Indian cinema in 2013 celebrated a centenary of films, but issues of censorship & barriers in freedom of expression continue to dog the industry. The problems become more immediate for [...]
KASHISH is the only mainstream queer film festival in India. By mainstream I mean where the films are screened at multiplexes and not in some institution or club. This is very significant as it brings lgbt films across the world to the community and audience in general so that there is not only more exposure to queer stories but it also in the longer run spreads awareness and acceptance.
To watch my movies with an audience in Mumbai was a very emotional experience and more overwhelming than I had expected. I have been to a lot of queer film festivals around the world and they can learn something from the way KASHISH is organized. It is wonderful.
What I found so compelling about KASHISH is that it was an immersive environment, growing out of a community and, in a loving and generous way, nurturing that community in return. Thus it became more than just a film festival. It is a place of change and growth.
I had a great time at KASHISH, it opened a window for me to see the diversity of India, beyond anything I knew before. The festival was big, smart, fun and friendly. I got to know a lot of new friends, very inspired! It was also great to connect LGBT community between China and India. The conversation about family issue was very interesting.
It's been a great experience attending KASHISH Mumbai Queer Film Festival. It's such an exciting festival with dedicated audience. The volunteers are full of energy, motivated, working hard and always there to help with a sincere smile. The festival is also a reliable platform for Indian queer films and has a big potential to be on of the important film festivals in Asia.
KASHISH was an experience of a lifetime. I had a magical time. Everyone whether movie star or volunteer was so gracious and hospitable. Your festival is an inspiration and I will share some of my experience with the board of directors here at Outfest (LA). Also, I have a new dream now, to make a gay Bollywood movie!!
What can I say? I am still spinning with joy from the amazing whirlwind experience of being with you at your beautiful festival. Three days filled with smiles, laughter, music, kindness, gentleness, courage, commitment and immeasurable amounts of inspiration. Nothing in my life so far could have prepared me for such a joyous, thrilling and life-changing experience. And one day I will make that gay Bollywood movie and it will be dedicated to all of you at KASHISH.
It was a great time meeting local filmmakers, tasting some authentic food and generally understanding more about being LGBT in India. I've always believed that we live in a global village where most experiences are shared - but I also like diversity, that’s what I enjoyed during my time at KASHISH.
KASHISH is at the forefront of that change and is doing so much to change minds and hearts among the wider public, and to strengthen and nurture the LGBT community's own perceptions of itself in terms of dignity and humanity.
KASHISH is the need of our times when a community gets represented through performing arts. Gay rights cannot only be won in the courtroom but it has to win hearts and minds of the people. Cinema is a powerful medium to achieve that and KASHISH has been doing that since 2010.
Film Festivals such as KASHISH must be protected and nurtured. Because it is a niche within the niche of film festivals. I am happy to be part of the jury of a festival of cinema that celebrates diversity and makes spaces for difference.
Cinema and sexuality are, both, about fighting for your freedom of expression. We need to open people’s mind ‘so that they can see people as people’, apart from their sexuality. The quality of many of the films at KASHISH surprised us – especially their technical finesse and story lines. It was no longer queer cinema for us, only good cinema.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself... the atmosphere... the audience reactions and most importantly the films... some of which were outstanding. There were images which will stay with me for a long time. And there was so much to think about... get angry about... cry about... and laugh about.
I really relished the films and the sweetness and simplicity of the organization of the festival, the volunteers kept the show kicking.
The entire team of KASHISH made me so much at home during the festival with their wonderful hospitality, it was a pleasure and a privilege to be in the company of such fine committed people. I shall cherish this experience for a long long time!
This film festival is a vibrant platform for filmmakers the world over to showcase their work relating to the LGBT community. It’s also an opportunity for society to understand and gain an insight into the LGBT community. The cultural and cinematic diversity of the selected films is amazing.
It’s wonderful to be here at the festival in Mumbai.
Why should you ask for equal rights - demand it, grab it. In a world full of lies, the most revolutionary act is to tell the truth. Every gay man and woman must come out of the closet and claim their rightful life. Let us have more forums like KASHISH to come out and speak out.
The festival and I are similar in the fact that we may be on the margins. But this allows us to be creative and to be more free.
I am really proud that Mumbai is hosting an international queer film festival of this stature.
It is lovely to be here. I wish KASHISH goes from strength to strength and scale to scale.
When I was asked to watch so many movies of the same genre as a jury member I had feared monotony, boredom and predictability to set in. To my surprise, I realized that the theme was irrelevant. Each film was different. They are movies with actual emotions, romance and an enticing storyline. If you replaced the two men with a man and a woman, you wouldn’t even know it’s a queer film.
Each one of us is a minority as an individual. KASHISH is a buland awaz (strong voice) which dares to ask questions.
I have known a lot of people who hold innumerable fears, suspicions and questions about sexual minorities. All these become the roots of aggression. Art can be used as the means to address the root of this problem. KASHISH is one of the best organized festivals and can compare to the best in India or around the world. The love and passion with which the festival is organized is laudable.
As an artist, I am here to extend my encouragement and love. At first people were scared even to address members of the LGBT community but now at least they have a name, `Gay’. There is immense lack of awareness and misconceptions in our society about LGBT persons and KASHISH is a great medium to address those
The passion and spark of independent cinema is outstanding and films at KASHISH exemplifies this spirit. I have worked on a few documentaries that dealt with LGBT topics and for me there is no difference in the way I deal with them. After all it too is a part of human experience.
KASHISH provides an insight into the lives of a marginalised community and offers a platform to bring them into the mainstream. KASHISH is an annual cultural event in Mumbai.
Kashish has become an important part of movement towards greater visibility of LGBT community.
At KASHISH I was so happy to see a large section of the mainstream merging with the LGBT community and eagerly awaiting to watch the films.
I was stuck by the sheer enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of Kashish team and I hope the festival grows and goes from strength to strength. Kashish is a wonderful platform to celebrate diversity and also to educate people about the issues faced by the LGBT community.
Cinema is an expression of the needs of society, its creative part of society. We must respect individuality of people. KASHISH is a very good initiative. There are a lot of people who would like to watch the films that touch on LGBT issues, there are many who see these films as part of their lives and are glad that people are taking note of the problems they face. I wish Kashish all success.
I am very happy to be associated with Kashish for the second year as its ambassador. Kashish is a great platform to uphold human rights and dignity for all, which is what i strongly believe in too. Kashish is a celebration of the equality of all human emotions irrespective of sex, creed, race and culture.
Cinema has no boundaries, cinema is meant to break barriers and KASHISH is a wonderful attempt to provide a mainstream platform for the LGBT community which is relegated to the margins. If films can be made on zero budget, like I have seen in KASHISH, then I would not be surprised if some more money could produce a blockbuster.
It is marvelous to see how KASHISH has grown over the last three years but more important is its mainstream acceptance. Today KASHISH has become an important event in the mainstream cultural space in Mumbai. LGBT persons are still looked on as different and in many societies as criminals. Movies are a great way of communication and breaking these stereotypes.
I am impressed with the strides that the festival has taken in the last three years. I am happy to be here and be a part of this exciting movement. It is completely mesmerizing. I wish KASHISH the best of everything and a lot of luck.