“We stand by his statement”: Jury members on Lapid’s remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’

NEW DELHI — Three jury members of the International Film Festival of India on Saturday said that they stand by jury head and Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s criticism of The Kashmir Files.

This comes after Sudipto Sen, the only Indian member in the jury claimed that Lapid was speaking in his personal capacity and his criticism did not reflect the views of the jury.

However, on Saturday, the remaining members of the panel American producer Jinko Gotoh, French film editor Pascale Chavance and French documentary filmmaker Javier Angulo Barturen said that Lapid made the statement on behalf of the jury.

“We stand by his statement,” read a statement shared by Jinko Gotoh, a jury member.

The members also clarified that the statement was not political.

“We were making an artistic statement, and it saddens us greatly to see the platform being used for politics and subsequent personal attacks on Nadav,” the statement said.

The Kashmir Files’, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hindu nationalist followers while was flagged by critics and Muslim groups for its hatred towards Muslims.

IFFI Jury head and Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid had said the jurors at the film festival were “disturbed and shocked” by ‘The Kashmir Files’. “That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival,” he said.

In his speech at the closing ceremony, Lapid had said: “I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on the stage since the spirit that we felt in the festival can surely accept also a critical discussion, which is essential for art and for life.”