Israeli Nadav Lapid Filmmaker Insults The Kashmir Files

Nadav Lapid is an Israeli filmmaker who triggered a massive row over the Kashmir Files. Watch our latest video for all the details.

The 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) came to an end after nine days in Goa. Movies from around the world were screened at the film festival. Best films around the world are given awards. Nadav Lapid is an Israeli screenwriter and filmmaker. He is a member of the jury for the festival. He spoke at the closing ceremony of the event. In his speech he said he was "shocked" and "disturbed" that the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ was selected for the competition. He said, "There were 15 films in the international competition. Fourteen had cinematic qualities and evoked vivid discussions. But, The Kashmir Files felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable openly sharing these feelings here with you at this stage. In the spirit of this festival, we can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life."

People were shocked and very angry at Nadav’s statements. The film shows the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir amid rampant targeted violence by terrorists and Islamists. Many people slammed the filmmaker. Israel's ambassador to India Naor Gilon apologized to India in an "open letter" on Twitter. 

An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. 

In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you. I understand your need in retrospect to “justify” your behavior but I can’t understand why you told ynetnews afterwards that the minister and I said on stage that there is similarity between our countries because “we fight a similar enemy and reside in a bad neighborhood”. We did speak about the similarities and closeness between our countries. The minister spoke about his visits to Israel, it being a Hi-Tech nation and the potential of combining this with the film industry. I spoke about the fact that we grew up watching Indian films. I’m no film expert but I do know that it’s insensitive and presumptuous to speak about historic events before deeply studying them and which are an open wound in India because many of the involved are still around and still paying a price. 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.