KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
written by Souranath Banerjee
Founded in 2010, and now voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the world, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater.
KASHISH MIQFF 2017 is held over 5 days at two venues, at Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise in South Mumbai. Held between May 24-May 28, 2017, it is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India.
Delegate Registrations are open on Book My Show https://in.bookmyshow.com/festival/mumbai-international-queer-film-festival
THEME of KASHISH 2017 : ‘Diverse, One’
The theme of KASHISH 2017 explores the diversity of the LGBTQ communities. The diverse shades of the rainbow remind us that as people we are all different and we are all unique. In the fight for an equal society, basic human rights and against laws that criminalize and discriminate, it is our shared values that bring us together. We are strongest when we come together, when we embrace one another’s uniqueness and celebrate our differences. We are Diverse, We are One.
KASHISH 2017 will have South Asia’s largest prize money for LGBTQ films – 147 films from 45 countries competing for total cash award of Rs.2.20 lakhs.
The 8th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival this year will feature the largest prize money for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer films in South Asia. Around 43 of the 147 films that will be screened at the festival will compete in the eight competition categories for a total cash award of Rs 2.20 lakhs. The prize money will be sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Whistling Woods International, Shri K.F. Patil Charitable Trust, Wadia Movietone and Lotus Visual.
“It gives us immense pleasure to announce an increased bouquet of cash awards at KASHISH 2017,” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director. “We have been really trying hard to up the value we bring to the independent filmmakers who put in so much of effort to make LGBTQ films across the world. We are truly delighted by the support we have received from individuals and organizations to nurture talent. KASHISH is happy to spread rainbow sunshine among the film making community,” said Rangayan.
The highest award at KASHISH, Best Narrative Feature (Rs. 30,000) as well as well as those for Best Indian Short Film (Rs 20,000) and Actor in a Leading Role (Rs 15,000) are sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.
“I am heartened to see KASHISH growing year by year, providing a fantastic platform for independent queer cinema, bringing together films and offering a bridge to many cultures around the world. Actor Prepares is committed to nurturing talent and we are delighted to continue our support, for the fourth year, to three of the awards at the festival. I wish the festival even greater success,” said acclaimed actor Anupam Kher.
A newly introduced award this year is for the Best Student Short film with a cash award of Rs 15,000 sponsored by film school Whistling Woods International. LGBTQ short films made by students of film and media schools will compete for this award.
“Whistling Woods International is proud to continue its association with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, a wonderful initiative that encourages aspiring filmmakers to come forward and spread awareness about the LGBT community, sensitively and artistically. Love is universal and it is fantastic to have a festival that celebrates love from the point of view of the individuals belonging to the LGBT community. We need more platforms like this, which not only promotes cinema but also unearths some truly unique talents every year. This year, we have taken our association further by sponsoring the Best Student Film Award. It adds another layer to our objective of partnering with KASHISH, which is to encourage young students to express themselves through the power of cinema. Like every year, we look forward to a positive response, and would like to convey our best wishes to the students,” said Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International
Two competition categories this year will have cash awards – K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Feature (Rs.15,000) and K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Short – Rs.10,000. The cash awards are sponsored by K.F.Patil Charitable Trust.
“Discrimination is a human man-made phenomenon and it is against the very principle of nature which celebrates diversity. Unfortunately society does not and every voice that calls for freedom and inclusivity is important. KASHISH is one such voice standing for freedom and acceptance for a group of people all over the world who have been marginalised simply because of their sexual orientation. The K.F. Patil Charitable Trust which stands for Unity in Diversity is proud to associate with KASHISH which through the medium of a film festival informs, educates and shares with people the agonies and ecstasies of these people. The documentary awards instituted by the Trust are a token of our appreciation for Kashish and for the filmmakers to carry the message forward to thousands of people,” said National award winning filmmaker Arunaraje Patil, who is the Chairperson of Shri K.F. Patil Charitable Trust.
The Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker was instituted in memory of Riyad Wadia, who made the country’s first gay film – BomGay. The cash award of Rs 15,000 is sponsored by Wadia Movietone. “Encouraging new and young filmmakers was something my late brother Riyad Wadia always used to do, and this award in his name at the KASHISH symbolizes some of the help and support he provided so many during his all too brief life. Wadia Movietone remains proud to be associated with Kashish and we look forward to many years together,” said Roy Wadia, who heads Wadia Movietone.
The QDrishti Film Grant returns for the second year to KASHISH. It is an artistic grant to support and promote independent filmmakers based in India making LGBTQ themed films. Short Narrative or Documentary Films made by India-based filmmakers compete for this honour that gives Rs 1 lakh grant to the chosen film maker to make their next LGBTQ themed film. The chosen filmmaker will be mentored by noted filmmaker Aruna Raje and actor and theatre person Shernaz Patel.
“With the rise in global intolerance and violence against minorities, it is paramount for sexual minorities to have a safe space to voice their views. We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with KASHISH in announcing this year’s QDrishti grant with a joint vision of providing a safe platform for film makers who challenge us to celebrate our differences,” said Lotus Visual that has sponsored the grant.
The competition categories and the films competing are as follows:
Narrative Features: 4 films: Apricot Groves, Glory and Grace, Play The Devil, AWOL
Documentary Features: 4 films: Storm-Drenched Minds, In Love As In Live, Transitioning : Transgender Children, No Dress Code Required.
Documentary Short: 6 films: Single Men, Naked Wheels, Still Burning, A Doll’s Eyes, Across Gender, Lands of Lost Content
International Narrative Short: 17 films: Dive, Java, Transmission, You Deserve Everything, No Way to Paradise, A Meal With Dad, Ladybug, Home, Ariel, The Devil is in the Details, Stay, In The Mirror, Scar Tissue, Lily, Rink, Princess, Superheroes
Indian Narrative Short: 7 films: Aarsa, Wajood, Shehenaiiya, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak
Riyad Wadia Award: 8 films: The 6th Element, Shehenaiiya, Wajood, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak, Tremors
QDrishti Film Grant: 8 films: The 6th Element, Shehenaiiya, Wajood, Maacher Jhol, Chudala, Devi, Sisak, Naked Wheels
Student Short: 12 films: Lethe, The Tiger’s Fight, Flora, Still Devout, Stumbling Out, Heart Station, Tremors, Beautiful Figure, Alfa, Dawn, The Dam, The Other Side
Crowdfunding for KASHISH 2017
For the fifth year in a row, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be raising funds through crowdfunding. The global campaign to raise funds was launched on India’s leading crowdfunding portal –
The target for this year is to raise Rs 3 lakhs, which will partly fund the festival expenses including theatre and equipment rentals. To further deepen its engagement and provide a platform for Indian filmmakers who make films on LGBT themes, KASHISH 2017 crowdfunding campaign will also use part of the funds raised for a scholarship for selected filmmakers from outside Mumbai to come to the film festival and interact with the audience, film making fraternity and showcase their films.
Content and Photo courtesy: KASHISH MIQFF Team.