Noted filmmakers Anubhav Sinha and Chitra Palekar, national award winning filmmaker and actor Amir Bashir, actor Meghna Malik, columnist Malavika Sangghvi and festival director Sridhar Rangayan on Wednesday announced the sixth edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream LGBT film festival. The festival – that will screen 180 films from 44 countries – will be held between May 27-31, 2015 at three venues in South Mumbai – the iconic Liberty Cinema and Alliance Française de Bombay at New Marine Lines and Max Mueller Bhavan at Kalaghoda.
Anubhav Sinha, Aamir Bashir, Chitra Palekar, Meghna Malik and Malavika Sangghvi are part of the eminent jury that will judge the films in the seven competition categories at KASHISH 2015.
“I am so happy to be associated with KASHISH Film Festival. Looking forward to a lot of exciting films from around the world,’’ said Anubhav Sinha, director of blockbusters like Ra One and Tum Bin,
Actor and filmmaker Aamir Bashir, whose film Harud won the National Award said: “With the LGBT community under siege by a colonial law, it is nothing short of heroic that KASHISH has persisted and persevered and is growing each year as a festival. I am honoured and privileged to be a part of it as a member of the jury.’’
Filmmaker Chitra Palekar said that since its debut in 2010, KASHISH had created a special place for itself. “KASHISH not only brings wonderfully different films to the film lovers of Mumbai, but also creates awareness in the mainstream society about the various concerns of the queer community,’’ she said.
Actor Meghna Malik, well known for her role as Ammaji in the television serial Na Aana Is Des Laado, too reflected on the growth of the festival. “In times when our government, our leaders and we as people at large are confused and struggling with the existence of LGBT community, KASHISH gives a platform to the community to express themselves through films. They have been doing it successfully past six years and it’s only growing leaps and bounds each year. It’s a brave and massive effort. My best wishes are with the team and as juror I am looking forward to some very exciting films.’’
“It is with great pleasure that I have accepted KASHISH’s request to be on this years’ film jury for the festivals’ competitive section, which receives entries from all over the world. I look forward to watching some great cinema over the next week,’’ said columnist Malavika Sangghvi.
“We are indeed delighted to announce the 6th edition of KASHISH MIQFF. The festival is no more a LGBT event, but an annual event in Mumbai’s cultural calendar that cuts across barriers of age, class, gender and sexuality. This year the festival promises to be bigger than ever with a range of events that could be of interest to everyone. Pride comes in seven colours of the rainbow, and all of them coalesce to form KASHISH”, said festival director Sridhar Rangayan
Acclaimed filmmaker Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares has sponsored cash prizes for the three top competition categories at KASHISH – Rs 30,000 for the Best Narrative Feature Film, Rs 20,000 for the Best Indian Narrative Short film and Rs 20,000 for the Best Performance in a Lead Role. Wadia Movietone has instituted a cash award of Rs 15,000 for the Riyad Wadia Award for the Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker. The other competition categories are Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Best International Narrative Short film.
The festival is organized by Solaris Pictures and co-organised by the Humsafar Trust.
“In the last six years KASHISH has done a journey that been full of challenges but despite all odds it has grown and has become an annual event that every LGBTQ individual will be proud of and Humsafar Trust as co-organizers feel privileged that we have been part of this journey,’’ said Vivek Anand, CEO of The Humsafar Trust.
Key Highlights for this year will be:
- 180 films, from 44 countries.The festival is spread across three venues this year – Liberty Cinema, Alliance Francaise and Max Mueller Bhavan.
- The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Reaching Out, Touching Hearts’ reflecting the urgent need for all of us to reach across barriers and boundaries, reach out to everyone, and build alliances to challenge prejudice, change attitudes and create a society that allows each person to live with love and dignity
- This year, the ‘Country in Focus’ is Australia, with the festival screening some queer classics and path breaking contemporary films from Down Under. A total of 22 films form this package.Queer films from Iran, Srilanka, Nepal, Lebanon, Syria, Georgia, and El Salvador will be screened at KASHISH 2015
- The Indian Panorama comprises 20 films made in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Punjabi and Bengali. Four Indian feature length narrative and documentaries will screen at the festival: Qissa by Anup Singh, Jayjaykar by Shantanu Rode, Known Strangers by Dipankar Dutta and Breaking Free by Sridhar Rangayan
- The “competition section’’ will showcase 45 films that will be judged by an eminent Jury Panel.
- The international jury comprises filmmakers Anubhav Sinha, Chitra Palekar, National award winning filmmaker and actor Aamir Bashir, actor Meghna Malik and columnist and author Malavika Sangghvi.
- Acclaimed actor Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares will sponsor cash prizes for the three top competition categories at KASHISH – Rs 30,000 for the Best Narrative Feature Film, Rs 20,000 for the Best Indian Narrative Short film and Rs 20,000 for the Best Performance in a Lead Role.
- Wadia Movietone awards Rs 15,000 for the Riyad Wadia Award for the Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker.
- Other awards are Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Best International Narrative Shorts.
- Opening film is the critically acclaimed film Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs from the US.
- Closing film is the award winning Brazilian film The Way He Looks directed by Daniel Ribeiro.
- Red Ribbon package will focus on films that deal with people living with HIV. Short film ‘Karma’ from Cambodia and feature documentary ‘It’s Not Over’, which is set in South Africa, USA and India, are part of this package.
- The Best Indian queer short film at KASHISH gets to compete for the Iris Prize in UK which carries a cash prize of 25,000
- KASHISH in association with Gallery Beyond will hold a month-long art exhibition ‘The 377191 Wall’ – a group show featuring 238 artists and 270 works of art – to focus on the freedom to express and the freedom to choose.
- The festival will also have a book reading by author Sandip Roy of his debut novel ‘Don’t Let Her Know’.
The 6th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be held from 27th to 31st 2015 at Liberty Cinema, May 28th to 30th 2015 at Alliance Française de Bombay and May 29th to 30th 2015 at Max Mueller Bhavan. The theme for this year’s festival is `Reaching Out, Touching Hearts’.
To know more about registration, please visit http://mumbaiqueerfest.com/delegate-registration/
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
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.
Founded in 2010, KASHISH is held over 5 days at three venues. The festival this year will be held at Liberty Cinema, Alliance Française and Max Mueller Bhavan in South Mumbai. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. KASHISH is organized by Solaris Pictures. Co-organizer is The Humsafar Trust.