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New Delhi: Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit expressed his dissatisfaction with Israeli screenwriter and film director Nadav Lapid’s selection as a IFFI jury head. Lapid has been receiving criticism for calling Vivek Agnihotri directed ‘The Kashmir Files’ a ‘vulgar, propaganda’ film.

In a post on Twitter, Pandit said: “#NadavLapid’s selection as the jury head of #IFFI53Goa is a major lapse on behalf of I&B ministry. Hence heads of those in the ministry, who are responsible for this crime, should roll. What does one expect from a Palestine sympathiser?! (Sic).”

Lapid made mockery of India's fight against terrorism

Intensifying his attack on the IFFI 2022 jury head, Pandit said, "#Israeli filmmaker #NadavLapid has made a mockery of India’s fight against terrorism by calling #KashmirFiles a vulgar film . He has insulted 7 lac #KashmiriPandits under the nose of the #BJP govt. Its a big blow to #IFFIGoa2022 ‘s credibility. Shame. (Sic)

Tagging Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Anurag Thakur in a post of Twitter, Pandit said, "I as a #KashmiriPandit & who is a victim of genocide seek a serious action against Mr. #NadavLapid Jury head of IFFI 2022 for calling the depiction of our tragedy as vulgar. He has added salt to our wounds & hence should be made to tender a apology."

"Strongly" objecting the language used by Lapid for 'The Kashmir Files', Pandit said, "I take strong objection to the language used by Mr. Nadav Lapid for #kashmirFiles. Depicting the genocide of 3 lakh #KashmiriHindus cannot be called vulgar. I as a filmmaker & a #KashmiriPandit condemn this shameless act of abuse towards victims of terrorism."

Lapid's statement an insult to filmmakers

Pandit further said that Lapid’s "irresponsible" statement against 'The Kashmir Files' is an insult to Indian filmmakers.

He also appealed to the Indian filmmakers to stand by Vivek Agnihotri and "denounce a foreigner, who mocked the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri pandits."

'The Kashmir Files' Controversy

On Monday, at the closing ceremony of the IFFI, Lapid called 'The Kashmir Files' "propaganda, vulgar".

A video from the festival went viral in which Lapid is heard making controversial remarks about the film.

"I would like to thank the head of the festival and the director of the programming for the cinematic richness of the programme, for its diversity, for its complexity. It was intense. We saw seven films in the debutant competition, and 15 films in the international competition, the front window of the festival. 14 out of them had cinematic qualities, defaults and evoked vivid discussions," Lapid said in his address.

"All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable openly sharing these feelings here with you at this stage. In the spirit of this festival, we can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life," he further said.

Soon after Lapid's speech went netizens began slamming him.

'The Kashmir Files' was screened at IFFI on November 22 as a part of the Indian Panorama Section.

Released in March, 'The Kashmir Files' is a story of the Hindu exodus in the 1990s and targeted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits.

The Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty, starrer became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2022 and Anupam Kher received acclaim for his performance.

With inputs from agencies

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Abdul Gh Lone