With the objective to keep the mainstream engaged in the conversation around LGBTIQ issues through the year using the medium of films, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival arranged `Best of KASHISH’ screenings across India. These screenings were organised with other festivals and also as part of Pride celebrations.
“There are two objectives of Best of KASHISH programme – while one is to mainstream LGBT issues by connecting with various mainstream events, the second objective is to encourage and support fledgling LGBT and Pride events across the country by facilitating screening of some of the films from the KASHISH festival. These events also help reach across these films to diverse spaces since usually distribution is not available to these films. ‘best of KASHISH’ is a catalyst in sparking off dialogues and hopefully lead to social change in the future,” said festival director Sridhar Rangayan.
A look at the screenings organised in 2014-2015
Best of KASHISH at Manhattan Short
In an attempt to take gay and transgender films into the mainstream, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival hosted a workshop ‘Rainbow Stories – Queering Indian Shorts’ on Octoiber 4, 2014, at the Manhattan Short Film Festival, held at Sitara Studios Dadar West.
Festival Director Sridhar Rangayan spoke about the difficulty faced by short films, especially films that deal with LGBT themes, to find a mainstream platform. “There are very few distribution avenues for queer short films. Even when a DVD is available or a VOD (video-on-demand) online streaming is available, generally people in India feel why they should pay to watch a short film. So how will the short filmmakers recoup their investment?”
To illustrate what good short films are all about, three films were screened: Crush-Shake by Jagruti Jethe, a fast-paced comedy with a twist in the end; Raat Baaki by Pradipta Ray, a nuanced dark comedy of three diverse stories intertwined in one night; and Kyunki…by Avinash Matta, a high-concept film that compares gay pride marches with Mahatama Gandhi’s Dandi March.
Anil Sadrangani, festival director of Manhattan Short India said, “It is encouraging to see short films on such subjects find an avenue to be promoted in India and worldwide through a festival like KASHISH, which has by now become a mainstream festival”
Best of KASHISH at BlueFrog
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival organized the program KASHISH Encore as part of Unlikely Conversations by Aastha Parivaar on November 15, 2014 at Blue FROG . The event was a fundraiser for children of sex workers.
As part of Best of KASHISH, excerpt from Purple Skies was screened followed by a panel discussion about LBT lives with three protagonists from Purple Skies – Shobhna S. Kumar Sonal Giani and Siddhant More, moderated by Sridhar Rangayan. The discussion participoants shared their personal views on what it means to be a lesbian, bisexual or trans person in contemporary India.
Best of KASHISH at Baroda Pride
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival for the first time ever took its film screening outside Mumbai – to Baroda in Gujarat on November 29, 2014. The GLGBTPF 2014 – BEST OF KASHISH package of 13 films were screened to an appreciative audience, many of whom were seeing a LGBTQ themed film for the first time. More 200 people came for the screening through the day, and it is a very significant number for a conservative city like Baroda. The event was organized as part of Gujarat Pride 2014 by Rangrezz and Gujarat pride Festival. The event also included dance and music performances.
Best of KASHISH at Mumbai Pride
Screening of 12 films from KASHISH 2014 was organized as part of QAM Mumbai Pride month by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival at SNDT, Juhu on January 24, 2015. The Best of KASHISH – Mumbai Pride event saw around 100+ people turned up to watch the films that took them on a rollercoaster journey through LGBTQ lives around the world.
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