Vision

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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.

Festival Background

The Indian queer landscape is undergoing historic changes.

After the landmark 2009 judgement on Sec 377 by Delhi High Court, effectively decriminalizing homosexuality, there was an environment of more openness to have discussions around LGBT issues. On December 11, 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Delhi High Court verdict, thereby re-criminalizing homosexuality. This decision of the Indian Supreme Court is indeed a big setback to the nascent queer rights movement in the country. The verdict makes lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender persons vulnerable to not just penal action of imprisonment but also extortion, blackmail and social stigma.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival stands firmly with the global outrage against section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and will work with queer and civil rights organizations to ensure that the law is repealed. KASHISH also believes that films and art are a powerful medium to bring about social change.

Since its debut in 2010, KASHISH has emerged as South Asia’s and India’s biggest LGBT film festival. We are committed to bring the best of international and Indian queer cinema to Mumbai and continue mainstreaming of queer issues and their lives.

Festival Name

KASHISH which means ‘attraction or allurement’ in Urdu does not have a gender or sexuality construct and is used to denote a deep attraction for anything – be it a person, an object or an idea.

Mumbai is the cinema capital of India as well as the city with the most vibrant & visible queer community.

International, because the festival not only represents films from all over the world, but also films that mirror global concerns and expressions.

Queer is an umbrella term that includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people.

Film Festival, that’s what KASHISH MIQFF is all about – films that explore the diverse realities, complexities, joys and sorrows that make up the global queer experience as well as celebrate queer identities in an entertaining manner.

Festival Logo

The butterflies in rainbow colours symbolize the spirit of queer persons breaking out of the cocoon of social mores and flying free.

KASHISH-logo-Black

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)
    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 PINTO
    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 CHAWLA
    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 THAKORE
    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 BASHIR
    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 JAITLEY
    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 KHER
    ANUPAM KHERActor & Chief Guest at KASHISH 2012 Closing Night
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