Nadav Lapid, an Isareli filmmaker who served as the head of the jury at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI), sparked a row over his statements on Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files. After Lapid called TKF a ‘shameful propaganda’, the internet went abuzz with conflicting opinions and views. While the cast of the film consisting of Anupam Kher and Darshan Kumar had expressed their displeasure, Vivek Agnihotri too claimed that he would quit filmmaking if someone could prove his film supported falsehood. Later in the day, the Hate Story director also announced that he would be making The Kashmir Files Unreported.
In an interview with Aaj Tak, Agnihotri revealed, “I am determined now and I am making an announcement… We have many stories, anecdotes, truths from which we could have made 10 films instead of one. But we decided to make only one film. But now, I have decided that I will bring out the whole truth and its title will be The Kashmir Files Unreported. Aur yeh main isi saal ke andar andar leke aunga, yeh maine aaj drar nishchay karliya hai (I will bring it within this year, I am determined now)."
Adding to this, Vivek Agnihotri also explained, “I will let everyone know very soon whether Unreported will be in the form of a web series or documentary. I’ll divulge the entire truth. Now this subject is beyond art and is more about the reputation of this country. It is my moral responsibility that whatever information, proof I have with me and what all people have said, I bring them out and present it in front of people so they know the entire truth."
For those unversed, Nadav Lapid was addressing the audience at the IFFI closing ceremony when he expressed, “All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life.”
The Kashmir Files was a movie that showcased a fictional storyline centered around the 1990s exodus of Kashmiri Hindus. It depicted the exodus and the events leading up to it as a genocide, a notion that is widely considered inaccurate by scholars. The film claimed that such facts were suppressed by a conspiracy of silence. It featured Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, and Pallavi Joshi.
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