Executive Leadership

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The team behind KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival


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. His award-winning films The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally, 68 Pages and Project Bolo present hard-hitting social issues with humour & warmth. He is the Founding Trustee of The Humsafar Trust and served on its board for 19 years. He is also the Festival Director of FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival founded in 2010 as well as the Founder Festival Director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.


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. Having written for several popular Hindi TV series like Rishtey, Gubbare, Left Right Left, Jassi Jaise Koi Nahi and Radha Ki Betiyaan etc he has also penned the Hindi, Urdu dialogues for Kalpana Lajmi’s critically acclaimed film, Darmiyaan and more recently for Aa Muskuraa, an advocacy film for National AIDS Control Organization. He has penned the lyrics for film, 68 Pages and Sahaay Helpline and is the co-producer for The Pink Mirror and Yours Emotionally. He has also worked with the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) and was actively involved as Junior Festival Manager for their prestigious the Golden Elephant International Children’s Film Festival. Since the beginning of KASHISH MIQFF in 2010 he has been the curator and programmer for the festival. When free he loves to experiment in kitchen or research about Hindi Cinema’s by-gone era.


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. From the heat and dust of political campaigns to terror trials, a `Save Eye’ campaign in Thailand to the Inaugural F1 Grand Prix in Shanghai, he has written on local and national issues, Bollywood and travel. His focus in recent years has been on legal issues, especially when it intersects with his areas of interest – development, environment and human rights. He has been the driver for all the publicity and media outreach for KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival over the past four years.


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.
Besides being a co-owner of D:fine Events – a Mumbai based event management company, Pearl is an artist management consultant and has worked with music venues like Blue FROG as well as artist management companies since many years.

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Some Words of Appreciation

  • I had a great time at KASHISH, it opened a window for me to see the diversity of India, beyond anything I knew before. The festival was big, smart, fun and friendly. I got to know a lot of new friends, very inspired! It was also great to connect LGBT community between China and India. The conversation about family issue was very interesting.

    POPO FAN (China)
    POPO FAN (China)Filmmaker, Activist & KASHISH 2013 International Guest
  • It's been a great experience attending KASHISH Mumbai Queer Film Festival. It's such an exciting festival with dedicated audience. The volunteers are full of energy, motivated, working hard and always there to help with a sincere smile. The festival is also a reliable platform for Indian queer films and has a big potential to be on of the important film festivals in Asia.

    JOHN BADALU (Indonesia)
    JOHN BADALU (Indonesia)Producer, Curator & KASHISH 2011 Jury member
  • 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.

    BERWYN ROWLANDS (UK)Producer, Festival Director - Iris Prize & KASHISH 2013 Jury member
  • 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.

    JERRY PINTOAuthor, Critic & KASHISH 2013 Jury member
  • It is lovely to be here. I wish KASHISH goes from strength to strength and scale to scale.

    JUHI CHAWLAActor & Chief Guest at KASHISH 2011 Closing Night
  • 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.

    DOLLY THAKORETheater personality, KASHISH 2010 Jury member & KASHISH Advisory Board member
  • 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.

    AAMIR BASHIRActor, filmmaker & guest at KASHISH 2013 Opening Night
  • 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.

    CELINA JAITLEYActor, Model & KASHISH Festival Ambassador
  • 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.

    ANUPAM KHERActor & Chief Guest at KASHISH 2012 Closing Night
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