One of the most prestigious film festivals IFFI held in Goa. The 53rd International Film Festival of India or IFFI Jury head's remarks on the movie 'The Kashmir Files' have triggered a stir. Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the IFFI jury, called Vivek Agnihotri's directorial a "propaganda" and a "vulgar movie". It became a huge controversy as people started reacting on it and criticizing him for his words.
After receiving the Backlash Nadav in an interview said, “Making bad films is not a crime, but this is a very crude, manipulative and violent propaganda film. The truth is that I also couldn't help but imagine a similar situation that might happen one day soon in Israel, and I would be happy that in such a situation the head of a foreign jury would be willing to say things as he sees them. In a way, I felt it was my duty to the place that invited me.”
He further added, “We learned that the film was pushed into the official competition of the festival due to political pressure... I feel as a foreigner who arrives there, you have an obligation to say the things that the people who live there may have a harder time saying. In such contexts, I don't believe in secrets and whispers. If you stand on stage and are asked to speak, what will you talk about? Only about the beaches, you saw and the food you ate?"
He further blames Indian Government for supporting Kashmir files. He said, “Since this is a film that the Indian government encourages, I assume that the government there is not happy about it. But is a country only about its government? I assume not. What I said is not comfortable for the Government of India, nor for the government in the making in Israel, which the ambassador there represents.”
Speaking of Kashmir Files was made on a budget of ₹15 crore and ended up grossing over ₹350 crore worldwide, largely due to strong word of mouth. The film, directed by Pallavi’s husband Vivek Agnihotri, dealt with the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley over 30 years ago. The film beat out several big releases like Ranbir Kapoor’s Shams Hera, Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, and Akshay Kumar’s Samrat Prithviraj in the box office race.