KASHISH 2019 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 10th edition. The festival will be held from June 12-16, 2019 at two iconic venues in South Mumbai – Liberty Carnival Cinema 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. The festival theme this year is ‘Over the Rainbow’.


Key Highlights for this year will be:

  • 160 films, from 43 countries.
  • The festival is spread across two venues in South Mumbai this year – Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro Inox.
  • The festival theme is “Over The Rainbow”
  • 31 Indian LGBTQ films will be screened at the festival comprising — narrative feature films, — narrative short films and — documentary short films.
  • Around 50 films will compete for top awards at the festival in eight categories.


  • The festival will hand out cash prizes of Rs 3.95 lakhs.


  • The Narrative Jury comprises actors Kitu Gidwani and Sheeba Chadha and film maker Neeraj Ghaywan.


  • The Documentary Jury comprises of filmmakers Ranjan Das, Pankaj Rishi Kumar and Paromita Vohra.


  • The Student Short Film Jury comprises professor Dr Ivan John, screenwriter Jyoti Kapoor and filmmaker Somnath Sen.


  • 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 20,000 for the Riyad Wadia Award for the Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker.


  • Whistling Woods International will sponsor the Best Student Film Award Rs 20,000
  • 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 2 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.
  • GagaOOLala is sponsoring the Best International Narrative Short Award with a cash prize of Rs.20,000.
  • The Best Screenplay Award will make its debut with a cash prize of Rs 15,000 instituted in the memory of renowned poet and author late Dr. Arvind Waman Kulkarni.
  • India’s top fashion designer Wendell Rodicks picked the poster contest winner and offered him Rs.25,000 cash award for best design. Ashutosh Vyas was the winner this year.
  • Opening film is the Dutch film Just Friends.


  • The Closing film is the acclaimed Malayalam film Njan Marykutty (I Am Marykutty).
  • 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 companies have come together again to support KASHISH including Keshav Suri Foundation, Skybags, Godrej, Morgan Stanley and The Lalit group of hotels.


  • Special events at KASHISH 2019 include panel discussions, screen writing master class by Varun Grover facilitated by the Screen Writers Association, acting workshop by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.



  • KASHISH offered free scholarships to 150 students to attend KASHISH, courtesy Godrej Industries Ltd.


  • KASHISH also offers scholarships to 8 Indian filmmakers to attend the festival and present their films.


  • KASHISH 2019 will present an interactive sessions with Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents, support group for parents of LGBTQ children.




Register for KASHISH 2019 at: https://in.bookmyshow.com/events/kashish-2019-over-the-rainbow/ET00101778

KASHISH is presently raising funds through crowdfunding on Wishberry to organise the festival. KASHISH 2019 is crowdfunding on: https://www.wishberry.in/campaign/kashish-2019-over-the-rainbow


KASHISH 2019 Theme

KASHISH 2019 festival theme ‘Over The Rainbow’ not only commemorates the reading down of Sec 377 and decriminalization of same-sex relationships in India, but also defines the challenges in store for the LGBTQ community’s journey towards empowerment and social acceptance. Bringing together films from all over the world as well as panel discussions and performances, the festival will showcase the shared struggles and victories, and offer a window to existing and future possibilities. Let’s together journey over the rainbow to discover the land of equality & dignity.


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.