Every year KASHISH spotlights couple of films as Centerpiece films, acknowledging the special artistic merit the film has or the importance of the subject matter it deals with.

The films range from being sensitive heartwarming dramas to daring and challenging real life stories; each of them pushing the boundaries of cinema and creating a better understanding of queer lives.







FACING MIRRORS( Aynehaye Rooberoo)

102 min / 2011 /  Narrative Feature / Iran / Dir: Negar Azarbayjani 

Rana is a conservative young mother, who secretly drives a cab to support her family to pay off the debts, which have sent her husband to prison. By chance she picks up Edi, who is fleeing an arranged marriage, her wealthy and influential father is imposing on her. She is desperately waiting for her passport to leave the country. In the middle of the journey, Rana realizes that her passenger is a transgender (female to male) who is planning on having an operation. For Rana, comprehending and accepting such a reality is close to impossible and surpasses all the beliefs and traditions she values. It’s a clash of class and belief systems. But soon enough the two form an unlikely alliance.

Facing Mirrors is the first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgender main character.





79 min / 2012 / Narrative Feature / France, Pakistan / Dir: Guillaume Giovanetti, Cagla Zencirci              

Noor feels he doesn’t belong anymore to the ‘Khusras’, Pakistan’s transgender community. And he is definitely done with the love story he had with one of them, that had drastically changed his life. Now, he is doing a man’s job in a Truck Decoration Center and is determined to find a girl who will accept him as he is.

A sudden turn of circumstances makes him runaway with a truck. He heads off for the Swat valley. In his flight from civilization he meets a female dancer who may inspire him in classical dance and love.

The film was extensively shot in Pakistan at Rawalpindi, Lahore, The Karakoram highway, Gilgit, The Hunza Valley and the picturesque Shandoor Lake.






93 min / 2011 / Documentary Feature / USA / Dir: Jeffrey Schwarz 


VITO is one man’s story of fighting passionately for equality, but at its core, it is the story of a movement. In the aftermath of Stonewall, a newly politicized Vito Russo found his voice as a gay activist and critic of LGBT representation in the media. He went on to write “The Celluloid Closet,” the first book to critique Hollywood’s portrayals of gays on screen. During the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, Vito became a passionate advocate for justice via the newly formed ACT UP, before his death in 1990.

The film seamlessly weaves significant archival material and heartwarming interviews with Vito’s family and friends including Armistead Maupin, Lily Tomlin, Bruce Vilanch and Larry Kramer.



87 min / 2012 / Documentary Feature / USA, Uganda / Dir: Dirs: Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright                         

‘Call Me Kuchu’ is a heartfelt and penetrating examination of the devastating fight for LGBT rights in Uganda. In spite of a daily routine that includes constant threat of violence, with local newspapers outing and shaming known gays, LBGT citizens of Uganda, called Kuchus, somehow remain resilient and full of hope, fighting to repeal their country’s homophobic laws that persecute them. The documentary follows a group of these brave activists that include the charismatic David Kato, who during filming was murdered for his refusal to hide his identity.  In a country where 95 per cent of the population condones the criminalization of homosexuality, the government is considering an anti-homosexuality bill (advocated by religious groups) which calls for imprisonment of homosexuals and, in ‘severe cases,’ a sentence of death.  ‘Call Me Kuchu’ delves into the lives of those brave individuals who are willing to risk their lives to fight for basic human rights for LGBT people.