KASHISH welcomes National Award for ‘Mitraa’

Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi film had won Best Indian Short Narrative Film Award at KASHISH 2014


KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival welcomes the National Award for Marathi director Ravi Jadhav’s short film Mitraa. Jadhav’s film had won the Best Indian Short Narrative film award at the fifth edition of South Asia’s biggest LGBT film fest in May 2014.

“It is truly momentous for the LGBT movement that a lesbian-themed film has won the National Award. And we are more so thrilled because the film won the Best Indian film award at KASHISH 2014 too, which goes to show that our festival recognizes and awards excellence in cinema”, said filmmaker and festival director Sridhar Rangayan.

Mitraa tells the story of a lesbian protagonist in the newly independent India in 1947 and is based on Vijay Tendulkar’s play Mitrachi Goshta

The KASHISH 2014 jury while awarding Mitraa had said that the film was a “journey of a woman’s self-discovery and her sense of freedom against the backdrop of modern India’s freedom from the Colonial rule, thereby linking her destiny with her nation’s. A beautiful, thoughtful & tasteful cinematic transformation of a piece of literature on to celluloid.’’

Ravi Jadhav  said at KASHISH 2014, “I’m truly honored with the award and response I have got for my film Mitraa. I want to send out a strong message to those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender – you are not alone. Your struggle, for the end to violence and discrimination, is a shared struggle. Today, I’m also with you through my film. Tomorrow world will be!!!

KASHISH also programmed Mitraa at several international LGBT film festivals including Chicago South Asian Film Festival (Chicago, USA), Iris Prize Festival (Cardiff, Wales, UK), Prague Bollywood Festival (Prague, Czech Republic), Homochrom (Cologne, Germany), Cinema Queer (Stockholm, Sweden), Glitch Film Festival (Glasgow, UK); as well as in India at KASHISH Forward at IIT, Mumbai and Best of KASHISH at Gujarat LGBT Pride Festival, Baroda.

Rangayan, whose film Purple Skies, a documentary on Indian lesbians, bisexuals & transmen, was recently screened on National Network Doordarshan, added, “Finally same-sex loving women’s sexuality is coming out of the closet in India and is being recognized as an important national issue.’’

KASHISH also welcomes the national award for the best actor to Vijay Sanchari for his role in the Kannada LGBT themed movie ‘Nan Avanalla Avalu’ in which he acted as a woman trapped in a man’s body. The Kannada movie is based on the autobiography of transgender writer and activist Living Smile Vidya.

“It a proud moment for queer portrayal in Indian cinema and we hope this will encourage a lot more filmmakers to make sensitive mainstream films on LGBT lives,’’ said Rangayan.