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IFFI jurors back controversial Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s remarks on The Kashmir Files

Sudipto Sen, the only Indian juror on the IFFI jury maintained that the comments made by the Israeli filmmaker were his personal opinion.

Few days back, Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid stoked controversy with his “vulgar propaganda” comments about the film The Kashmir Files at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. The controversial filmmaker has now got support from the other three IFFI jury members. 

In a joint statement posted on Twitter by one of the jurors, American film producer Jinko Gotoh, French film edition Pascale Chavance, and French documentary filmmaker Javier Angulo Barturen, said they knew about and stand by the comments made by Nadav Lapid who headed the jury at IFFI. 

“We stand by his statement. And to clarify, we are not taking a political stance on the film’s content. We are making an artistic statement,” the statement read.

The 53rd IFFI’s jurors also expressed their ‘sadness’ over the “festival platform being used for politics and subsequent personal attacks on Nadav.”

Notably, Sudipto Sen, the only Indian juror on the IFFI jury maintained that the comments made by the Israeli filmmaker were his personal opinion. Sen told PTI that he stands by the fact that the jury did not award The Kashmir Files. The decision was unanimous. 

“We gave an official presentation to the NFDC and the festival authorities. The jury board’s work is done. After that, if a jury goes in public and speaks something unexpected about one particular film, then it is their personal feeling,” Sen told PTI.

The IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid on Monday, November 28, in his speech during the festival’s closing ceremony, said, “That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for a competitive artistic section of such a prestigious film festival. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life.”

Lapid’s comments created an uproar with many people accusing him of being insensitive towards the sufferings of the Kashmiri Hindus. Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, had to step in and issue a statement lambasting Lapid and telling him to be ashamed of his comments.

The Kashmir Files received huge critical and popular acclaim in India

Released on March 11 this year, The Kashmir Files proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year when regular Bollywood movies were falling flat at the box office one after the other. Though the film was praised all over the world, a section of Indian opposition parties and leftists tried to run down the film or discredit the story shown in the film. Starring Anupam Kher, Darshan Pathak, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi in the lead roles the Vivek Agnihotri directorial earned around Rs 337.23 crore, making it the first Hindi film to cross the Rs 300 crore club during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kashmir Files is based on the Kashmiri Hindu genocide perpetrated in the valley in the late 1980s, and 1990s where Islamist terrorists backed by Pakistan unleashed terror upon Kashmiri Hindus leaving lakhs homeless and dead. The film depicts incidents inspired by real-life where Kashmiri Hindus were targeted because of their religious identity and were brutally raped, murdered, and driven out of their homes. 

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OpIndia Staff
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