The 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2022) took a controversial turn when jury head, Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid criticised The Kashmir Files. The international director said that the Vivek Agnihotri directorial felt like a ‘propaganda, vulgar movie.’ He also added that he was ‘disturbed and shocked’ that the film was a part of the competitive section of the festival.
In a video from the event going viral, Nadav Lapid said, “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."
#Breaking: #IFFI Jury says they were “disturbed and shocked” to see #NationalFilmAward winning #KashmirFiles, “a propoganda, vulgar movie” in the competition section of a prestigious festival— organised by the Govt of India. 🎤 Over to @vivekagnihotri sir…@nadavlapi pic.twitter.com/ove4xO8Ftr— Navdeep Yadav (@navdeepyadav321) November 28, 2022
Vivek Agnihotri and the cast of The Kashmir Files are yet to address the statement.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Consul General in Mumbai, Kobbi Shoshani took to social media to express that he has watched the film and he has a different opinion than Nadav Lapid. His tweet read, “I saw the Kashmir file and met the cast. I have a different opinion than Nadav Lapid. After his speech, I told Nadav my opinion. @vivekagnihotri"
The Kashmir Files was screened at the festival last week, eight months after the film was released on the big screen. The film was selected for the Indian Panorama for IFFI 2022.
The film was among the biggest hits of the first half of the year. The film received praise from audiences for portraying the chilling tales of the killings and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 from the valley. The film starred Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumaar, and Mithun Chakraborty in pivotal roles.
The film was exempted by several states in the country and was a big success at the box office. The film was also praised by several political leaders as well. There was also Oscar buzz surrounding the film. However, Gujarati film ‘Chhello Show’ bagged a chance to be the official submission from India at the Academy Awards in 2023.
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