Indian Panorama at KASHISH

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Twenty One Indian films will be screened at the sixth edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream LGBT film festival. The Indian Panorama films like the country – offers a slice of LGBTQ lives in many languages, cultures and regions. The language of the films range from English and Hindi to Marathi, Bengali and Tamil.

A look at some of the films:

Narrative Features:

irffankhanQISSA: THE TALE OF A LONELY GHOST
Centerpiece Narrative Feature
Director: Anup Singh
2013 | 109 min | English | India| Narrative Feature

During the 1947 partition of India, Umber Singh, a Sikh, escapes from Pakistan with his family and settles on the other side of the border. He has three daughters, which he thinks of as a curse. So when his fourth daughter is born, he decides to raise her as a boy. The child, Kanwar Singh, is always unsure of her gender because she feels different from other boys. Things take a dark turn when Kanwar is married off to Neeli and they both discover the truth.
Screening on May 29, 8.30 PM, Liberty Cinema


JayjaykarJAYJAYKAR
(Triumph of Life)  
Director: Shantanu Ganesh Rode
2013 | 124 min | Marathi with EST | India | Narrative Feature

Hijras in India live a difficult life. To make both ends meet, they have to beg. They never get an opportunity to work, or any respect in society. Retired Major Akhand, an old man meets a gang of Hijras in a funny situation and realizes that they have the potential to do something if they get an opportunity. He decides to give them a chance and motivates them to win their self respect. Jayjaykar is a heart-warming film about the journey, fight and victory of human life.
Screening on May 28, 6.20 PM, Liberty Cinema

 


Documentary Features:
 

KnownStrangersKNOWN STRANGERS (Chena Kintu Ajana)
Director: Dipankar Dutta
2014 | 70 min | Bengali with EST | India | Documentary Feature

Chena Kintu Ajana documents the stories of 15 female impersonators who once graced Jatra stage – the popular folk theatre form of Bengal. It focuses on the last generation of female impersonators in jatra and also outlines the history of female impersonation through Mahaprabhu Chaitanya (15th century) and Gopal Ure (19th century). It attempts to showcase the lives and times of the Ranis, understand the different styles of performance, explore their after-stage life, and also debate their gender identity in terms of whether they could be called Ardhanarishwaras.
Screening on May 28, 10.45 AM, Liberty Cinema

 

Breaking FreeBREAKING FREE
Director: Sridhar Rangayan
2015 | 82 min | English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada with EST | India | Documentary Feature
World Premiere

Crisscrossing across India, featuring in-depth interviews with advocates, activists and candid testimonies of gay and transgender persons, the film traces the history of challenge to the colonial anti-sodomy law. Shot over seven years, from 2007 to 2014, this gritty indie documentary lays bare the Indian LGBT landscape from an insider’s perspective. What starts off as a personal journey to unearth victimization of LGBT persons, spirals out to be a journey of an emerging community that is rising out of the shadows.
Screening on May 29, 6.20 PM, Liberty Cinema

 

NO EASY WALK TO FREEDOM                        Centerpiece Documentary Feature         
Director Nancy Nicol
2014 | 92 min | English, Hindi with EST | Canada, India | Documentary Feature
Indian Premiere

Filmed in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow and rural India, and told through the voices of lawyers, activists and community leaders, No Easy Walk to Freedom exposes human rights violations perpetrated under the law, and documents the growth of queer organizing in India in the context of this historic battle to overturn a colonial-era law. Today, this colonial legacy remains responsible for half of the laws that criminalize people on the grounds of sexual orientation, worldwide.
(Screening on May 30, 11.15 AM, Alliance Française de Bombay)

Documentary Shorts:

FORBIDDEN LOVE
Director:  Ashish Sawhny
2014 | 8 min | English, Hindi with EST | India | Documentary Short
World Premiere
In Competition         

A tender documentation of a love story set within the LGBT community. It was made as a response to the recently upheld Section 377 that brought dismay to a community that was hoping India would move with the times. Urmi is a well-known transgender activist and dancer who has captivated young Rohit’s heart. Their love story is real, unique and begets the question – does anyone have the right to dictate love?
Screening on May 28, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Breaking Barriers


IMAGE
(Chhabi)
Director: Aquila Khan, Tejasvi Momaya
2014 | 17.15 min | Marathi with EST | India | Documentary Short
World Premiere

Anil Hankare (47) chooses to dress up as a woman to perform Lavani in a group called Bin BaykanchaTamasha, which has male performers dressed as women. His unorthodox career choice means that he has to battle between his passion to dance as a woman and protect his teenage children who face ridicule from their friends.
Screening on May 28, 10.45 AM, Liberty Cinema before KNOWN STRANGERS

 


HOW MANY KINDS OF SEXUAL!HOW MANY KINDS OF SEXUAL!
(Kaaye Kaaye Sexual!)
Directors: Gitanjali S, Mukta Patil, Rajashree Gandhi, Ridhima Sharma, Rohini Talewar
2013 | 29 min | Hindi, Marathi with EST | India | Documentary Short

Made by the media students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the film brings forth the voices of Meet, Shruti and Rodya who identify themselves as bisexual, queer and asexual respectively. As the three protagonists share with us a slice of their lives, they raise some complex questions about the meaning of their sexual identities, their relationship with the LGBTQI movement in the city of Mumbai, the role that the city has played in their ‘sexual awakening’, the politics of sexuality and more.
Screening on May 28, 3.15PM, Alliance Française de Bombay

 

MR GAY INDIA
Director:  Ashish Sawhny
2014 | 8 min | English with EST | India | Documentary Short
World Premiere

A video profile featuring Sushant Divgikar, Mr Gay India 2014 as he prepares to leave for the Mr Gay World contest in Rome.
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -I

 


NaleenaNALEENA
Director: Luigi Storto
2014 | 15 min | Tamil with EST | India, Italy | Documentary Short
Asian Premiere
In Competition

Naleena is an Indian Hijra living in Chennai. Traditionally considered sacred beings because they are daughters and priestesses of Kali, nowadays the Hijras live like outcasts, even at a level lower than the caste of Pariah; and to survive, a majority of them are forced into begging and prostitution.
Screening on May 30, 2.00 PM, Max Mueller Bhavan in a Short Film Package, A World I Call Mine

 


TELL ME A STORY

Directors:  Avani Batra, Sunetro Lahiri, Rucha Pathak, Ashish Sawhny
2014 | 23 min | English with EST | India | Documentary Short
World Premiere

A compilation of four stories on Mumbai LGT persons under Tell Me A Story – a video project that creates a space for the queer community to share their stories. The aim is to populate our environment with experiences from marginalised communities who have made choices different from the norm.
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -I


Narrative Shorts:

A LOVE SUCH AS THIS (Ek Maaya Ashi hi)
Director:  Vaibhav Hatkar
2014 | 27 min | Marathi with EST | India | Narrative Short
In Competition

A story about a mother’s struggle and dilemma to accept her son as he is! An illiterate poor widow accidently finds out that her son is gay. Shattered and furious, she beats her son, abuses him and tries to convince him that whatever he is doing is wrong; until she meets another mother who brings in a different perspective.
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix –I

 


Once AgainONCE AGAIN….
(Phir Se….)
Director:  Suresh Shelar
2015 | 16 min | Hindi with EST | India | Narrative Short
World Premiere

After the sudden demise of his partner, Pratik’s world has come to a standstill. Feeling depressed he has become a recluse. On a friend’s request he is compelled to allow Kabir, who has come to Mumbai on an office project to stay at his place. When extrovert Kabir walks in, Pratik foresees an inevitable clash.
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -I

 

SHOT1SHOT
Director:  Ganesh Matkari
2014 | 8 min | Marathi with EST | India | Narrative Short

During a shoot, two actresses are getting ready and discuss the scene at hand. As the film progresses, it is revealed that it’s a kissing scene involving both the actresses.
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -I

 

Us & ThemUS & THEM
Director:  Piyush Srivastav
2014 | 17 min | English, Hindi with EST | India | Narrative Short

Lavika differed from the rest. Her unconditional love and her desire for a future with her uttermost priority, brings her into a Do-or-Die situation. A little weak at heart, she finds the simplest way out!
Screening on May 30, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -I

 

DELUSION (Bhram)
Director:  Manoj S.Thorat
2015 | 15 min | Marathi with EST | India | Narrative Short  
World Premiere
In Competition

In a Marathi Brahmin household, Sushama has gracefully accepted her son Sagar’s sexuality. However, because of a particular incident, Sagar has to crosscheck if his mother has really accepted him, or it is just a delusion.
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II

 

A FULL STOP THAT SEARCHES FOR ITS END (Mudivai Thaedum Muttripulli)
Director: Vivek Vishwanathan
2014 | 10 min | Tamil with EST | India | Narrative Short 
World Premiere
In Competition

This short film deals with the fine line between friendship, love and companionship. Seshadri searches for answers to why his best friend Krishnan had left unannounced 15 years ago. In this search, he reminisces of the memories spent with Krishnan.
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II


GUY NEXT DOOR
Director: Pradipta Ray
2015| 9 min | English, Hindi with EST | India | Narrative Short
World Premiere
In Competition

On a lazy Sunday evening, Aditya is reading a book when he gets a chat message from an ID called “guy next door”. Things go beyond imagination when ‘guy next door’ actually lands up at his door.
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II

 

JHEEL
Directors:  Shubra Dixit, Smita Vanniyar, Prateek Shekhar, Anurup Khillare
2014 | 5 min | Hindi with EST | India | Musical Short
World Premiere
In Competition

Drawn from one’s everyday apprehensions and experiences in the city, this student production inspires one to break free, to dream big and to demand equality. A musical film made by the media students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II

 

THE LOVER (Doyita)
Director:  Arpan Roychowdhury
2014 | 20 min | Bengali with EST | India | Narrative Short
World Premiere
In Competition

Rohit and Ronnie are happily in a relationship but the fact that it doesn’t have a social identity bothers Rohit. Each time he asks to get married, Ronnie gives some excuse or the other. One day an unexpected visit by an unknown lady shatters his world.
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II

 

SUNDAR
Director: Rohan Kanawade
2015 | 27 min | Marathi, Hindi with EST | India | Narrative Short
World Premiere
In Competition         

On the last day of Navaratri, Jayu sits in the house listening to the sounds that makes him restless each moment. With each beat of the dandiya music playing in distance, Jayu’s urge to dress-up and play dandiya is rising to the peak but he stifles it. His heart sinks as he sees girls dolled up for the night. Everyone is heading to the ground to play dandiya. Jayu too longs to go, but he’s not allowed!
Screening on May 31, 12.30 PM, Liberty Cinema in a Short Film Package, Indian Masala Mix -II

 

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