The inclusion of Vivek Agnihotri’s “The Kashmir Files” in the list was condemned by the festival’s jury head Nadav Lapid at the closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Monday, calling it “propaganda, vulgar movie.”
“All of us were disturbed and shocked by the movie The Kashmir Files,” Lapid says in the video. It felt like a propaganda, vulgar film, unfit for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. “I feel at ease sharing my feelings with you because the spirit of the festival can truly accept critical discussion,” Lapid said.
The film, written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir as a result of systematic killings of community members by Pakistan-backed terrorists. Several critics also called the film a “propaganda film.”
Among those who appear in it are Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi.
In the presence of top ministers, including Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, Nadav Lapid made the remark. Nadav Lapid has been chastised on social media for his comments since the video of his speech went viral.
Who is Nadav Lapid?
Nadav Lapid is an Israeli film director and screenwriter. The director and screenwriter was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1975 and studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University.
Following his military service, he relocated to Paris before returning to Israel to study at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem.
His short film Kvish (Road) premiered at Panorama 2005.
Policeman, his first feature film, won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno in 2011, and The Kindergarten Teacher was selected for the 2014 Cannes Semaine de la Critique.
Lama? (Why?) premiered at the Berlinale Shorts in 2015. He is a French Order Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres recipient.
- 2003 Proyect gvul
- short film 2005 Kvish (Road)
- short film 2006 Ha-chavera shell Emile (Emile’s Girlfriend)
- short film 2011 Policeman 2013 Footsteps in Jerusalem
- documentary 2014 The Kindergarten Teacher · Love Letters to Cinema short film · Lama?
- short film 2016 The Diary of a Wedding Photographer
- short film 2019 Synonymes (Synonyme)
IFFI began in 1952 and has been held annually since then to provide a common platform for the best cinema on an international level and to project the excellence of film art. It is organised by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Directorate of Film Festivals in Asia.
280 films from 79 countries were screened over the course of the nine-day festival. In the ‘Indian Panorama’ section, there were 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films from India, while 183 films were part of international programming.
The Kashmir Files was chosen for the Indian Panorama Section and screened on November 22nd. Anupam Kher, who appeared in the film, attended the special screening.
The films chosen for the ‘Indian Panorama’ section will be cued in for non-profit screenings at international film festivals in India and abroad, Indian Film Weeks held under Bilateral Cultural Exchange Programs and Specialized Indian Film Festivals outside cultural exchange protocols, as well as special Indian Panorama festivals in India.
The IFFI introduced the ‘Indian Panorama’ in 1978 to promote Indian films as well as the country’s rich culture and heritage through cinematic art.
The ‘Indian Panorama’ has been dedicated to showcasing the best of Indian cinema since its inception.