Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s critique of Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ at the closing ceremony of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has now been supported by his fellow international jurors.
They have distanced themselves from the statement issued by Sudipto Sen rapping Lapid for his statement. The celebrated Israeli director-screenwriter’s comments has stirred a hornet’s nest on social media, with the Israeli Ambassador leading the charge against him, followed by Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi and Agnihotri himself.
For the unversed, Lapid had said during the closing ceremony of the prestigious fest that ‘The Kashmir Files’ came across as ‘vulgar’ and a ‘propaganda’ film to the jurors.
Jinko Gotoh, the Oscar-nominated producer and consultant for the animation industry, has put up a statement on Twitter signed by the other international jurors, namely, French film editor Pascale Chavance and French documentary filmmaker Javier Angulo Barturen.
Interestingly, Jinko Gotoh spoke at length at a session on the animation film industry at IFFI Goa in the company of ‘Kung-fu Panda’ director Mark Osborne.
The statement underlined that the entire jury knew — and agreed with — what Lapid, who served as the jury president, had said about the film.
“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 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 jurors said in the statement.
The statement also pointed out that the jury just made an artistic statement on the merit of the film and it did not intend to take any political stance.
“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,” the statement said.