Caught up at the center of ‘The Kashmir Files’ row, Israeli director and International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury head Nadav Lapid on Wednesday apologised for his controversial remark, but also said he had spoken on behalf of the entire jury. However, he seemed to stand by his “vulgar propaganda" movie remark and said his comments weren’t just his but also represented what his fellow jurists thought.
It is to be noted here that Lapid’s fellow jury members distanced themselves from his views.
Speaking exclusively to CNN-News18, Lapid said, “I didn’t want to insult anyone, and my aim was never to insult people or their relatives, who have suffered. I totally totally totally apologize if that’s the way they interpreted."
Lapid had earlier attacked the inclusion of the film in IFFI and went on to say that the jury was shocked by it and it didn’t belong in such a prestigious festival.
Contrary to what Lapid said in the exclusive talks, Sudipto Sen, a member of the jury had earlier said the views expressed by Lapid were “personal". He also told CNN-News18 that Lapid didn’t speak what he originally intended to. “Nadav’s English is not very strong so he had a written statement. But suddenly we were told he was not reading out what was decided, he has written his own speech. We had discussed the merits of all films and those discussions are not supposed to go out of the jury’s room," Sen said.
Sen had also said that Lapid talking about any film that hasn’t won an award, was in itself against the ethics of IFFI. “Ethics dictate that we talk about the films that won the awards, not the ones which didn’t,” Sen told CNN-News18.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said Lapid had abused India’s invitation and should apologise while Israel’s Consul General to Midwest India Kobbi Shoshani said the debate would strengthen India-Israel ties.
The controversy around the film, also led to BJP and the Congress at loggerheads, while several actors such as Anupam Kher and Swara Bhasker weighed in with their views and a section of Kashmiri Pandits demanded that Lapid be deported.
The film pans around and and is praised for its portrayal of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during militancy in the early 1990s. Film director Vivek Agnihotri had compared “The Kashmir Files" to Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust epic “Schindler’s List".
“The Kashmir Files", which polarised opinions following its release in March and went on to become a blockbuster hit, was screened at IFFI on November 22 as part of the Indian panorama section.
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