National award winning actor Rajeshwari Sachdev, television actor Manav Gohil, director Parvathi Balagopalan, theatre director Kaizaad Kotwal and festival director Sridhar Rangayan on Wednesday announced the seventh edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2016. South Asia’s biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival will be held from May 25-29, 2016 in three venues at South Mumbai – the iconic art deco Liberty theatre, Alliance Francaise de Bombay and Max Mueller Bhavan. The festival will screen 182 films from 53 countries, including 27 films from India.
The international jury will comprise Rajeshwari Sachdev, Manav Gohil, Parvathi Balagopalan, Kaizaad Kotwal and Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival, Festival Director Andrea Kuhn.
“I enjoy movies, I love watching them back to back and I love to soak in them. and then there are days when you get to do this day in and day out and they are rightfully called festivals. I am honoured to be a part of the jury of KASHISH film festival and I look forward to their stories, their perspectives, performances and definitely good cinema,” said Rajeshwari Sachdev, who had won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress Award for Sardari Begum and won acclaim for her turn as the titular character in the play Gauhar.
Television star Manav Gohil, remembered for his role in the serial Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, said that he saw KASHISH “as more than just a film festival. It a contribution to an ongoing movement for freedom and equality. I feel satisfied for being able to slip in my vote, for the movement, in the capacity of a Jury member.”
Filmmaker Parvathi Balagopalan, who is well known for her films Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula and Straight- Ek Tedimedi Love Story, said that it was important to create spaces that promoted good cinema. “KASHISH has become an important platform to celebrate sexual diversity and provoke the status quo through film. I am privileged to be a part of the jury this year and going by the films that we have already watched – it’s going to be a great festival,” said Parvathi Balagopalan.
“I am thrilled to be in the great company of the other esteemed jury members and am looking forward to some great cinema which gives voice to the voiceless and celebrates the beauty of our mind-boggling diversity,” said Emmy Award winning art director and theatre director Kaizaad Kotwal.
Andrea Kuhn, echoed the sentiments. “I am thrilled to be part of the jury of this wonderful and important festival. I had the pleasure to follow it from the very beginning from afar and now I am finally experiencing it first-hand. I am excited to see in particular the latest Indian LGBT productions and to meet film makers from the region”
”This year’s jury panel brings in an informed sensitive insight to the jurying process with a global outlook that will enhance the competitive edge. The quality of Films in competition this year is very high and it would be interesting to see who takes home the award,” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director. Rangayan also announced the launching of QDrishti Film Grant, sponsored by Lotus Visual, which offers a Rs 1 lakh grant to a filmmaker to make his or her next film. “This is a huge step forward for KASHISH in nurturing Indian LGBT cinema.”
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 presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation. It is organised by Solaris Pictures and co-organised by the Humsafar Trust. “Kashish opens the doors for the LGBT communities in India to our planetary presence with its joys, sorrows and many a time despair too. It is a celebration of our very existence in the social landscape of humankind. It’s also a big window to other LGBT cultures of what is happening in India displayed in a mainstream process of openness and with sheer pride in who we are and wish to be,” said Ashok Row Kavi, founder chairperson of The Humsafar Trust.
Wishberry.in, India’s leading crowd funding platform, is the ‘Title Partner’ for KASHISH. “We are continuing with our association with KASHISH, now in its 4th year. We love the concept of KASHISH and we’re proud to come on board this year as sponsors as well. It is a much needed platform to give voice to the LGBT issues, which people are generally ignorant about. We hope that KASHISH reaches out beyond its community and becomes an inclusive platform for everyone to learn about alternate sexuality. And Wishberry will always support this mission,” said Anshulika Dubey, C-Founder & COO, Wishberry. So far, over 250 projects have raised over Rs. 7 crores using Wishberry!
The festival theme is ‘7 Shades of Love’. Love in all its forms has been celebrated as the highest form of human emotions since the beginning of civilization – romantic love or Eros, friendship or the love between friends, the love between a parent and a child, the first stirrings of love between young lovers to the enduring love of committed partners, the love for humanity and the love and acceptance of one’s true self. The festival theme for 2016, ‘7 Shades of Love’ embodies this spirit. It underlines that at the core of human relationships is the capacity to love each other and offer respect so that each person can live with equality and dignity.
KASHISH 2016 will be held from May 25-29, 2016 at Liberty Cinema, Alliance Française de Bombay and Max Mueller Bhavan. Online Delegate registrations have opened on the festival website www.mumbaiqueerfest.com
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. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. KASHISH 2016 is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation and powered by Wishberry. Organizer is Solaris Pictures and co-organizer is The Humsafar Trust.