3 February 2023
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New Delhi: International Film Festival of India 2022 jury member Sudipto Sen has said jury head Nadav Lapid’s remark about The Kashmir Files “was completely his personal opinion”.

Sen added that they as a team of jury members “never mentioned anything about our likes or dislikes”. He also said that the jury members “don’t indulge in any kind of political comments”.

The jury of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IIFI) in Goa has slammed The Kashmir Files, which revolves around the killings and exodus of Kashmir Pandits from the Valley in 1990. Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the jury, described The Kashmir Files as “propaganda” and “vulgar” and said he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by its inclusion in the competitive section at the fest.

“There were 15 films in the international competition — the front window of the festival. Fourteen out of them had cinematic qualities… We were, all of us, disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files,” Lapid said in his address.

“It seemed to us like a propagandist movie inappropriate for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on stage. Since the spirit of having a festival is to accept also a critical discussion which is essential for art and for life,” he added.

Lapid delivered his speech before several dignitaries including Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and actors such as Asha Parekh, Akshay Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rana Daggubati. The film starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi was featured in the “Panorama” section of IFFI last week.

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Abdul Gh Lone

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