Highlights of KASHISH 2014

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South Asia's and India's biggest LGBT film fest returns with its largest bouquet of films

The fifth edition of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s and India’s biggest LGBT film festival - will take place between May 21 - May 25, 2014, at the iconic Liberty Cinema, New Marine Lines and Alliance Française de Bombay (AFB).

 This year, the festival’s theme is “Dare To Dream” recognizing the progressive movements for equality and dignity for gay, lesbian and transgender persons across the world, including India. KASHISH 2014 will highlight, reflect upon and celebrate the people, communities and movements that ‘Dare To Dream’.

``KASHISH has not only become a space for celebration and community building for the LGBT community, but also a window to LGBT lives for a large mainstream audience,’’ said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.  ``The idea was to mainstream queer visibility - removing myths and misconceptions about Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender lives by showing their real aspirations, struggles, feelings, and highlighting that LGBT people are human beings with the same need for love and acceptance as anyone else. KASHISH connects these dots through the medium of cinema,’’ he added.

The festival this year also shifts to a new venue – Mumbai’s iconic Liberty Cinema with over a 1,000 seating capacity. "Come to KASHISH, we have the space!’’ says Rangayan

Key Highlights for this year will be:

* 154 films from 31 countries.

* 11 World, 17 International and 39 Asian premieres.

* New venue is India's finest art deco theatre - the iconic Liberty Cinema with over 1,000 seating capacity.

* National award winning actor Sarika, filmmaker Onir whose film I Am won the National award in two categories, actor and former Member of Parliament Nitish Bharadwaj, costume designer Pia Benegal, actor Avantika Akerkar and Wadia Movietone director and LGBT rights activist Roy Wadia will comprise the Jury that will judge the films in competition at the festival for the seven award categories
* Crowd funding to raise part of the funds to put up the festival – the first film festival in India to do so.

* This year, the ‘Country Focus’ will be on Canada with more short and feature films including Winter Kept Us Warm (1965).

* `Filmmaker in Focus’ is Canadian actor Charlie David.

* Special focus on Transgender lives

* Films on HIV.

* Queer films from Turkey, Srilanka, Uganda, Bangladesh will be screened at KASHISH 2014.

* The ``competition section’’ will showcase films which will be judged by an eminent jury panel.

* Acclaimed Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and his acting school Actor Prepares sponsors cash awards for two winning categories - Best Narrative Feature film wins a cash award of Rs 30,000 and Best Indian Short films wins a cash prize of Rs 20,000.

* Best Actor in a Lead Role award instituted this year by Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and his acting school Actor Prepares.

* Riyad Wadia Emerging Indian Filmmaker, instituted by Wadia Movietone in memory of the India’s first gay filmmaker Riyad Wadia, carries a cash prize of Rs 15,000.

* Other awards are Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Shorts and Best International Narrative Shorts

* Opening Film Out In The Dark from Israel and Palestine.

* Closing Film is John Apple Jack from Canada

* Tribute to late filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh and screening of the movie Memories in March.

* Indian Showcase: 28 films from India - some in regional languages including films in Marathi and Bengali.

* The Best Indian queer short film at KASHISH gets to compete for the Iris Prize in UK which carries a cash prize of 25,000 pounds.

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