Just after Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid made a scathing attack on The Kashmir Files, a drama directed by Vivek Agnihotri, at the closing ceremony of 53rd International Film Festival,
filmmaker Sudipto Sen, a jury member, has clarified that whatever Lapid said was his personal opinion.
Lapid had called the movie a "vulgar propaganda" and said they were "disturbed and shocked" by the movie. "That felt to us like propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival," he was quoted as saying.
To this statement, Sen tweeted that whatever has been said by Lapid 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. 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," his tweet read.
Lapid's statement had triggered a controversy after many accusing him of being insensitive.
Israel ambassador to India Naor Gilon too lashed out against Nadav Lapid for his comments. Gilon said Lapid should be ashamed of his remark on Kashmir Files as it is "insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India."
The Israeli envoy added that he was "extremely hurt to see reactions in India to you that are doubting Schindler’s List, the Holocaust and worse."
The friendship between the people and the states of India and Israel is very strong and will survive the damage you have inflicted.— Naor Gilon (@NaorGilon) November 29, 2022
As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship.
"I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here." He also hit out at Lapid of abusing the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges and the trust, respect and warm hospitality bestowed by them.
"My suggestion. As you vocally did in the past, feel free to use the liberty to sound your criticism of what you dislike in Israel but no need to reflect your frustration on other countries. I’m not sure that you have enough factual basis to make such comparisons. I know I don’t," the ambassador said in his open letter.
Anupam Kher, who play an important character in the movie which depicts on the exodus of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits, too reacted to Lapid's comments through a tweet.
Kher took to Twitter to share his take on the issue. "No matter how high the height of the lie is.. It is always small in comparison to the truth," read his tweet. Kher also posted pictures from the The Kashmir Files and Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List.
Director Agnihotri too responded to the statements through a Tweet. "GM. Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. #CreativeConsciousness," he posted.