“I’d 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. 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,” Lapid said in his speech.
Nadav Lapid made the remark in the presence of top ministers, including Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur. Written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, The Kashmir Files is set against the 1990s Hindu exodus and the targeted killings of the Kashmiri pandits.
The Kashmir Files courted many controversies in the wake of its release. It was also slammed as a “propaganda film” by several critics. Starring Anupam Kher in the lead role, the movie became one of the highest-grossing Hindi films of 2022.