KASHISH 2018 Highlights

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s Biggest and India’s only mainstream lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film fest –  is back for its 9th edition. The festival will be held from May 23-27, 2018 at two venues in South Mumbai – Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro Inox. Founded in 2010, KASHISH was voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the World and was the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India.


Key Highlights for this year will be:

  • 140 films, from 45 countries.
  • The festival is spread across two iconic venues in South Mumbai this year – Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro Inox.
  • The festival theme is “Together, With Pride”.
  • This year, the ‘Country in Focus’ is India. 33 Indian LGBTQ films will be screened at the festival comprising 6 narrative feature films, 23 narrative short films and 6 documentary short films.
  • Several films that portray the relationships of LGBTQ children with their parents and families offer a perspective into family bondings in different cultures.
  • 33 films on lesbian and bisexual women and transmen offer a gender balance and break the stereotypes.
  • Around 47 films will compete for top awards at the festival in eight categories.
  • The festival will hand out cash prizes of Rs 2.65,000.
  • The Narrative Jury comprises actors Tara Deshpande, Jayati Bhatia and Sid Makkar.
  • The Documentary Jury comprises of National Award winning filmmakers Ramchandra PN, Batul Mukhtiar and documentary filmmaker Malati Rao.
  • The Student Short Film Jury comprises National Award winning editor Irene Dhar Malik, academician Jeroo Mulla, and activist Harish Iyer.
  • Acclaimed actor Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares will sponsor cash prizes for the three top competition categories at KASHISH – Rs 30,000 for the Best Narrative Feature Film, Rs 20,000 for the Best Indian Narrative Short film and Rs 20,000 for the Best Performance in a Lead Role.
  • Wadia Movietone awards Rs 15,000 for the Riyad Wadia Award for the Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker.
  • Whistling Woods International will sponsor the Best Student Film Award of Rs 15,000.
  • K F Patil Charitable Trust will sponsor the Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Short awards of Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.
  • A Rs 1 lakh QDirshti Film Grant sponsored by Lotus Visual will be awarded to support an independent filmmaker based in India to make his/her next LGBTQ-themed film. 6 films are nominated.
  • KASHISH Arts Foundation is sponsoring the Best International Narrative Short Award with a cash prize of Rs.15,000.
  • India’s top fashion designer Wendell Rodicks picked the poster contest winner and sponsored Rs.25,000 as cash award for best design. Ashutosh Vyas is the winner this year.
  • Opening film is the critically acclaimed, award winning French film Beats Per Minute directed by Robin Campillo.
  • The Closing film is the acclaimed Indian film Evening Shadows directed by Sridhar Rangayan.
  • The Best Indian queer short film at KASHISH gets to compete for the Iris Prize in UK which carries a cash prize of 25,000.
  • Several Indian companies have come together again to support KASHISH – Skybags, Godrej, Wishberry, The Lalit group of hotels and Delta apps are all homegrown companies who are proponents of equal rights.
  • Special events at KASHISH 2018 include panel discussion about networking for community, business of independent filmmaking and interface with emerging filmmaker. The panel discussions are sponsored by Delta apps and Wishberry.
  • One of the key events is ‘Together, With Pride’ where 10 activists from India and Canada speak about pride organizing in their on city – the challenges and the triumphs. 8 participants from various parts of India will attend and speak at the event that has been facilitated by Consulate General of Canada.
  • KASHISH offered free scholarships to students to attend the festival, courtesy Godrej Industries Ltd.
  • KASHISH also offers scholarships to 8 Indian filmmakers to attend the festival and present their films.
  • An acting workshop will be conducted by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares on May 25, 2018 at Liberty Carnival Cinemas,
  • KASHISH 2018 presents and interactive sessions with Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents, support group for parents of LGBTQ children. Sweekar is also a Community Partner for the festival this year.