KASHISH 2019 unveils Taiwan collaboration at LGBTQ film festival

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Screening of Taiwanese films Taiwan! Let’s Get Married! and Gentlemen Spa, talk by Taiwanese guest Jay Lin and tie-up with Taiwanese distribution company

Days after Taiwan legalised same-sex unions, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival has unveiled its Taiwan focussed programs at the 10th edition of the festival this year. South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival celebrates this landmark victory in LGBTQ rights movement by flagging off a partnership with a clutch of Taiwan focused activities – screening of two short films, talk by festival guest Jay Lin, founder of Taiwan-based film distribution company Gol Studios and announcement of distribution tie-up with GagaOOLala which is Asia’s first LGBT-focused OTT media platform.

“This is all sheer serendipity. We initiated this partnership with Taiwan and KASHISH months ago and this judgement takes it to another level of celebration,” said festival director Sridhar Rangayan. “Taiwan is definitely leading by example in the Asian sub-continent and surely India is right behind it. After the reading down of Section 377, marriage rights are the next thing on the cards for us and we will learn from the experiences of Taiwanese LGBTQ movement. We are fortunate to have Jay Lin with us at KASHISH, who has been both a leading gay activist and pioneering producer and distributor. We are thrilled by the decision and association,” added Rangayan.

Jay Lin is the Founder of Portico Media, the company behind GagaTai, LalaTai, HahaTai, and GagaOOlala, Asia’s first and the world’s largest LGBT online movie platform. He is also the Co-Founder of the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival (TIQFF), and father of a couple of 2 year old twins.

“India is changing rapidly. What seemed impossible one year ago is now a reality, thanks to events like this film festival and the people behind it. For almost a decade KASHISH has brought the best local and international LGBT films to the cinemas of Mumbai building up an amazing community. Through this partnership, GagaOOLala wants to bring these diverse stories to the rest of India and Asia to places where queer film festivals are still unthinkable” said Jay Lin.

Jay Lin’s Gol Studio is sponsoring the Best International Short Film Award at KASHISH with a cash award of Rs.25,000 and an offer of distribution for the winner on their OTT platform GagaOOLala. They are also co-sponsoring the panel discussion ‘Outreach and Distribution of LGBTQ Content’ at the festival.

“It is an honor to support this award. Short films are the perfect vehicle for young and experienced filmmakers to showcase their talent and find their voice. We want to help queer Indian directors find their audience, and with this partnership their films will be now on GagaOOLala, available to be streamed in more than 20 countries around Asia”, said Jay Lin.

Taiwan! Let’s Get Married! and Gentlemen Spa are two Taiwanese films that will be screened at the festival this year. Taiwan! Let’s Get Married! is a short documentary about Taiwan’s quest to become Asia’s first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Gentleman Spa is a heartwarming story about a chubby gay man working as a janitor at a gay spa who dreams of a romantic relationship with the attractive customers.

On his previous visit to India, Jay Lin participated as a speaker at the panel discussion ‘Parenting and Acceptance’ at the KASHISH Chalchitra Utsav, the day-long regional language LGBTQ film festival organized by KASHISH during Mumbai Pride Month.

KASHISH 2019 will take place from June 12th to 16th at two of Mumbai’s iconic theaters Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro INOX. Around 160 films from 42 countries, inclusing 31 films from India will be screened at the festival.

Register for KASHISH 2019 at: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/kashish-2019-over-the-rainbow/ET00101778

KASHISH is presently raising funds through crowdfunding on Wishberry to organise the festival.

KASHISH 2019 is crowdfunding on: https://www.wishberry.in/campaign/kashish-2019-over-the-rainbow
KASHISH 2019 Theme

KASHISH 2019 festival theme ‘Over The Rainbow’ not only commemorates the reading down of Sec 377 and decriminalization of same-sex relationships in India, but also defines the challenges in store for the LGBTQ community’s journey towards empowerment and social acceptance. Bringing together films from all over the world as well as panel discussions and performances, the festival will showcase the shared struggles and victories, and offer a window to existing and future possibilities. Let’s together journey over the rainbow to discover the land of equality & dignity.

About 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 theatre. 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 Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation and organized by Solaris Pictures. Besides the annual film festival its other initiatives are KASHISH Forward – India’s first travelling campus LGBTQ film festival, KASHISH Global – that facilitates screening of Indian LGBTQ films across the world, Best of KASHISH film screenings and KASHISH Chalchitra Utsav – a festival of LGBTQ films in regional languages.

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