international Seret film festival taking place from May 16 to May 23, a private showing of Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre will be screened at the cinema.

The documentary tells the story of the young victims and survivors at the Nova festival in Re’im during the October 7 Hamas attack.

Campaign group Artists for Palestine UK had called for people to boycott the festival, and pro-Palestine protesters have planned a vigil outside the cinema at 7pm to coincide with the time of the screening.

While it is not known who was behind the graffiti this morning, it appears that action was taken before the protest could even take place.

The Phoenix Cinema Trust has said that despite the graffiti and opposition today, it intends to still show the Supernova documentary as planned.

The Community Security Trust, a British charity that supports Jewish people, said: "CST is appalled by the disgraceful graffiti on the Phoenix Cinema today, and we are proud to be working with MPS Barnet to secure the counter-protest this evening."

In its statement calling for these cinemas to boycott Seret, Artists for Palestine UK claimed the festival was part of Israel’s “broader artwashing strategy” to cover up “crimes against the Palestinian people”.

Odelia Haroush, co-founder of Seret told this paper that she had no doubt the festival would be a “success”, despite calls for a boycott.

She said: “Most of our screenings are sold out already. I do not see a point to cancel culture.

“Through the films you can see all the diversity within the Israeli society, and a lot of the filmmakers are criticising Israel as well.”

She added that the films were chosen for their “artistic quality”, and not for their politics. 

The Phoenix Cinema Trust has since said it stands by its decision for he private screening. 

The Metropolitan Police says it is treating the graffiti this morning as a potential hate crime and investigations continue.