Nadav Lapid’s fellow IFFI jurors come out in his support

In a joint statement, the foreign jurors at IFFI Goa came out in support of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s criticism of the film 'The Kashmir Files'

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (Left) A poster of The Kashmir Files
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (Left) A poster of The Kashmir Files

NH Web Desk

All of Nadav Lapid’s fellow jurors within the five-member jury, except for Indian-origin Sudipto Sen, came out in support of his remarks on The Kashmir Files at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa, on Saturday, December 3.

Lapid had called the film ‘vulgar’ and highlighted its propagandist messaging, deeming it “inappropriate for an artistic competition” at IFFI on November 28.

In a joint statement tweeted by juror and Oscar-nominated American film producer Jinko Gotoh, the jurors of the festival including Gotoh, French film editor Pascale Chavance and Spanish journalist and film critic Javier Angulo Barturen recalled Lapid’s statement and confirmed that they all stand by his statement.

“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,” read the tweet, in which Gotoh tagged several Indian news channels. 

As reported by French newspaper Liberation, Chavance said: “It is so obvious that it is a propaganda film. Muslims are presented as monsters, without distinction.”

Barturen concurred: “I completely agree with what Nadav Lapid said in his speech, because it was the majority opinion within the jury. He represented the jury’s opinion.”

Contentious filmmaker Sudipto Sen, known for The Kerala Story, defended The Kashmir Files and said that Lapid’s remarks on the film were completely his “personal opinion”.

Now that Sen’s statement has been contradicted by the other jury members and Lapid’s opinion has been clarified as the unanimous opinion of the jury board, Sen told The Indian Express: “Vulgar or propaganda is not any artistic statement. I shall not change my [earlier] statement, whatever I said to you and on other platforms, my comments will remain the same."

Since making his comment, Lapid has received widespread criticism and drawn flak from man Indian rightwing commentators, some mainstream Indians media outlets and the Israeli ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, for questioning The Kashmir Files.

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