Monday, June 17, 2024

Kashmir Files row Nadav Lapid’s fellow foreign jury members support his stance

Days after Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid described the controversial film The Kashmir Files as a ‘vulgar’ work of propaganda, his fellow jury members at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) have spoken in his support. Lapid served as the president of the jury at IFFI 2022, and made headlines after his political statement at the festival’s closing ceremony.
He has said in several interviews that his views were shared by other members of the jury. But hours after Lapid’s comments at the festival, jury member Sudipto Sen told The Indian Express that any and all discussions about The Kashmir Files were held privately, and that Lapid acted on his own when he condemned the film before eminent dignitaries and members of the film fraternity at the closing ceremony.
In a statement shared by jury member Jinko Gotoh on social media on Saturday, fellow international jury members expressed support for Lapid’s stance on The Kashmir Files. The statement read, “At the festival’s closing ceremony, Nadav Lapid, the jury’s president, made a statement on behalf of the jury members, stating: ‘We were all of us disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files, that felt to us like a vulgar propaganda movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.’ We stand by his statement.” The statement continued, “And to clarify, we were not taking a political stance on the film’s content. We were making an artistic statement, and it saddens us greatly to see the festival platform being used for politics and subsequent personal attacks on Nadav. That was never the intention of the jury. Sincerely – 53rd IFFI Jurors: Jinko Gotoh, Pascale Chavance, and Javier Angulo Barturen.” Sudipto Sen’s name was not included.
Sen told The Indian Express previously, “Nadav went to speak…as the jury chairman of the International Competition. However, the statements he made there were in his personal capacity. Whatever we had to say as part of the Jury Board about the films in competition, we said in the official presentation to the festival director and other officials on November 27, and later at a press conference. We are proud of the selection, but we are hurt by Nadav’s action.”
The Kashmir Files was released earlier this year amid major controversy surrounding its portrayal of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley in the 90s. The film received poor critical reviews, but became a major box office hit after being endorsed by members of the ruling party, and generating significant positive word-of-mouth.

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