Who is Nadav Lapid, IFFI 2022 Jury Head Who Called The Kashmir Files ‘Vulgar and Propaganda Film’

Israeli film director and screenwriter, Nadav Lapid, who headed the jury of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), shocked the crowd at the closing ceremony on Monday by criticizing Vivek Agnihotri’s Kashmir Files. Calling it ‘vulgar’ and a ‘propaganda’ film, Nadav Lapid claimed that the jury of IFFI 2022 was ‘disturbed’ to watch the film, claiming it ‘inappropriate for the competitive section’ of the prestigious film festival.

The Kashmir Files was screened as a part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI on November 22. Here’s everything that you need to know about Nadav Lapid.

Who is Nadav Lapid?

Born in 1975, Nadav Lapid hails from Tel Aviv in Israel. He is the son of writer Haim Lapid, and his mother Era Lapid was a film editor by profession. He pursued a degree in philosophy from Tel Aviv University before moving to Paris post completing his military service in the Israel Defense Forces. Lapid is said to have returned to Israel again to earn a degree from Sam Spiegel Film and Television School located in Jerusalem.

What film has Nadav Lapid worked on?

Lapid was a part of two short projects namely Road and Emile’s Girlfriend, before he made his debut in the feature film Policeman, a story based on the life of the head of a counter-terrorist organization. Amidst a hostage situation, the officer’s wife is pregnant, which leaves him torn between his professional duties and domestic life. Another notable work of Lapid is the drama film, Synonyms, which traces the life of a young Israeli man who absconds to Paris to flee his nationality. In addition to this, his directorial Ahed’s Knee, the film that followed the life of a filmmaker recording a video inspired by the story of a teenage Palestinian girl who was jailed for slapping an Israeli soldier, competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2021.

What awards has Nadav Lapid won?

His feature film Policeman ended up winning the Locarno Festival Special Jury Prize back in 2011. His film Synonym won the Golden Bear award in 2019 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Lapid is a recipient of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, a prestigious accolade in France, that recognizes significant contributions to the fields of arts and literature.

What did Nadav Lapid say about The Kashmir Files?

During his speech, the Israeli Filmmaker said, “All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film – the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’. That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to share openly these feelings here with you on this stage. In the spirit of the festival, can surely accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life.” A snippet of Lapid’s speech went viral on social media sparking a heated debate on his remark on the film that holds sentimental value in the hearts of many. Leaving the internet divided, the Israeli director garnered both appreciation and flak for his comment.

The filmmaker invited massive criticism on Twitter with his statement at the closing ceremony.

Fellow jury member Sudipto Sen distanced the jury members from Lapid’s statement, calling it ‘personal opinion’ and not that of the collective jury. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit stronglu objected to Lapid’s statement, while director of The Kashmir Files Vivek Agnihotri and actors of the film have also slammed the filmmaker.

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