India’s top corporate honchos Nadir Godrej, Radhika Piramal inaugurate KASHISH 2018

South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival to screen 140 films from 45 countries

Nadir Godrej, Managing Director of Godrej Industries and Radhika Piramal, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of VIP Industries inaugurated the 9th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival on May 23, 2018. South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival will be held between May 23-27, 2018 at two of South Mumbai’s iconic venues – Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro INOX. 140 films from 45 countries will be screened at the festival including 33 Indian LGBTQ films. 47 films will compete for cash prizes to the tune of Rs. 2.65 lakhs.

The ceremonial lamp was lit to herald the opening of the film festival by special guests including Nadir Godrej, Radhika Piramal, theatre actor Dolly Thakore, National Award winning filmmaker Arunaraje Patil, activist and founder chairperson of The Humsafar Trust Ashok Row Kavi, and Festival Director Sridhar Rangayan.

“We are so very proud to partner the 9th KASHISH MIQFF.  Being a poet myself, I can tell you that any creative form – poetry, writing, or film – is the best way to bring about social change – stories can touch hearts and open our minds in ways that no amount of numbers can! We at Godrej believe that we are all equal. We support the LGBTQ community because it is the right thing to do and also because we believe that the diverse talent that exists in LGBTQ India is the key to our future innovation and success,” said Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries. Nadir Godrej read out a poem penned especially for the inaugural.

“We are proud to continue our association with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival for the 3rd year. KASHISH is a wonderful initiative that encourages aspiring filmmakers to come forward and spread awareness about the LGBT community, sensitively and artistically. Our country needs more and more such platforms that encourage these unique talents in bringing about a social change and we at Skybags are happy to be the catalyst in this wave of change,” said Radhika Piramal, Vice Chairperson, VIP Industries.


The Rainbow flies high at Liberty Carnival Cinemas
RJ Mantra and RJ Rohini Ramanathan
RJ Mantra and RJ Rohini Ramanathan
Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries
Festival Director Sridhar Rangayan with special guests at the Opening ceremony
RJ Mantra and RJ Rohini Ramanathan with International Filmmakers
Sweekar Parents of LGBTQ persons walking the redcarpet
Akhilesh Chaturvedi with his dance group
Color Positive dance performance
(From Left) RJ Mantra, RJ Rohini Ramanathan, Nadir Godrej, Dolly Thakore, Radhika Piramal, Ashok Row Kavi, Arunaraje Patil and Sridhar Rangayan
(From Left) Dolly Thakore, Nadir Godrej, Arunaraje Patil, Radhika Piramal, Ashok Row Kavi, Sridhar Rangayan, RJ Rohini Ramanathan and RJ Mantra


Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director, said that the festival today is Mumbai’s pride. “The very fact that we are able to bring another edition of KASHISH is exhilarating! Not only Mumbai’s but South Asias biggest LGBTQ film festival is a community event but also an annual cultural extravaganza that is the city’s pride. We have moved beyond asking for acceptance, to now seeking equal rights for everyone to live with dignity. So many companies and individuals joining hands underline everyone’s belief in reinstating these rights, said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director

Several Indian companies have come together this year to support KASHISH – Skybags, Godrej, Wishberry, The Lalit group of hotels and Delta apps are all homegrown companies who are proponents of equal rights. The other partners are IBM, Consulate General of Canada and Bureau du Quebec a Mumbai. The festival will hand out cash prizes of Rs. 2.65 lakhs in eight film categories and for the best poster design. The awards are sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Whistling Woods, Lotus Visual, K F Patil Charitable Trust, Wadia Movietone, India’s top fashion designer Wendell Rodricks and KASHISH Arts Foundation.

The opening night ceremony saw honchos of corporate India walk the red carpet along with LGBTQ activists and the crème da la crème of Mumbai. The opening ceremony was hosted by RJ Rohini Ramanathan and RJ and actor Mantra. There were performances by dancr Akhilesh Chaturvedi and his team and LGBTQ group Color Positive and a standup comedy act by comedienne Navin Noronha.

The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of the French film Beats Per Minute.


Quotable Quotes from the Opening Ceremony

“The energy here is so infectious and It is indeed fascinating to be here.  This is my first time at KASHISH.  I am a huge fan of cinema and a lover of good movies.  I feel glad over the quality of movies we have within and outside India.  Section 377 has to be abolished and basic equality and dignity has to be there which is very simple and straightforward.  I feel movies like these convey a great deal about LGBTQIA+ issues.”

  • Sid Makkar, Narrative Film Jury, KASHISH 2018

“I’m very happy to be here.  We have had an amazing time viewing and screening films.  It is incredible and commendable that KASHISH could bring top films with LGBTQIA+ focus.  It is indeed great to have contemporary, real, and up-to-date films and the Mumbai audience is surely ready to watch them.”

  • Malati Rao, Documentary Jury Member, KASHISH 2018

“It is absolutely an honor to be here today.  Wishberry is a platform for brave creators to fund their projects.  We strongly believe that if the right message is put across in a democratic fashion, it is bound to create change in society and KASHISH is a shining example.  KASHISH is our most favourite crowdfunding campaigner not just because we are a crowdfunding platform for the festival and associate partner but also because of its enthusiastic team.

  • Dhruvi Narsaria, Business Head,

“We are truly lucky to be partnering with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2018.  Delta App is a homegrown application for LGBTQIA Indians.

  • Ishaan Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO – The Delta App (Amicale Application Pvt Ltd)

“If there is a place we don’t get judged for who we are, what we wear and who we love it is Kashish.”

  • RJ Mantra

“We have supported KASHISH in its journey, and we will continue to do so.”

  • Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai.

“Our foundation is named after my father who was a freedom fighter and we are dedicated to fighting for equal rights for all people regardless of who you love or who you are.

  • Arunaraje Patil, Chairperson of K F Patil Trust

“At Godrej we treat our straight employees like we treat our LGBT employees”.

  • Parmesh Shahani, Head of Godrej India Culture Lab

 “Student films are extremely important because they are the future of the country.  We need to see the world from their eyes.  I am just very happy and looking forward to watch films.”

  • Harish Iyer, activist and Student Film Jury member

“This is my first time in India.  This is very special for me and our team back in China.  Thank you to KASHISH for giving me the opportunity to screen the film here.  This is an important moment for the LGBTQIA+ community in India and I hope for a long life for KASHISH.  Thank you very much”

  • Xiaoxi Xu, filmmaker, Sunken Plum


About KASHISH 2018

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film fest – returns for its ninth edition from May 23-27, 2018. The film festival will be held at two iconic venues in South Mumbai – Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro INOX. Around 140 films from 45 countries will be screened at the festival, including 33 Indian LGBTQ films. 47 films will compete for top awards at the festival in eight categories and cash prizes of Rs 2.65,000 will be given to the winners. The festival theme this year – ‘Together, With Pride’.

About KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

Voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the World, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre. Founded in 2010, KASHISH is held over 5 days at three venues. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation and organized by Solaris Pictures. Besides the annual film festival its other initiatives are KASHISH Forward – India’s first travelling campus LGBTQ film festival, KASHISH Global – that facilitates screening of Indian LGBTQ films across the world, Best of KASHISH film screenings and KASHISH Chalchitra Utsav – a festival of LGBTQ films in regional languages.


The 9th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will celebrate pride and the infinite diversities of families, communities, gender, sex, ethnicity and body types. The fight for equal rights and societal acceptance is also a fight against discrimination of any sort, and equal rights can be only achieved when all of us – LGBTIQ and Allies – come together with pride to celebrate being ourselves.