Actor Anupam Kher, who played a key role in 'The Kashmir Files' took a swipe at IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid for calling the film "propaganda, vulgar" at the festival's closing ceremony on Monday. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also slammed Lapid.
A video from the festival went viral in which Lapid is seen making controversial remarks about the film. One of the members of the festival's PR team confirmed to ANI that the Israeli filmmaker made the remark at the closing ceremony.
"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," he said in his speech.
"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 to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life," he further said.
Referring to Lapid's remarks, Anupam Kher tweeted, "No matter how high the height of the lie is.. It is always small in comparison to the truth." He attached pictures from the movie with his tweet.
Meanwhile, Ashoke Pandit also slammed Lapid's remarks. "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 ."
The organisers declined to commenrt about the remarks of the jury head about the movie.
'The Kashmir Files' released earlier this year in theatres and it told the story about the Hindu exodus in 1990s and targetted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits.
The movie went on to become one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies of 2022 and Anupam Kher received acclaim for his performance. (ANI)