‘Stand by his statement’: Fellow jury members on Nadav Lapid calling Kashmir Files ‘propaganda film’

The Kashmir Files poster

New Delhi: Days after Israeli filmmaker and a jury chief at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Nadav Lapid, slammed the inclusion of Vivek Agnihotri’s film, The Kashmir Files, in the competitive section of the festival, calling it a “vulgar” work of “propaganda”, the other jury members have clarified that they stand with the Lapid’s comments as those were not only his thoughts but all of the jury members decision.

The British Academy Film Awards winner Jinko Gotoh, who was part of the five-member jury for the International Competition at IFFI, said that she and two of her fellow jurors stand by Lapid’s statement, The Indian Express reported.

A joint statement signed off by jurors Pascale Chavance, Javier Angulo Barturen and Gotoh was posted on Twitter from her handle. Extending their support to Lapid, the post said: “We stand by his statement”.

This statement comes at a time when Sudipto Sen, the only Indian on the International Competition jury of IFFI, had said that Lapid made the statement in his “personal capacity”.

Earlier, the filmmaker said that the film has “fascist features and it Justifies Indian policy in Kashmir”. Lapid made the comments during his interview with the Israeli news website Ynet.

The IFFI head had said that he was “shocked” to see the film in the competition section of such a prestigious film festival. The 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India ended on Monday.

“We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film: The Kashmir Files. That felt to us like propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on stage. Since the spirit of having a festival is to accept also a critical discussion which is essential for art and for life,” Nadav said during his address to the audience.

This year in May, the controversial film was banned by Singapore, which has cited concerns over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.

“The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir,” the Singapore government said in a statement in May 2022.

“These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious society,” the statement added.

The city-state had said under its film classification guidelines, “any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore” will be refused classification.


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