IFFI jury members criticize The Kashmir Files and support Nadav Lapid: ‘It was a majority opinion’

International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury member Nadav Lapid said earlier the entire bench agreed that The Kashmir Files had no artistic merit. The festival’s closing remarks sparked controversy after Lapid called Vivek Agnihotri’s film a “vulgar” propaganda piece.

According to Pascale Chavance, editor of French newspaper Liberation, “It’s so obvious that it’s a propaganda film.” It portrays Muslims like monsters. Meanwhile, journalist Javier Angulo Barturen said, “I completely agree with what Nadav Lapid said.”

There were also Golden Bear-winning Lapid, BAFTA-winning producer Jinko Gotoh, and filmmaker Sudipto Sen on the jury.

Also on Saturday, the three foreign jury members backed Lapid. Only Sen had earlier said Lapid did it on his own.

In response to his fellow jury members’ comments, Sen told The Indian Express, “I won’t change my statement, no matter what I told you.” It is true, the film was rejected on artistic grounds. He (Lapid) made a statement that wasn’t ‘artistic’.”

According to the foreign jury members, “Nadav Lapid, the jury president, spoke on behalf of the jury members at the festival’s closing ceremony: We were all disturbed and shocked by the 15ths film, The Kashmir Files, which seemed like a vulgar propaganda movie, unfit for such a prestigious festival’s artistic competition. We stand by what he said.”

“The Kashmir Files, the 15th film, disturbed and shocked us all. In such a prestigious film festival, that felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie. The fact that I can openly share these feelings with you here on stage feels completely natural to me. At the IFFI closing ceremony in Goa, Lapid said, “This festival can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life.”.

Box office hit The Kashmir Files defied poor reviews earlier this year. Based on the exodus of Kashmir Hindus from the Valley in the 90s.

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