“Kashmir Files’ Is Propaganda”: 3 Goa Film Fest Jury Members Back Israeli Filmmaker Nadav Lapid


Three other jury members of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, have now supported Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s comments describing ‘The Kashmir Files’ as “vulgar” and “propaganda”.

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The entire jury knew and agreed with what Mr Lapid said as jury chief, according to a statement posted on Twitter by Jinko Gotoh, Pascale Chavance, and Javier Angulo Barturen.

There is only one Indian filmmaker on the IFFI International Competition jury, Sudipto Sen, claiming that Mr Lapid made the statement “in his personal capacity”.

According to Mr Lapid, he didn’t mean to deny the tragedy of Kashmiri Pandits, but rather commented on its “cinematic manipulations” and that the tragedy “deserves a serious movie”.

In their joint statement, the three fellow jurors emphasized this.

During the festival’s closing ceremony, Nadav Lapid, the jury president, made the following statement on behalf of the jury members: “We were all disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files, which seemed to be a vulgar propaganda film, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section at a prestigious festival like this.” “We stand by his statement,” it said. 

It saddens us greatly to see the festival platform used for politics and subsequent personal attacks on Nadav, and we were not taking a political stance on the film’s content. Jury members did not intend to do that,” it stated.

Pascale Chavance is a French film editor; Javier A Barturen is a documentary filmmaker and journalist from France; and Jinko Gotoh is an Oscar-nominated American producer.

In a statement, Vivek Agnihotri, the director of the movie that broke box-office records since its release in March, accused Mr Lapid of denying the tragedy of Pandits fleeing Kashmir in the 1990s because of terrorism. A conspiracy was alleged by Anupam Kher, the lead actor.

Israel’s ambassador to India, who faced antisemitic comments from protesters, also said he felt ashamed by Mr Lapid’s statement and insulted the host country.

In response, Mr. Lapid described the envoy as a “manipulator,” and said he and the director were confusing two different issues. In his interview with several media outlets, Mr Lapid said, “I never doubted the facts, but I don’t have the capability, nor do I have the tools, to explain what happened in Kashmir… I was talking about the movie, and such a serious subject deserves a serious movie.”

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