Vivek Agnihotri, the director of The Kashmir Files, has said that fellow filmmaker Anurag Kashyap tried to ‘sabotage’ his film, which released earlier this year. Anurag had recently stated in an interview that he wouldn’t want The Kashmir Files to be India’s official entry for the Oscars. Calling it Anurag’s ‘campaign’ against the film, Vivek said it was ‘ethically and morally wrong’. Also read: Anurag Kashyap hopes The Kashmir Files doesn’t go to Oscars, Vivek Agnihotri reacts
The Kashmir Files featured Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty and Darshan Kumar in lead roles. The film opened to largely positive reviews and emerged as one of the top-grossing Hindi films this year. The film is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the late-1980s. While the film received critical acclaim for portrayal of a sensitive issue, many also criticized it for lack of objectivity in depicting the conflict.
Speaking with India Today, Vivek said that Bollywood always had a problem with his film. “There have been ideological differences in Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan was in Congress, Dharamendra in BJP, Jaya Bachchan was in Samajwadi Party but still people have worked beautifully with each other. But here the problem with The Kashmir Files is that certain section of Bollywood, media and a whole lot of other places didn’t want this film to be made. Once it got made, they didn’t want it to be released. Once it released, they didn’t want it to be successful. And now they are coming out and saying it shouldn’t go for Oscars,” he said.
In a recent interview with Galatta Plus, Anurag Kashyap had said SS Rajamouli’s RRR was the perfect choice to be India’s entry for the Oscars but The Kashmir Files shouldn’t be sent. Addressing Anurag’s comment about the film, Vivek added, “I don’t have a problem with anybody criticizing the film. In every interview, I say I am the greatest fan of SS Rajamouli. Vijayendra ji (Rajamouli’s father and RRR’s writer) is a very dear friend of mine, like an older brother. Any film can go for Oscar, how does it matter. It’s the jury, which will decide. So wishing this film (RRR) goes is fine but pinpointing a certain film with which you had problems in the past and you have tried to sabotage it. Now you are running a campaign that it should not go for Oscars is ethically and morally wrong. I make my film very passionately so I can protect them very passionately.”
The Kashmir Files was released in theaters on March 11 this year and had a slow start, making just over 3 crore on day one. But it grew strongly via word of mouth, finishing with a lifetime haul of 340 crore. Its 15-crore budget means it is one of the most successful films in Indian cinema history.