Executive Leadership

The team behind KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

KASHISH Executive Leadership L-R Saagar Gupta, Pearl Daruwalla, Sridhar Rangayan, Shibu Thomas, Pallav Patankar

KASHISH Executive Leadership (L-R) Saagar Gupta, Pearl Daruwalla, Sridhar Rangayan, Shibu Thomas and Pallav Patankar.

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, Purple Skies, Breaking Free and Evening Shadows 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, Radha Ki Betiyaan etc he has also penned the Hindi, Urdu dialogues for Kalpana Lajmi’s critically acclaimed film, Darmiyaan and more recently for the feature film Evening Shadows. He has penned the lyrics for films 68 Pages and Evening Shadows, and is the co-producer for The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally and Evening Shadows. He has also worked with the Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) and was actively involved as Junior Festival Manager for their prestigious 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 the 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 a 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 nine years.

Pallav Patankar
Director of Marketing

Pallav is currently the Director Partnerships of Avegen India Pvt. Ltd. Avegen focuses on technology innovations in the healthcare space. Previously, he was the Executive Board Member of The Humsafar Trust and the Director-Programs. He has served as a board member of APCOM (Asia Pacific Coalition of Male Sexual Health) and is currently the Director Marketing of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. He holds a Masters Degree in Biotechnology from one of India’s Premier Schools and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business from S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. In his corporate stint, he has served as a country head in francophone Africa in Cote D’Ivoire and Central Africa Region. He is a co-author to a book entitled “A People Stronger: The Collectivization of MSM and Transgender Groups in India” and a co-author to A World Bank Study called “Charting a Programmatic Roadmap for Sexual Minority Groups in India”. He also spearheads an initiative called Queer & Political that discusses the queer identity as a political identity. He is a Fellow of the Famous V Class of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Pearl Daruwalla
Director of Operations

Pearl Daruwalla is an out and proud gender non confirming lesbian. She has a background in event management and has worked with various event companies for 9 years. Currently working at Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. as Diversity & Inclusion Manager. She worked at The Humsafar Trust as an advocacy officer and with different stakeholders such as corporates, educational institutes, medical professionals, lawyers and government officials in order to sensitize society to LGBTQ issues. She is also the Director of Operations at KASHISH International Queer Film Festival, which is South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival. Her main aim is to show the community in it’s true light and to work towards eradicating the discrimination it faces on the basis of gender and sexuality.