The spotlight after a film festival, perhaps for the first time, is not on the winners but the jury. Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, during the closing ceremony of the 53rd edition of IFFI in Goa, criticised Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files, calling it as a “propaganda, vulgar” movie.
Lapid delivered his remarks before a number of dignitaries, including Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, as well as prominent actors such as Asha Parekh, Akshay Kumar, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rana Daggubati. Lapid, who was the chairman of the international competition jury at IFFI, doubled down on the controversial film, dubbing it as “inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.” His comments sparked outrage, with even Israel’s Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, accusing the filmmaker of having inflicted damage on India-Israel ties.
But Lapid was not alone. The international competition jury comprised of four other cinema personalities from across the world, who picked the awardees for Golden and Silver Peacocks — the two prestigious honours — at IFFI.
Here’s a look at the other jury members:
Jinko Gotoh, United States
Gotoh is an acclaimed producer and consultant for the animation industry. Her producing screen credits include the Oscar-winning Finding Nemo (2003), The Lego Movie: The Second Part’ and the academy award-nominated Klaus (2019).
According to the official IFFI website, she has worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation as Director, Digital Production, overseeing the inevitable move to CGI animation and its extensive application on such features as Fantasia 2000 (1999) and Dinosaur (2000). She is currently producing ‘Escape from Hat’ for Netflix.
Javier Angulo Barturen, France
Javier Angulo is a documentary filmmaker, critic and journalist. Born in Bilbao, Spain, Javier Angulo has made two documentaries The Loss in 2006 co-directed with Enrique Gabriel and 2019’s Helio’s Suitcase, co-directed with Nacho A. Villar. He is also the Director of the Valladolid International Film Festival.
Pascale Chavance, France
Pascale Chavance has edited several award-winning films including Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl Sex is Comedy. According to IFFI’s official citation, her films have travelled all over the world, winning awards in festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam and Venice. “Pascale Chavance’s editing style is hard hitting, distinctive and brings out a natural freshness to her films’ look. She is known to take risks with their choices as her films tackle daring subject matter, elevating the art form in the process,” her bio read.
Sudipto Sen, India
Sen has directed movies like Akhnoor, Aasma, The Last Monk and Divya Dutta starrer Lucknow Times. The director was recently in news for his upcoming film The Kerala Story, which stars Adah Sharma and reportedly follows the story of how women from the state were converted into Islamic terrorists.
IFFI screening process
At the festival, 15 films competed for the coveted Golden Peacock. The line-up comprised 12 International and three Indian films that represented the “emerging trends in the aesthetics and politics of the art.” Before the films reach the jury, the movies go through a shortlisting process in Delhi where the best 15 are selected for the competition.
The Golden Peacock honour, which The Kashmir Files was competing for, went to Spanish drama I Have Electric Dreams. The other two Indian films in the competition included director Kamalakannan’s Kurangu Pedal and Anant Mahadevan’s The Storyteller, starring Paresh Rawal.