The international Film festival of india (IFFI), which has been around for 70 years, has grown into a famous event put on by the nation that produces the most movies worldwide. The IFFI has the convening potential to draw some of the best cinema and filmmakers from across the world in addition to giving coveted space to India's best, despite not being a Cannes or Berlin, and despite being a government-run event. As a result, several viewpoints—not all of the same shade—are certain to be presented and discussed. A film director of Nadav Lapid's stature, who presided over the jury for the international competitive portion, was certain to have strong opinions regarding movies and cinema. This is perhaps what made him the ideal candidate to preside over the jury for the film festival's showcase section.

Many people who flocked to theatres to see The kashmir Files earlier this year and who viewed it as the film that broke the lengthy silence over the portrayal of Kashmiri Hindu minorities in popular art may not have agreed with Lapid's assessment of the movie, which he called "vulgar propaganda." Of course, it is strange that a losing movie received special attention because jury statements are often about the winners. Furthermore, contrary to what Lapid states, one of the jury members has publicly stated that this wasn't the unanimous opinion. But what good is a film festival if an artist, especially one who has been asked to chair a jury, isn't allowed to voice his opinion?

Lapid, who has never claimed to be "apolitical"—a term celebrities frequently employ to disguise their political stances—is not known for sugar-coating his remarks, particularly in his home nation of Israel. The people in charge of the IFFI should be aware that without this freedom, which the best artists enjoy taking for granted, their yearly celebration of India's powerful soft power will be little more than a formal awards ceremony. Therefore, the Lapid controversy must not be used as an excuse by the IFFI to fill the jury with like-minded individuals.

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