Vivek Agnihotri: Greatest moment was the President mentioning The Kashmir Files


Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri came to Delhi to receive the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration category for The Kashmir Files, and he says it is “always a great feeling” to attend the national award cereony.

Vivek Agnihotri on winning national award for The Kashmir Files
Vivek Agnihotri on winning national award for The Kashmir Files

However, the filmmaker felt “very different” this time as he says, “This award is a tribute to all the victims of genocide and persecution in the world. Especially the kind of times we are living in, looking at the wars happening all over the world and the barbaric killings, so I think this is a message and tribute for all the victims of religious terrorism in the world, especially the Kashmiri Pandit community who were silenced for 32 years. With this film, their voice can be heard and lessons can be learnt by the world that what happens when humanity is absent in a society.”

The 49-year-old shares that the moment’s realisation happens later on. “Feeling happens later, because when you are going, it is more technical and you have to maintain protocol in front of the president. But when you come down, you realise the gravity of the award and you figure out the kind of people who have received the award before you, it is like you are a part of this great legend group of filmmaking,” he tells us.

Sharing the best moments at the ceremony yesterday, an excited Agnihotri states, “Some great moments were when I met Waheeda Rehman ji and the President Of India Droupadi Murmu sat with us for a cup of tea and talked about her experiences with films. The greatest moment for me was when she especially mentioned The Kashmir Files in her speech. From Alia to Karan to Ranbir, everyone complimented my film. I was almost sitting with Allu Arjun, we also had a great time chatting together.”

The filmmaker also mentions that his film now holds more importance due to the ongoing war situation. “This film has become really important suddenly. After the Palestine-Israel conflict, thsi film has become so relevant as Israeli journalists are quoting it and American politicians are talking about this film, because it has drawn a parallel that whenever it happens in the world, it happens in a similar fashion. It means that religious terrorism has a handbookor or a template on which they do everywhere in the world, and this film cautions everyone that if they remain silent, and no one comes for your support, this will keep happening,”

Actor Pallavi Joshi, who also won the supporting actress award for the film, says, “It was very well organised and I am very impressed, it happened quite quickly. It always feels wonderful to win a national award. Both Vivek and I won national awards together for Tashkent Files as well last time, and now this time round again, so it is kind of a record for us husband and wife. It is a great moment of joy for me. It is an important film of our time. Its the most amazing feeling and the only thought I had in mind was the Kashmiri Pandits who told us their stories and we made it come alive on screen, so this huge success is a poetic justice. Everyone was congratulating each other and appreciating the work. National Film Award is a big honour and there was a considerable amount of ethusiasm in the air.”

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