Liberty Cinema

May 24

8.30pm

SIGNATURE MOVE (Narrative Feature – Opening Night)

Director: Jennifer Reeder
82 min / USA / English / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Signature Move is the story of Zaynab, an American Muslim lesbian (Fawzia Mirza), who hides two things from her homebound, conservative mother Parveen (Shabana Azmi): her budding relationship with a Mexican-American woman Alma (Sari Sanchez) and her growing fascination with wrestling! While Parveen, recently widowed, tries to escape her loneliness watching TV soap operas and trying to find the best man to get her daughter married off, Zaynab is searching for her identity in life, love and wrestling.
Starring: Shabana Azmi and Fawzia Mirza

May 25

9.30am

DIVERSE, ONE (Short Films Package – 47min)

From trials and tribulations to prejudices and pride the LGBTQ community has seen and survived through it all. They have come a long way and proudly so. Nine short films take us on a global journey of such experiences reinforcing that we are Diverse, we are One!


10.45am

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION I (Short Films Package – 98min)

Seven films about diverse bonding two people form between them that could be elevating, questioning, intense and even lethal at times.


12.30pm

HOME (Short film)

Dir: More Raca
24 min / 2016 / Kosovo / Albanian / Narrative Short / Asian Premiere

Hava works as a chef in a fast food restaurant. After their parents demise Hava’s brothers decide to divide their paternal property. According to traditional customs, the right to inheritance belongs to male descendants only whereas Hava has no right to inherit. Hava must be married and live in her husband’s house.

Followed by

APRICOT GROVES (Feature Film in competition)

Dir: Pouria Heidary Oureh
80 min / 2016 / Armenia / Armenian / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Aram, an Iranian Armenian trans-man living in the US since childhood returns to Armenia to meet his girlfriend’s conservative family. Over the course of the day-long journey, Aram’s brother helps him prepare for the meeting, while also coming to terms with Aram’s transition. For Aram, a series of cultural, religious, and national differences unfold as he tries to reconnect with a culture that may not be accepting of who you have become.


2.30pm

QUEERING INDIA I (Short Films Package – 95min)

A collection of five short documentaries about young members of the Indian queer community who are unflinchingly vocal and open about their choices and thinking out-of-the-box to mark their existence in a society and system which is yet to accept and understand them.
– G.H.A.R., BEYOND BLACK & WHITE, ESCAPING AGRA, TOLD UNTOLD, COMING OUT- INDIA STORIES


4.30pm

PANEL DISCUSSION: PREJUDICE & PRIDE

A transgender mom bringing up her adopted daughter, two lesbian partners getting ready for a visit by parents, a web series about a gay couple – over the past few years Corporate India has used the powerful medium of advertising and online platforms to kick-start discussions on LGBTQ lives and equal rights. These ad films and web series have deepened conversations on equal rights. Such portrayals have tried to move beyond the sensationalism often inherent in popular mainstream media and attempted to combat stereotypes and prejudice in society. Corporate India is taking the lead to promote diversity in society and at the work place, but is it enough to change societal attitudes to LGBTQ communities.


5.45pm

MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (Country Focus: UK)

Dir: Stephen Frears
97 min / 1985 / UK / English / Narrative Feature

Settled in London, striving for the riches promised by Thatcherism, Nasser and his immediate family live more than a comfortable lifestyle and he flaunts his riches whenever he can. While his brother Ali, once a famous journalist in his homeland now lives in a seedy flat with his son, Omar. To help his brother, Nasser gives Omar a job doing menial labor. But Omar, with bigger plans, talks Nasser into letting him manage Nasser’s run down laundrette. Omar seizes what he sees as an opportunity to make the laundrette a success, and employs an old friend, Johnny – who has been most recently running around with a gang of white punks – to help.
My Beautiful Laundrette was the first British film to openly depict a gay romance.


7.35pm

WHITE NIGHTS (Velutha Rathrikal) (Feature Film)

Director: Razi
130 min / 2015 / India / Malayalam / Narrative Feature

An independent cinematic adaptation of the eponymous novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Manu is an artist in search of a new sky, from his troubled past, in a forest settlement. He meets Chelly, a tribal girl from a nearby settlement who bears the brunt from her own share of life. She awaits the return of her beloved friend Jyothi. Despite their diverse upbringings, Manu and Chelly strike a serene and beautiful chord with each other. Their brief but intense bonding during the five nights develop into a seemingly inseparable one and Chelly realizes her growing dilemma. She wishes Jyothi were Manu or he was she. She painfully longs for Jyothi not to turn up.


10.00pm

GRINDER (Feature Film)

Dir: Brandon Ruckdashel
83 min / 2016 / USA / English / Narrative Feature / International Premiere

This modern gay film noir centres around Luke, an innocent and naïve teenager wanting to escape an abusive home in the suburbs while searching for his sexual identity. When he is unsuspectingly lured by a sexy agent on an online dating app into the meat grinder world of the NYC modelling scene, he quickly discovers that nothing is as it seems. Grinder reflects Brandon Ruckdashel’s personal experience as a young actor coming to New York.

May 26

9.30am

TRANS TALES (Short Films Package – 61min)

Eight short films about trans people in Asia, Europe and North America focusing on the moments of pain and pleasure in their day-to-day lives. Acceptance is often needed as much inside, as outside.


10.45am

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION 1 (Short Films Package – 79min)

Life is a journey worth every experience one meets along the way. Four documentary shorts from three continents portray such diverseexperiences of their subjects and even of a filmmaker.
The Best Documentary Short award, from this year also carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000 instituted by the K.F.Patil Charitable Trust, Mumbai.


12.30pm

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION 2 (Short Films Package – 105min)

Five soul-searching shorts probing for the inherent need for belongingness – whether it is about one’s society, country, family or the body one lives in.


2.30pm

GLORY AND GRACE (Feature Film in Competition)

Dir: Flávio Ramos Tambellini 97 min / 2016 / Brazil / Portuguese / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Graça is diagnosed with a brain aneurism that may rupture at any moment. Desperate about who will take care of her two children in the event of her death, she decides to go after her estranged brother, Luiz Carlos, whom she hasn’t seen in over 15 years due to a quarrel. When they meet, however, Luiz Carlos has become Gloria, a beautiful and successful transvestite, who now owns a restaurant and brags about being independent. At first, Gloria is unwilling to reconnect with her family; but as she becomes more guilt-stricken, she accepts Graça’s invitation to meet her kins and eventually realizes that maybe, to be complete, she needs to become a mother.


4.30pm

DIARY OF A CIGARETTE BUTT – POEMS BY ONIR : VIDEO POETRY SCREENING

Dir: Nikunj Rathod
12 min / 2017 / India

A short video poetry series based on poems written by Onir.
The seven poems refer to the seven wonders of the world, recollected over seven moments with the protagonists lover. The poems follow a progression from togetherness to parting.


5.45pm

TWO SOFT THINGS, TWO HARD THINGS (Centerpiece Documentary Feature)

Dir: Mark Kenneth Woods, Michael Yerxa
71 min / 2016 / Canada / English / Documentary Feature / Mumbai Premiere

As a small group in Nunavut, Canada prepare for a seminal LGBTQ Pride celebration in the Arctic, the film explores how colonization and religion have shamed and erased traditional Inuit beliefs about sexuality and family structure and how, 60 years later, a new generation of Inuit are actively ‘unshaming’ their past. This warm and thoughtful documentary looks at the challenges faced by LGBTQ Inuit and how a new generation is forging a more inclusive society. It also shows how the growing embrace of LGBTQ Inuit is helping the whole community on its journey to heal the past.


7.35pm

PHYSICALITY (Short Film)

Dir: V. Ramanathan
18 min / 2017 / India / Tamil / Narrative Short / World Premiere

Krithika and Shireen are friends who strive for societal recognition of their preferred and lived gender. Shireen drives a taxi to support herself and nurses a dream to be a popular theater actress while Krithika is focused in her ambition to become a police officer. Soon both of them realize that the society and people around them can’t think beyond the physicality of being a male and female.
Produced by KASHISH Arts Foundation under its QDrishti Film Grant sponsored by Lotus Visual

Followed by

CHRONICLES OF HARI (Centrepiece Narrative Feature)
Dir: Ananya Kasaravalli
105 min / 2016 / India / Kannada / Narrative Feature

Set in a coastal town of southern India Chronicles of Hari narrates the story of a Yakshagana artist Hari who has gained extreme popularity portraying female roles. The story of Hari’s life unfolds through different perspectives captured in three episodes across four audio-visual interviews conducted by filmmakers Sharmila and Sundar, primarily interested in investigating and documenting his whereabouts.


10.00pm

AWOL (Feature Film in Competition)

Dir: Deb Shoval
85 min / 2016 / USA / English / Narrative Feature / Indian Premiere

Joey is an aimless young woman searching for a direction in her small town of rural Pennsylvania. A visit to an Army recruiting office appears to provide her a path but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna, a rough and tumble housewife neglected by her long-haul trucker husband, that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipated. As Joey falls deeper in love, she begins to lose sight of what’s most important to her, while also becoming blind to the mistakes she is making.
AWOL is a beautiful romantic drama that is both tender and tough in equal measure.

May 27

9.30am

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION 3 (Short Films Package – 60min)

Featuring young protagonists, four short films about coming-of age and coming out.


10.45am

Play the Devil (Feature Film in Competition)

Dir: Maria Govan
89 min / 2016 / Trinidad & Tobago / English / Narrative Feature / Mumbai Premiere

Gregory, a gifted working-class teenager from Paramin, stars in a theater play that brings him to the attention of James, an affluent businessman. The two men strike an uncanny friendship as James takes Greg under his wing, pushing him to discover himself professionally, creatively, and intimately. Confused, Greg must at once deal with the return of his drug addicted father, and navigate through the early days of adulthood. As Carnival Monday approaches and the locals prepare for the annual male initiation parade, Greg must confront James – an act which will culminate in life changing events for him.


12.30pm

QUEERING INDIA 2 (Short Films Package – 99min)

A mix of six Indian short films about queer people from diverse age groups and the cocoon of conditioning they live in. Can that cocoon be ever broken? These films don’t offer any ‘ready to serve’ solutions but surely sets one on thinking.


2.30pm

STUDENTS SHORTS COMPETITION 2 (Short Films Package – 100min)

The second package of six student shorts contending for the newly instituted Best Student Short award. Diverse in their narrative and treatment, all these films have one undercurrent of yearning to be loved and accepted.


4.30pm

PARENTS’ SUPPORT GROUP PRESENTATION (Allied Event)

30min / English, Hindi

While a majority of the Indian LGBTQ community is still in the closet and struggling to come out, it is even more challenging for the parents of LGBTQ children to be out and accepting. Living within a society still steeped in patriarchal mores and religious underpinnings, families find it difficult to accept diverse gender identity and sexual orientation that is against the norm. Even if they accept their children, they find it difficult to come out openly in society and media to speak for the rights of their children.

However few brave mothers, fathers, aunts and gradmas in Mumbai have come out openly in support over the years. They have attended parents’ meets and acceptance meets organized by local LGBTQ support groups. But there was no formalized support group, apart from a loose network.
Recently Solaris Pictures organized a daylong workshop with 10 parents to focus on the challenges faced by them and formulate an organized support group that can help other parents.
At this KASHISH interactive event, Alpana Dange, facilitator of the workshop and parents share their experience of the consultation and speak about the roadmap ahead for the group.

FIRST LOOK LAUNCH – EVENING SHADOWS

30 min

The first look launch of Sridhar Rangayan’s upcoming feature film Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam) – a crowd-funded project that is supported not just financially but also by much love from the LGBT community, parents of lesbian & gay children, from friends and well-wishers from India and abroad. Produced under their banner of Solaris Pictures, the film is written by Sridhar and his partner Saagar Gupta.

Set in a small town in South India, Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam) is the story of a son coming out to his mother and how she grapples with this facet about her dear son, as she tries to veil it from her authoritarian husband, and the conservative society she lives in.

Shot in Mumbai & Mysore, the film’s camera and sound departments are proficiently helmed by Subhransu Das and Madhu Apsara respectively.

The film stars acclaimed actors Mona Ambegaonkar and Ananth Mahadevan and proudly launches two new male actors as its romantic lead. It also has renowned actors Yamini Singh, Veena Nair and Abhay Kulkarni as the supporting cast.


5.45pm

JONATHAN (Narrative Feature)

Dir: Piotr J. Lewandowski
99 min / 2016 / Germany / German / Narrative Feature / Indian Premiere

Jonathan’s responsibilities belie his age, for at 23, his days begin and end with caring for his ailing father, Burghardt, and running the family farm with his aunt, Martha. As time goes by and Burghardt’s condition deteriorates, Martha hires Anka, a nurse who helps take care of him, and with whom Jonathan falls in love. While their relationship flourishes, Burghardt’s emotional distance to his family reveals a devastating secret, one which will come to light with the arrival of Burghardt’s old friend Ron. Having learned the truth, can Jonathan forgive his father?


7.35pm

SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER (Narrative Feature)

Director: David Berry
109 min / 2016 / USA / English / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Based on the popular young novel, Something Like Summer is the story of Benjamin Bentley aka Ben, the only guy at his Texas high school with the courage to come out of the closet. Putting up with the bullies and his classmates’ whispered condemnations keeps him from pursuing his dream of being a singer. Ben spends his summer vacation stalking Tim, the handsome athlete who just moved to town. Something Like Summer follows the course of true love over the span of a dozen years, from awkward adolescence through challenging adulthood and heartbreaking tragedy, featuring seven original musical numbers and the artwork of a talented young artist.


10.00pm

TEENAGE KICKS (Narrative Feature)

Dir: Craig Boreham
99 min / 2016 / Australia / English / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Seventeen year old Miklós Varga’s plans to escape his migrant family and run away with his best friend Dan are crushed by the accidental death of his older brother Tomi. Only Mik knows the events that led to this tragedy, and he is suddenly forced to navigate his guilt and explosive sexuality to find the man he can become.

May 28

9.30am

LOL (Short Films Package – 58min)

Five funny, witty shorts from five different countries to start the day with laughter!


10.45am

BOYS SHORTS Short Films Package – 93min

A package of seven intense shorts exploring the tough and tender side of gay men.


12.30pm

INDIAN MASALA MIX 1 (Short Films Package – 85min)

The usually much awaited package of Indian LGBTQ short films, this year includes an accomplished collection of films that are diverse in their approach and themes. From an animation film to a silent film to films that push the boundaries questioning sex, sexuality and sexual orientation, these films mark the coming-of-age of Indian queer cinema.
Here is the first part of the package with five Indian shorts: PHYSICALITY, THE CLARINETS, SELFHOOD, AARSA, THE FISH CURRY


2.30pm

IT LOOKS LIKE WE ARE ALONE (Izgleda Da Smo Sami) (Short Film)

Dir: Katarina Koljević
18 min / 2015 / Serbia / Serbian / Narrative Short / Asian Premiere

Djordje has to choose between his mask and his real face. He has to figure out how to deal with what he feels. Ognjen chose he will fight for his life and his love. Everything changes when reality crushes between them.

Followed by

HANDSOME DEVIL (Centerpiece Narrative Feature )

Dir: John Butler
95 min / 2016 / Ireland / English / Narrative Feature / Asian Premiere

Ned is a loner resigned to his status as the school outsider and the constant insinuations about his orientation. Everything changes with the arrival of his new roommate Conor, a star player in the rugby team, and English teacher Dan Sherry whose presence evokes The Dead Poets Society as he asks the boys: “If you spend your whole life being someone else, who is going to be you?”


4.30pm

INDIAN MASALA MIX 2 (Short Films Package)

The usually much awaited package of Indian LGBTQ short films, this year includes an accomplished collection of films that are diverse in their approach and themes. From an animation film to a silent film to films that push the boundaries questioning sex, sexuality and sexual orientation, these films mark the coming-of-age of Indian queer cinema.

Presented here is the second part of the package with three Indian shorts: CHUDALA, GODDESS, SISAK


7.30pm

CLOSING & AWARD CEREMONY


7.35pm

LOEV (Closing Film)

Dir: Sudhanshu Saria
92 min / 2015 / India / Hindi, English / Narrative Feature

When hot shot, Wall Street dealmaker Jai thinks of putting some pleasure into his 48 hour business trip to Mumbai, Sahil, his music-producer friend drops everything, including his reckless partner Alex, to help him execute the perfect getaway. Hiking the hills and canyons of Maharashtra, amidst half-attempted conversations and sudden silences, business calls and old jokes, the friends discover there is more than just time-zones keeping them apart. Things take another turn when Alex shows up with his new partner, throwing up old conflicts and bringing unanswered questions to the fore.

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NOTE: Schedule subject to change without prior notice at the discretion of the festival.

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