About Us

Our history

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

Founded in 2010, and held every year for the past seven years, KASHISH attracts close to 8500 footfalls every year over its 5 days festival at two venues. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India.

The festival has also attracted topline Bollywood celebrities, filmmakers, critics and academicians from India as well as many international guests from across the world. It was voted as one of the ‘Top 5 coolest LGBT film festivals in the world’ by an audience poll conducted by MovieMaker magazine, USA. It receives more than 100 press features every year from Indian press as well as international press, including New York Times.

KASHISH believes that films and art are a powerful medium to bring about social change and the festival uses the reach and spread that KASHISH has already established, as one of Mumbai’s important film festival, to rally public opinion towards equality and dignity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons. KASHISH uses local, national and international platforms to advocate and sensitize the larger public about LGBT issues.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation, and organized by Solaris Pictures.

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Our vision

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is an attempt to encourage greater visibility of Indian and International queer cinema among both queer and mainstream audiences as a means to foster better understanding of queer thoughts, desires and expressions.

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KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation, and organized by Solaris Pictures


KASHISH Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit public trust that aims to arrange and organize programs in the field of arts, culture, literature, theatre and films. It aims to create awareness and work for the Social, Cultural, Educational awakening of citizens of India who are marginalized on the basis of their gender identity, HIV status, transgenders and other sexual minorities.

Every year KASHISH Arts Foundation presents its flagship event KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. It also organizes KASHISH Forward, a traveling campus LGBTQ film festival. The trust facilitates KASHISH Global, programming of Indian LGBTQ films at festivals worldwide, and Best of KASHISH, screening at various organizations and pride events across India.

Solaris Pictures

Solaris Pictures is an Indian media house that believes in ‘Advotainment’ – advocacy with entertainment. As a film production company it has consistently been making films on issues such as LGBT rights; films that engage the audience and initiate dialogues on issues dealing with health and sexuality, human rights, and the LGBT community.

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Sridhar Rangayan

Festival Director

Sridhar Rangayan is a filmmaker, writer and activist. He has consistently strived to give a voice to LGBT issues in India through his films, writings and public speaking for over two decades.

Saagar Gupta
Director of Programming

Saagar Gupta is a freelance media professional and a reputed writer and poet. Being in the TV & Film industry for more than a decade he has worked with some of the best production houses and almost every General Entertainment Channels.

Shibu Thomas
Director of Communications

Shibu Thomas is a media professional. For over a decade he has been working as journalist with leading newspapers in India.

Pearl Daruwalla
Director of Operations

Pearl Daruwalla is an energetic individual who is passionate about riding, music and all things events. An alumni of National Institute of Event Management (NIEM), Pearl has worked on national and international events like Sula Festival, Nariyal Paani, and KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival; handling the end-to-end production.

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KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is honoured and privileged to have an eminent Advisory Board.

Arunaraje Patil

Dolly Thakore

Jenni Olson

Meghna Ghai Puri

Nandini Sardesai

Roy Wadia

Shernaz Patel

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KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is honoured and privileged to have the renowned filmmaker and eminent advocate of good cinema Mr.Shyam Benegal as our Festival Patron. Former Miss India and actor Celina Jaitly is our Festival Ambassador

Festival Patron – Shyam Benegal

Festival Ambassador – Celina Jaitly

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Our Achievements

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.