The Kashmir Files row: Nadav Lapid apologises for his comment, says 'my aim was never to insult people, their relatives'

Published on Dec 01, 2022 09:20 AM IST

Nadav Lapid has apologised for his remark on The Kashmir Files, days after making comments on the film. Here's what he said.

Nadav Lapid has apologised for his remark on The Kashmir Files.
Nadav Lapid has apologised for his remark on The Kashmir Files.

Nadav Lapid, Israeli director and International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury head, who made headlines after he described The Kashmir Files as ‘vulgar propaganda’, has apologised. As per a new report, days after making the comment, Nadav said that his 'aim was never to insult people or their relatives'. (Also Read | The Kashmir Files got pushed into IFFI due to political pressure, claims Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid)

Nadav made the comment on The Kashmir Files at the IFFI Goa on November 22. The team of The Kashmir Files, including writer-director Vivek Agnihotri, and actors Anupam Kher and Pallavi Joshi had criticised Nadav.

Speaking with CNN-News18, Nadav has now said, “I didn’t want to insult anyone, and my aim was never to insult people or their relatives, who have suffered. I totally totally totally apologize if that’s the way they interpreted." He also said that he spoke on behalf of the entire jury. Nadav also said that his comments weren’t just his but also represented the thoughts of his fellow jurists.

Earlier, in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Nadav had said he stands by his remarks as he "knows how to recognise propaganda disguised as a movie". He had said, "Making bad films is not a crime, but this is a very crude, manipulative and violent propaganda film. The truth is that I also couldn't help but imagine a similar situation that might happen one day soon in Israel, and I would be happy that in such a situation the head of a foreign jury would be willing to say things as he sees them." He had also said that 'the film was pushed into the official competition of the festival due to political pressure'.

Sudipto Sen, one of the members on the IFFI jury, said remarks expressed by the Israeli filmmaker were his "personal opinion". On Twitter, Sudipto shared his statement, “Whatever has been said by IFFI 2022 Jury Chairman Mr. Nadav Lapid about the film Kashmir Files, from the stage of closing ceremony of 53rd IFFI was completely his personal opinion. In the official presentation of the Jury Board to the Festival Director and in the official Press Conference, where we 4 juries (the fifth jury had to leave for her personal emergency) were present and interacted with the press, we never mentioned anything about our likes or dislikes."

He had also added, "Both were our official collective opinion. As juror, we are assigned to judge the technical, aesthetic quality and socio-cultural relevance of a film. We don't indulge in any kind of political comments on any film and if it is done, it is completely in personal capacity - nothing to do with the esteemed Jury Board.” In an earlier interview to CNN-News18, he had said, “Nadav’s English is not very strong so he had a written statement. But suddenly we were told he was not reading out what was decided, he has written his own speech. We had discussed the merits of all films and those discussions are not supposed to go out of the jury’s room.”

The Kashmir Files narrates the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley during the early 1990s. The film released on March 11 this year. It is one of the biggest Hindi commercial successes of 2022. The Kashmir Files features Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi among others.

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