KASHISH 2012 is proud, privileged and delighted to bring together up and Panel of eminent and acclaimed film and theatre professionals as Jury Members to judge the competitive categories.
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal has produced, directed and starred in over 60 productions that include some of India’s most acclaimed and longest-running shows Shirley Valentine, Art, (Two) Hot To Handle, (W)hole In The Head, and now entering its tenth year in India, The Vagina Monologues (in English & Hindi) amongst many others. She has also lent her name to causes including ending violence against women and the girl child. Mahabanoo was chosen by Femina Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in India in 2007. Human rights activist and author Zerbanoo Gifford, in her book Confessions to a Serial Womaniser - Secrets of the World’s Inspirational Women, has featured Mahabanoo as one of the 200 Most Inspirational Women from around the world.
“I am so looking forward to seeing some great cinema on a topic and issue so relevant to the lives of so many who are victimised the world over simply for who they are. Art has a great role to play in building a more aware and a more open and accepting society and a film festival like this is most necessary in a country like ours.”
Taking up journalism after graduating in Economics from Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College, Mayank Shekhar has been a popular writer and film critic for over a decade, first with Mid Day, then with Mumbai Mirror, and then with Hindustan Times, where he served as the national cultural editor. In 2007, Mayank became the first recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award, India’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for film and television journalism. In 2006, he was rated among the top emerging film critics of the world at the Berlin film festival. His first book Bombay Talkies was published in 2006. Mayank has also anchored shows for NDTV 24x7, Sony Pix, Zoom. He has served on the international jury of film festivals like Mumbai’s MAMI and the Pune International Film Festival.
“A festival like Kashish maps an alternative space and community, a whole world out there that cinema can make us privy to, empathize with, begin to befriend. Truly looking forward to the films.”
Mona Ambegaonkar made her debut as an actress in 1990 with Zakhmi Zameen and then acted in critically acclaimed movies including Mrityudand, Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Chirantan and the trend setting Marathi movie Bindhaast for which she won the Critics Choice award. On television she has acted in popular serials like Sanjivani, Dhadkan and Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak? Her theatre credits include works with Nadira Babbar and Makarand Deshpande in India, the Footsbarn Theatre Company in France and the Ton Und Kirshen Theatre Company in Germany. She has also conducted readings of late Chetan Datar’s play that deals with homosexuality Ek, Madhavbaug in educational institutions and corporate offices across India. The reading of the play debuted at the first edition of Kashish in 2010.
`‘Kashish opened the doors to the activist in me - the one that wanted to fight discrimination of all kinds but didn’t know how or where to begin. Kashish also gave me the opportunity to view films made with so much angst and pain and with such an urgent desire to tell stories that must be told that I am humbled by my own good luck.”
Parvin Dabas studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York followed by a stint at HB studios, New York. He returned to India and set up his own theatre group in Delhi at 22, before he moved to Mumbai and Bollywood. Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding was his big break and he followed this up with a diverse array of roles in films such as Khosla ka Ghosla, Maine Gandhi ko Nahi Maara, My Name is Khan and The World Unseen. Parvin made his directorial debut with the film Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande, which was part of the Indian panorama section of the IFFI 2011 and won the Silver Remi award from WorldFest-the Houston and a Bronze Palm award at Mexico International Film Festival 2011.
“What I expect to see at Kashish 2012 as a jury member is a lot of good films! and when I say good, I mean films that have been made with a lot of passion and integrity as that is what I feel Kashish stands for.’’
Renuka Shahane is a well-known model, actress and filmmaker. After an MA in Clinical Psychology and a stint with modeling for several leading brands, Renuka moved to Marathi plays and television serials and won the Filmfare award for Best Actress for her role in the Marathi film Aboli (1996). She became a household name, with the extremely popular serials Surabhi and Close-Up Antakashari and then in the blockbuster film Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Her impressive directorial debut feature Rita, made in 2009 went on to win the Best Director award for Marathi films at the 16th Star-Screen awards and the prestigious Best Director by the Maharashtra Rajya Patrakaar Puraskaar as well as Best Supporting Actress for her role in Rita, at both MaTa Sanmaan and V Shantaram awards.
“I am looking forward to enriching myself with a set of films from a radically different perspective. I would like to be surprised by experiments in form and content made by people who are either from or who sympathize with a growing number of people who are trying to break free from marginalisation, misunderstanding, misinformation and suspicion.”
(Additional Jury for the `Riyad Wadia Award for Emerging Indian Filmmakers')
Roy Wadia is Executive Director of Heroes Project, the HIV communications and advocacy NGO that is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan programme. Hailing from the Wadia Movietone family, and brother of the late filmmaker and gay activist Riyad Wadia, Roy worked at CNN for 12 years, helping launch and produce much of the global broadcaster’s Asia-Pacific news programming. In 2003, Roy switched careers by joining the World Health Organisation’s China office as its communications and advocacy officer, working on campaigns ranging from HIV to environmental health. Roy shuttles between Mumbai and Vancouver, Canada, where he has a home with his husband Alan.
``I’m thrilled to be joining the KASHISH jury this year to select the recipient of the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker, established in memory of my beloved late brother who was India’s first openly gay filmmaker (BOMgAY, A Mermaid Called Aida). KASHISH stands for diversity and empowerment, just like our wider community itself. KASHISH is ensuring that we have a collective voice through cinema and activism, a powerful combination that embodies the ethos of my brother himself.’’