10 Must Watch Films at KASHISH 2014

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Ten not to be missed films at India’s and South Asia’s biggest and only mainstream LGBT film festival this year.

 

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Out In The Dark - Opening Film

 

Out In The Dark (Alata)  
Director: Michael Mayer
96 min | 2012 | Hebrew with subtitles | Israel, Palestine, USA   
Narrative Feature           

A profoundly moving portrait of the love story between an ambitious Palestinian student, and an idealistic Israeli lawyer caught in a minefield of socio-political conflict resonates with the festival’s theme, “Dare To Dream”.

Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student, dreams of a better life abroad. One fateful night he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. As their relationship deepens, Nimer is confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept him for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. When his close friend is caught hiding illegally in Tel Aviv and sent back to the West Bank, where he is brutally murdered, Nimer must choose between the life he thought he wanted, and his love for Roy.
Opening Night Film – Wed, May 21, 9.30pm, Liberty Cinema


Frangipani
Director: Visakesa Chandrasekaram
90 min | 2013 | Sinhala with subtitles | Sri Lanka   
Narrative Feature     

Frangipani presents a story of two young men and a woman entangled in a love triangle tabooed in their remote but rapidly changing village. For the first time in Sri Lanka, Frangipani speaks out of gay people’s right to love, using popular local cinema and musical traditions. Without taking an antagonistic approach to be critical of the local cultural practices, the film focuses on innate human emotions that make people smile and cry, and make them pursue for the ultimate joy of love.
The film is reaching international audiences but may never be seen by the locals due to the Sri Lankan Government’s harsh censorship regulations.

Sarasi wants Chamath to rescue her from an arranged marriage but it is Nalin, who gives her hope. As Sarasi chooses a groom, the unvoiced love triangle shatters, breaking the secret promises. Five years later they meet again to question whether the early winners in fact have lost their bid for a long lasting love.
Sat, May 24, 8.45pm, Liberty Cinema


Margarita
Directors: Dominique Cardona, Laurie Colbert
76 min | 2012 | English | Canada   
Narrative Feature
 
Even though Margarita, a pretty and vivacious young Mexican woman, works hard as a nanny for a Canadian family, life is not all work and no play for Margarita. She has passion for life and people and is in love with shy, commitment-phobic Jane who also deeply loves Margarita but is hesitant to bring their relationship out of the shadows. Life is good until Margarita’s cash strapped employees fire her and set off a chain of events that threaten her with deportation. Everyone scramble to save her. But, is it in her best interest? A buoyant comedic drama about love, loyalty and the families we create.
Sat, May 24, 6.15pm, Alliance Française, Marline Lines


Valentine Road                             
Director: Marta Cunningham
89 min | 2013 | English | USA
Documentary Feature
 
In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot his classmate Larry King, a gender variant youth of color at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from the point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as its startling aftermath. Was this a hate crime, one perpetrated by a budding neo-Nazi whose masculinity was threatened by an effeminate queer kid who may have had a crush on him? Or was there even more to it? This award winning HBO documentary is a heartfelt, harrowing story of two victims - the deceased and the murderer - whose paths led them to this incident. In tracing the human wreckage of their tragedy, the film questions notions of justice and identity.
Thu, May 22, 12.30pm, Liberty Cinema


Test                                      
Director: Chris Mason Johnson
89 min | 2013 | English | USA
Narrative Feature

A poignant, powerful story of friendship and hope in a time of crisis, set in the San Francisco modern dance scene of 1985 in the early years of the AIDS epidemic: when headlines threatened a gay quarantine and when nobody knew for certain how the disease spread.
Frankie is the newest member of San Francisco’s most exciting new contemporary dance company, McManus Ballet. Frankie, though stands on the sidelines, mirroring the movement; is determined to fit in with the more seasoned members of his modern dance company. But there’s something bigger on his mind: the new HIV test, which many fear might be used to quarantine gay people. As Frankie contemplates taking the test, one of the male dancers is injured. Frankie must perform in his place. It’s the classic test of skill and character.
Fri, May 23, 4.45pm, Liberty Cinema


Bridegroom
Director: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
80 min | 2013 | English | USA
Documentary Feature

The emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving, committed relationship that was cut tragically short by a fatal accident. The story of the aftermath - how people without legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized - is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality and human rights. Barred from visiting the hospital, and his presence in Tom’s life erased by the family that once welcomed him, on the anniversary of Tom’s death, after a year of documenting his own grief; Shane posted a heartbreaking video that became a Youtube sensation and set him on a journey to action. BRIDEGROOM piercingly conveys the imperative of human and civil rights, and makes a plea to open hearts and minds that Tom and Shane’s love is no different than any others. It is a love story, unequaled.
Sat, May 24, 2.30pm, Liberty Cinema


Tru Love
Director: Kate Johnston & Shauna MacDonald
88 min | 2013 | English | Canada
Narrative Feature

A sparkling and evocative love story about the intersecting lives of three women.
Alice has recently lost her husband and, still coming to terms, has on the spur of the moment decided to visit her daughter Suzanne in the big city. When Suzanne, whose relationship with her mother is already conflicted, is too busy to spend time with her, she enlists friend Tru to babysit Alice while she works.  Commitment-phobic Tru forms an unlikely but deeply touching bond with Alice, helping her to pick herself up and move on with her life and the possibility of a relationship between the two sparks into life. Suzanne, who has a secret past with Tru, becomes increasingly alarmed at the growing bond between Tru and Alice and tries to sabotage the budding romance. But it backfires, as Tru Love is hard to contain!
Fri, May 23, 6.30pm, Liberty Cinema


Purple Skies      
Director: Sridhar Rangayan
66 min | 2014 | English, Hindi with subtitles| India
Documentary Feature

An unflinching look at the lesser known and often misunderstood terrain of Indian LBT community. 
This insightful documentary weaves together heartrending stories of LBT people victimized and subjugated by the law, the family & society, as well as hopeful stories of youngsters who have come out of the closet bravely. By placing it in context of the historic struggle of the LGBT community in India, and juxtaposing personal stories with critical analysis of issues by activists & advocates; the film offers a compelling inside view of Indian LBT lives.
Sat, May 24, 6.30pm, Liberty Cinema


Born This Way
Directors: Shaun Kadlec, Deb Tullmann
82 min | 2013 | French, English with subtitles| USA, Cameroon
Documentary Feature

A brave documentary that tells the climate of homophobia and intolerance that gays and lesbians living in Cameroon.  It follows Cedric and Gertrude, two young Cameroonians, as they move between a secret, supportive queer community and an outside culture that, though intensely homophobic, is in transition toward greater acceptance. This film describes both the impossible and the possible. The filmmakers’ unobtrusive proximity to their protagonists has yielded conversations in which their interlocutors discuss their longing for a love life they are forbidden to have. Also followed is Alice Knom, a human rights defense lawyer who’s often the only person is willing to defend LGBT people in Cameroon. Her story revolves around defending two women being pursued by the state on the basis of their homosexuality.
Fri, May 23, 1.30pm, Alliance Française, Marline Lines


John Apple Jack
Director: Monika Mitchell
88 min | 2013 | English | Canada
Narrative Feature

A romantic comedy set inside the restaurant industry brings East and West together to create one sumptuously heart-warming dish. Jack works as a line cook at John’s flagship restaurant and has quietly given up hope that his childhood crush John would ever fall for him and support his dreams of running a fusion restaurant together one day. When John discovers that truth that passions ignite, and before the fresh, bountiful ingredients rot away in a glamorous but empty kitchen-- the challenge for both John and Jack is to find a way to blend money, passion, love and family into one sumptuous recipe for life.
Closing Night Film – Sun, May 25, 10pm, Liberty Cinema

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