is an attempt to encourage greater visibility of Indian and International queer cinema among both queer and mainstream audiences as a means to foster better understanding of queer thoughts, desires and expressions.
The Indian queer landscape is undergoing historic changes.
After the landmark 2009 judgement on Sec 377 by Delhi High Court, effectively decriminalizing homosexuality, there was an environment of more openness to have discussions around LGBT issues. On December 11th 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Delhi High Court verdict, thereby recriminalizing homosexuality. This decision of the Indian Supreme Court is indeed a big setback to the nascent queer rights movement in the country. The verdict makes lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender persons vulnerable to not just penal action of imprisonment but also extortion, blackmail and social stigma.
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival stands firmly with the global outrage against section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and will work with queer and civil rights organizations to ensure that the law is repealed. KASHISH also believes that films and art are a powerful medium to bring about social change.
As South Asia's and India's biggest LGBT film festival we are committed to bring the best of international and Indian queer cinema to Mumbai and continue the mainstreaming of queer issues and their lives.
Kashish which means 'attraction or allurement' in Urdu does not have a gender or sexuality construct and is used to denote a deep attraction for anything – be it a person, an object or an idea.
Mumbai is the cinema capital of India as well as the city with the most vibrant & visible queer community.
International, because the festival not only represents films from all over the world, but also films that mirror global concerns and expressions.
Queer is an umbrella term that includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people.
Film Festival, that’s what Kashish MIQFF is all about - films that explore the diverse realities, complexities, joys and sorrows that make up the Indian queer experience as well as celebrate queer identities in an entertaining manner.
The butterflies in rainbow colours symbolize the spirit of queer persons in India breaking out of the cocoon of social mores and flying free.
Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival created history in April 2010 by holding the first ever queer film festival in India in a mainstream theatre and receive clearance from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. It was a landmark event, not only in the LGBTQ movement, but also in the cultural space of Mumbai.
The first edition was held from April 22 - 25, 2010 at two venues simultaneously – PVR Cinemas, Juhu (a mainstream multiplex) and Alliance Française de Bombay. It screened 110 films from 25 countries with over 1200 people attending.
The festival was attended by a host of celebrity actors and filmmakers – Zeenat Aman, Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Celina Jaitley, Sanjay Suri, Purab Kohli, Rajit Kapur, Suhasini Mulay, Mona Ambegaonkar, Dolly Thakore, Onir, Mahesh Dattani, etc.
The festival created a sensational buzz in the media with all the mainstream newspapers – The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror; DNA, HT Café, TimeOut – giving exclusive spreads and sometimes frontpage news. It was also covered in more than 200 news sites, ezines and blogs in India as well as leading international newspapers.
Check out all the buzz about Kashish 2010 here:
The second edition of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2011 was held between May 25-29, 2011 at two venues – Cinemax Versova and Alliance Française de Bombay. Organized by Solaris Pictures and Bombay Dost in association with The Humsafar Trust, it was supported by DKT India, UNDP, UNAIDS & Movies That Matter. It was also supported by more than 25 Partners across the world - British Council, Arts Network Asia, Indieflix, Nomura, Club Seven, Tasveer, Kalakranti, Trikone Northwest, Film Collaborative, Wolfe Video, Queer Ink, D’Kloset, Azaad Bazaar, Salvation Star, etc and powered by Timeout.
The festival screened 124 films from 23 countries over five days in a larger theatre of 230 capacity at Cinemax. It attracted a bigger crowd with 67.5% capacity turnout with about 6225 audience footfalls. There were 15 houseful shows.
National award winning filmmaker Shyam Benegal as the Festival Patron and popular actress Celina Jaitley as the Festival Ambassador flagged off the festival. A bevy of celebrities, actors, filmmakers, critics – Juhi Chawla, Rahul Bose, Pooja Bhatt, Sai Paranjpye, Khalid Mohamed, Shernaz Patel, Samir Soni, Sanjay Suri, Neelam Soni, Onir, Alyque Padamsee, Suhasini Mulay, Dolly Thakore, Rajit Kapur, Mona Ambegaokar, Karan Mehra were involved with a host of young Indian filmmakers as well as four international guests - Q.Allan Brocka (USA), Rikki Beadle-Blair (UK), Georgette Okey (UK) and John Badalu (Indonesia).
Read all about Kashish 2011 here:
In its third year KASHISH grew bigger much beyond expectations.
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2012 was organized from May 23 to May 27, 2012 simultaneously at two venues – Cinemax, Versova, a mainstream cinema multiplex in North Mumbai and Alliance Française in South Mumbai.
The festival received 300 entries from around the world out of which 120 films from 30 countries were short-listed. Around 25 % of the films that was screened were from India, including four regional feature films.
The theme for KASHISH 2012 was `For Everyone’ and screened films not only meant for the LGBT community, but also for their families and friends.
In addition to KASHISH Coffee Break Online Competition which had a global reach, the festival also started this year a Poster Design competition judged by celebrated fashion designer Wendell Rodricks.
The opening night film was the Oscar winning film ‘The Beginners’ from the USA, while the closing film was `Weekend' from the United Kingdom.
Filmmaker in Focus was leading Hollywood gay filmmaker Rob Williams, who was present at the festival as a special guest. KASHISH 2012 showcased three of his feature films and one short film.
Among the celebrities who graced KASHISH 2012 were popular Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, Oscar winner Resul Pookutty, yesteryear actress Moushumi Chatterjee and celebrities like Sarita Joshi, Suchitra Pillai, Ananth Mahadevan, Liliput and Laxmi Narayan Tripathi .
While, for the first time KASHISH raised a part of funds through Crowdfunding, ensuring community participation and reach; this year also saw support from corporate sponsors like Barclays, Nomura, Godrej (Heroes project), TimeOut alongwith title sponsor DKT India who have been supporting KASHISH for two years.
Read all about Kashish 2012 here: