At the event of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa on Monday, Israeli filmmaker and jury chairman Nadav Lapid sparked controversy by commenting on ‘The Kashmir Files’ directed by Vivek Agnihotri as “vulgar” and “propaganda”. He told the press that the movie justified India’s policy in Kashmir. He also referred to the film as having “fascist features”. He issued an additional statement stating that he would have never been surprised if such a movie had been made in Israel. ‘The Kashmir Files’ is a film which depicts the atrocities inflicted on the Kashmiri Hindu population resulting in their mass exodus from the State of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India.
In his remarks, he attempted to show his opinions as a collective agreement from all jury members. However, another jury member denied being a part of the statement and added that Lapid stated his capacity. Nadav Lapid is a forty-seven-year-old filmmaker from Israel. He is known to be an ardent sympathiser for Palestine in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He has opposed and spoken against his homeland several times.
During his interview with the New Toronto Magazine about his movie the Synonyms, he called the collective soul of Israel a “sick soul”. He referred to Israel’s existence as “false and rotten”. In 2021, through his film Ahed’s Knee, he tried to display his love and hate relationship with his homeland. He was also among 250 Israeli filmmakers who signed an open letter to protest against Shomron Film Fund. According to him, the Film Fund’s main aim is to finance the films created by the settlers and about Jewish Settlements.
The filmmaker has a connection with the IFFI. In 2014, his film The Kindergarten’s actor Sarit Larry won the Best Actor Award (Female) at the 45th edition of the awards. The most surprising fact is that Lapid, despite having a critical view of his own country, was invited to IFFI as the chief jury. Born in the capital city of Israel, Tel Aviv-Yafo, in 1975, Lapid has worked as a cinematographer on several documentaries. He is an alumnus of the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem.