KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Festival 2017 to screen 147 films from 45 countriesEntertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Friday, May 19th, 2017
South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream LGBTQ film festival – KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – returns for its eighth edition in May 2017. Registrations have opened on BookMyShow.com for the festival that will be held from May 24-28, 2017. 147 films from 45 countries that reflect the diversity of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities will be screened at two venues in South Mumbai – the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance de Francaise. This year’s festival theme is “Diverse, One” and explores the diversity of the LGBTQ communities.
“This year’s programming is unique and diverse, encompassing LGBTQ diversity from across the world as well as racial and ethnic diversity in the films that are being screened,” said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director. “Several new countries debut in this year’s KASHISH, including films from Armenia, Nigeria, Kosovo, Rwanda, UAE, Trinidad & Tobago and Aruba! Being South Asia’s biggest LGBT Film Festival we have made a concerted effort to program films from Asia, South Asia and Asia Pacific. “We hope to live up to this year’s theme, ‘Diverse, One’ bridging all barriers and making it one of the most memorable events of Mumbai,” said Rangayan. This year the festival will also screen an increased number of feature-length narrative films, more than any other year.
Siddharth Menon, actor of the closing night film LOEV said, “We’ve honestly just made a love story and tried to honour the dignity of their love. There is a KASHISH between them that we’ve tried to capture and we hope the audience will enjoy it!”
KASHISH MIQFF was the first LGBTQ film fest in India to receive clearance from the India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, when it debuted in 2010. The registrations this year is being held on India’s leading portal BookMyshow.com: https://in.bookmyshow.com/festival/mumbai-international-queer-film-festival. Skybags and Godrej Industries are Principal Partners for the festival, while supporting partners are IBM, Consulate General of Canada and Whistling Woods International
Fifty One films will compete for the main awards, that carry total cash awards of Rs 2.25 lakhs. The awards are sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Whistling Woods International, Wadia Movietone, K F Patil Charitable Trust and Lotus Visual.
The eminent jury that will judge the film this year are screenwriter Anjum Rajabali, actor Lubna Salim, TV Producer and writer Vinta Nanda, editor Jabeen Merchant and writer Aseem Chhabra. Additional jury member is Roy Wadia.
“I have been hearing about the KASHISH festival for a few years now, and have been keen to involve myself in some way in it. Hence, it is a pleasure and an honour that they asked me to be a jury member this year. KASHISH is a very important initiative, which is already sensitising Indian society to issues faced by the LGBTQ community. The film festival is the ambassador of this community to the rest of the world. We are proud that it is the biggest LGBTQ Film Festival in South Asia!” says Anjum Rajabali, screenwriter and teacher. Rajabali has written for such successful and critically acclaimed films like Ghulam, Drohkaal and Rajneeti.
“It is an honour to be on the jury of KASHISH,” said writer and TV producer Vinta Nanda, who is known for popular Television serials like Tara and the critically acclaimed film White Noise. “The experience of watching diverse cinema from all over the world is intense and empowering. I hope that everybody gets to see the films that have been curated for KASHISH 2017,” added Vinta Nanda.
Jabeen Merchant who has edited acclaimed films like NH10, Manorama Six Feet Under and Anaarkali of Aarah, said that KASHISH over the eight years had become an important cultural event in Mumbai. “KASHISH has created a wonderful space in our city not only for the LGBTQ community but for everyone who loves cinema. I have always been a friend and supporter of everything that this festival stands for, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the jury,” said Jabeen Merchant.
Actor Lubna Salim, who is known for the popular TV serial Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby said that it was an honour to be a part of the jury for KASHISH 2017. “I was aware of KASHISH form the time my short film Lihaaf was screened at this unique festival.I am extremely proud to be part of the jury this year also because it includes some very important people from the film and TV fraternity,” said Lubna Salim, adding, “KASHISH as a festival has played an important role in creating space for LGBTQ rights in minds that were living in denial of their existence. It has also paved the way for LGBT community to be accepted as an integral part of our society. I congratulate Sridhar Rangayan and his team for keeping a significant social forum alive through this festival.”
“For last few years I have been following the KASHISH MIQFF – tracking the films and reading posts on social media by enthusiastic audience members. This year I am thrilled to be able to attend the festival, to watch the films, interact with the audience, as well as meet my fellow jurors. The films in competition are strong and I look forward to the judging process,” said Aseem Chhabra, writer of book ‘Shashi Kapoor – the Householder, the Star’ and festival director of New York Indian Film Festival.
“Being part of Kashish for many years from the Wadia Movietone perspective, I’ve been impressed by the quality of the submissions which increases year after year. It’s really interesting to see this as a member of the jury for the Riyad Wadia Award”, said Roy Wadia, additional jury member.
KASHISH 2017 opens on May 24, 2017 with the American film Signature Move, directed by Jennifer Reed and stars Shabana Azmi. Acclaimed Indian gay road drama LOEV will be the closing film on May 28, 2017.
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