A jury panel comprising acclaimed filmmakers, actors and activists chose the winners at the 5th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2014. The jury included actor and former Member of Parliament Nitish Bharadwaj, National Award winning filmmaker Onir, actor Avantika Akerkar, costume designer Pia Benegal and Wadia Movietone director and activist Roy Wadia.
Best Narrative Feature - Tru Love
The highest award at KASHISH is given to the best narrative feature. This category includes Indian and International films made in 2013/2014 and having their Indian Premiere at KASHISH. It carries a plaque, a gift hamper and a cash award of Rs 30,000 sponsored by Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares school. The award in 2014 went to Tru Love from Canada.
It is not often that one comes across a film that demonstrates an almost seamless and effortless style of direction, cinematography and characterization. However, the winning film for Best Narrative Feature, does just that.
As a Jury this was a unanimous decision and it didn’t take us long to reach this decision. In recognition of the immense depth and sensitivity in which the various relationships were portrayed in this film, in admiration for the convincing direction and acting by the same person, who also happens to be a producer on the film (not often do you come across one person wearing all 3 hats), and to applaud the finely nuanced and layered characterization of the various players in the story,.
The filmmakers chose a subject that is often portrayed in film, the relationship of a parent to a child, but chose to represent it in an unusual and heartwarming way – a daughter who is confused about her sexuality, and a mother who discovers her true sexual orientation after marriage. We applaud the two directors for making us, the Jury, laugh, cry, get upset and cheer for the value and importance of true love (no pun intended), and we are joyous and respectful of the recognition of one’s sexual orientation self discovery. The Jury is proud to give the Best Narrative Feature Film Award ti Tru Love, produced and acted by Shauna MacDonald, and co-directed by Shauna MacDonald and Kate Johnston.
Best Documentary Feature - Bridegroom
The best documentary feature award category includes Indian and International films made in 2013/2014 and having their Indian Premiere at KASHISH. It carries a plaque and a gift hamper. The award went to Bridegroom from the United States directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
The Jury is pleased to award the Best Documentary Feature to Bridegroom. The film has a special resonance in India as it projects a heart rendering story of denial by the state and society of love.
Best Documentary Short - Families Are Forever
The best documentary short award category includes Indian and International films made in 2013/2014 which are of 40 minutes or lesser, and having an Indian Premiere at KASHISH. It carries a plaque, a gift hamper and a free two day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips. The winning film this year was Families Are Forever from the United States of America.
On behalf of the Jury, we are delighted to present the award for the Best Documentary Short to the film, Families Are Forever, directed by Vivian Kleiman. The Mormon Community is a hyper conservative, bible thumping, deeply religious community from the state of Utah in America, where there are rules for everything. To deviate from following these rules, including how to dress and behave, is considered a sin and against the church. So you can imagine the tumultuous emotions a young boy must feel recognizing he is gay.
We, the Jury, deeply appreciated the sensitive manner in which this highly charged and emotionally explosive documentary was presented. Not only did we feel the anguish of Jordan, the young man who discovers he is gay, but we felt as concerned for his parents who have to decide between the church, the love for their son, and having strongly supported California’s Proposition 8 to prevent same-sex marriages. Ms. Kleiman showed us a pretty well balanced film on the various issues that plague this community, and as a Jury, we were so relieved and pleased to know that Jordan’s parents decided to chose the love of their child – demonstrating strength and importance of family over the church - and to support him in his journey of discovery, but that they were going to use the church to help them deal with the issue, and hopefully is some way help the church to become more sensitized to issues such as sexual orientation within their community.
Best International Narrative Short - Naked
International narrative short films made in 2013/2014 and having their Indian Premiere at KASHISH compete for this award, which carries a plaque and a gift hamper. Naked from Spain directed by José Antonio Cortés Amunarriz won the award in this category.
They say that women are from Venus & men from Mars. But no one realized when these ‘Martian’ souls became ‘Martial’ and the societies & civilizations turned from ‘Mother worship’ to bastions of ‘Male chauvinism’. The winning film is a bold, blunt cinematic expression of one such naked truth - that a man can go to any unreasonable limit to have his way; least to say not to understand his son’s sexual sensibilities & his wife’s motherly feelings for their son. The end also suggests that sadly, there are many more unreasonable people around us ! This makes Naked, the Best International Narrative Short Film.
Best Indian Narrative Short - Mitraa
Indian narrative short films made in 2013/2014 and having their Indian Premiere at KASHISH compete for this award, which carries a plaque, a gift hamper and a cash award of Rs 20,000 sponsored by Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares school.The winner also gets a free two day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips and a cash award. Marathi film Mitraa directed by National Award winning filmmaker Ravi Jadhav won the award.
Confluence of male & female energies in the form of ‘Ardha Narishwar’ is an ancient Indian concept. But sometimes the expression of these energies becomes as effervescent as the energies themselves, thereby creating confusion between mind & matter. This leads a man, as in man or woman, on a journey of self-discovery which can be made easy or difficult by the society’s own mindset at large.The winning film, is one such journey of a woman’s self-discovery & 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.
Mitraa - Bravo !
Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker - Sharon Flynn (I'dentity)
Instituted in memory of late filmmaker Riyad Wadia, who made India’s first gay film BOMgAy. Indian narrative and documentary short films that are the filmmaker’s first or second film compete for this award which carries a plaque, a gift hamper, a free two day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips and Rs.15,000 cash award sponsored by Wadia Movietone. The award this year went to Mumbai-based Sharon Flynn for her movie I'dentity.
As jury members we were looking for films which had a human element to it and had information so that people within the LGBT community as well as supporters and allies could understand more about what they undergo from a very young age. There is one such film that touched all the jury members and we could see different sides of the social and economic strata that a person comes from - how it gives us the freedom to be what we are as well as forces us to remain invisible to members of ones own family.
The filmmaker dealt with the stories of the two protagonists in a very real manner without resorting to sensationalism. The Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker goes to the director who made I'dentity - Sharon Flynn.
Best Actor - Kate Trotter (Tru Love)
Best performance by an actor (male or female) in any of the features or shorts that are part of the competitive categories above. The award carries a gift hamper and a trophy instituted by Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares school. The award this year went to Canadian actor Kate Trotter for her role in the movie Tru Luve
Not only was she beautiful, a gentle reminder of what someone might look like if you mixed Sofia Loren with Meryl Streep and Catharine Deneuve, but gave a power punched performance as the mother. Her dignified and sensitive portrayal of a mother who suffered a love less marriage, having to deal with a daughter coming to terms with her sexual identity and preferences, and ultimately finding her own sexual transformation won our hearts. The Jury is pleased to award the Best Actor to Kate Trotter, who played the role of the mother Alice in the film, Tru Love.