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. The festival also has an eminent Advisory Board.
A critically acclaimed award-winning filmmaker, Arunaraje passed out of the Film Institute of India with a gold medal in 1969 and was the first trained girl technician to join the industry. Some of her features are Shaque, Gehrayee, Situm, Rihaee, Bhairavi, Keh Do Naand Tum.
Apart from teaching she has been part of decision-making bodies in many film schools. She has served on many juries including National Film Awards and has been a strong voice for documentaries. She has won 5 National awards for her documentaries, ‘Mallika Sarabhai’, ‘A New Paradigm’ and ‘Behind the Glass Wall’ She has been a Landmark Forum Leader and has led transformational programs as a Life Coach.
Dolly Thakore has worn many hats –starting her career on Radio, she became known as a News Reader on Bombay Doordarshan! And simultaneously, a writer of many personal columns, and reviewer of English and Hindi Films and Theatre – in almost every English daily and periodical of that time. She has been a Communications Consultant for numerous Corporate Houses. Her two passions have remained the stage and social Work. She has been part of the ensemble of actors of the hugely successful Vagina Monologues, which has been running for ten years. And between all this, she juggles her time with NGOS. Among others, currently she is the national co ordinator for Laadli Girl Child Campaign media award.
A queer media historian, activist, author, festival programmer and online pioneer Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT film history. Most notably, she served as consulting producer on the Sundance and SXSW hit, By Hook or By Crook as well as co-producing Guinevere Turner’s most recent short drama, Late. Her associate producer credits include the 1996 British Channel 4 documentary, Jodie: An Icon (an exploration of Jodie Foster as an icon for lesbians) and the IFC documentary, Fabulous! The Story of Queer
Cinema. She is currently VP of e-commerce and marketing at Wolfe Video and sits on the advisory boards of Outfest’s Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, and Canyon Cinema.
Meghna Gha iPuri is the President of Whistling Woods International. Promoted by filmmaker Subhash Ghai, Mukta Arts Limited & Filmcity Mumbai, Whistling Woods International is Asia’s largest Film, Television, Animation and Media Arts institute. She holds an advanced diploma in Communications, Advertising and Marketing and a BSc Honours degree in Business Management from Kings College, London. Earlier in her career she managed marketing and Business Development for Mukta Arts Ltd and was associated with films like Pardes, Taal, and Yaadein.
She has been associated with key businesses in the Indian entertainment industry through prominent projects including the ambitious stage celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema – Cinema 100.
Nandini Sardesai, former head of the sociology department at St Xavier’s college, Mumbai, has been involved in social causes. In 2003, she led a successful campaign for gender equality at the Bombay Gymkhana, which led to women receiving the right to vote and electoral representation in the hitherto exclusive male committees. She has a doctorate in research with focus on Sociology of Sports.
She is a part of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission and is a member of the Censor Board of Film Certification. She is also a member of the review committee for film selection, for IFFI, Goa and was a resource person as a social scientist for research done by the French company Added Value for the new Mumbai Airport.
Roy Wadia hails from the Wadia Movietone family. His brother was the late filmmaker and gay activist Riyad Wadia, Roy worked at CNN for 12 years, helping launch and produce much of the global broadcaster’s Asia-Pacific news programming. In 2003, Roy switched careers by joining the World Health Organisation’s China office as its communications and advocacy officer, working on campaigns ranging from HIV to environmental health. He was Executive Director of Heroes Project, the HIV communications and advocacy NGO that was part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan programme. Roy shuttles between Bombay and Vancouver, Canada, where he has a home with his husband Alan.
Shernaz Patel has been a part of the English theatre in India for the past 25 years. Starting with The Diary Of Anne Frank in 1984, she went on to play leading roles in such milestone plays as Letters to My Daughter, Antigone, Nuts, Six Degrees Of Separation and Love Letters. Her recent theatre work includes One On One, Blackbird (META Award for Best Actress, 2010) Molly Sweeney, Breathe In Breathe Out and Class of ‘84. She is also a partner is one of India’s leading theatre company’s Rage and has been instrumental in running their successful new play writing programme, Writers’ Bloc. Aside from theatre she has also been successfully acting in Indian cinema ever since she worked in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black in 2004 for which she was nominated for numerous awards. Her most recent films include Talaash, Guzaarish (Screen Award winner for Best Supporting Actress 2011 and numerous nominations), I Am, Lamha, Rockstar, Love Wrinkle Free and Little Zizou. She holds a Masters degree in Acting from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She is also a television actress and an established voiceover with over 1000 commercials and corporate films to her credit.
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.
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.
It is lovely to be here. I wish KASHISH goes from strength to strength and scale to scale.
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.
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.