Keshav Suri Foundation, Skybags, Godrej and Morgan Stanley come on board to support KASHISH 2019

Revery is Associate partner, Gol Studios, Whistling Woods International Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai, Québec Government Office, Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai partner with South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival

Months after the section 377 verdict, Indian and international corporates are increasingly supporting LGBTQ events. The 10th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival which is to be held from June 12-16, 2019, is being backed by leading corporates to send a message of LGBTQ equality. The title partner of South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival this year is Keshav Suri Foundation along with The Lalit and It Gets Better India. Skybags and Godrej Industries are Principal Partners, while Morgan Stanley, Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai, Québec Government Office in Mumbai are coming in as an Associate Partners. Two OTT platforms Revery and GoL studios are Associate Partner and Supporting Partner respectively. Whistling Woods International and Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai are the other Supporting Partners. “June is Pride Month around the world, and that’s KASHISH this year is being held in June, to celebrate its 10th anniversary along with the world. Celebrations are also due as this is the first mainstream LGBTQ film festival in India after reading down of Sec 377. We are happy that several corporate companies and organizations in India are supporting KASHISH 2019, and also several global companies!” said Sridhar Rangayan.

Heartiest congratulations to KASHISH for a fruitful decade long journey. The Lalit and Keshav Suri Foundation are proud to be associated with the KASHISH Film Festival that has stood the test of time in its support of the LGBTQ+ Community, even when homosexuality was considered a ‘crime’ in India, KASHISH continued to promote Queer art and bring their stories into fore. The ethos of the festival is completely in sync with the motto of the Keshav Suri Foundation – to embrace, empower and mainstream the community. This year is doubly special as one of the movies selected for screening – Queen – narrates the journey of the Drag Queens at Kitty Su. At the festival you will also see the short movie Intezaar, which was released on our platform. I wish every queer artist, person, ally and the festival all the very best. Let’s paint the world with rainbow hues, and make it a better India”, said Keshav Suri, Founder, Keshav Suri Foundation and Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group. Principal Partners for KASHISH 2019 are two Indian companies Skybags and Godrej.

“It has been great to be part of KASISH’s journey for 4 years. Each year, it is inspiring to see the festival grow in its mission to bring light and give voice to our LGBTQ community. India needs platforms like KASHISH that encourages aspiring filmmakers. We at Skybags are proud to support this wave of change. We wish the festival all the best in its journey to bring about social change through a creative and sensitive approach”, said Radhika Piramal, Vice Chairperson, VIP Industries.

“We are proud to associate with the 10th Anniversary edition of the KASHISH Film Festival. At Godrej, we believe in building a diverse and inclusive workforce and ensuring equal rights for our LGBT employees. Cinema is a medium that reflects society’s values and has an important role to play in shaping its beliefs and attitudes. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with KASHISH to ensure we jointly celebrate individuality and equality at Godrej and beyond.” said Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman, Godrej Properties Limited. Associate Partners for KASHISH 2019 are Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai, Québec Government Office in Mumbai, Revry and Morgan Stanley.

“Canada is proud to support the KASHISH Mumbai Queer International Film Festival for the sixth consecutive year. We believe that KASHISH is an important forum to build awareness and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Working with partner organizations around the world is one important way that Canada supports inclusion. What’s exciting about this year? We are pleased to support the participation of Amrit Sandhu lead actor of Canadian film Roobha. We are also pleased that the festival line-up includes 14 Canadian films. Congratulations to Team KASHISH on putting together one of Asia’s best queer film festival. See you there!”, said Annie Dubé, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai

“This year KASHISH is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and we congratulate it on that achievement! After all, to achieve a long-lasting event, it not only takes hard work, investment, time and energy, but also passion and conviction. As a festival partner, the Québec Government Office in Mumbai is also an ally in defending the rights of the LGBTQ community in India. That is why we are thrilled about the recent decriminalization of homosexuality, which not only helps advance the cause of sexual and gender minorities here in India, but also around the world”, said Dominic Marcotte, Consul & Director of the Québec Government Office in Mumbai.

“Revry is thrilled to be an Associate Sponsor of KASHISH this year and I’m personally thrilled to be delivering a keynote at one of the panel discussions. It has been my dream to champion authentic LGBTQ stories. As the proud CEO of Revry, the first and largest LGBTQ global streaming network with international films, documentaries, series, originals and the largest LGBTQ music and podcast libraries in the world, I get to live that dream. I know this is a privilege, and at Revry we are committed to reaching every corner of the world, to make sure our brothers and sisters in all cultures see themselves and know they are loved and not alone.”

“At Morgan Stanley, our employees are our greatest asset, and we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all employees can fully contribute to the success of the Firm. A corporate culture that is open and inclusive is fundamental to our role as a global leader in banking constantly striving for excellence in all that we do. The discussion on LGBT+ inclusion has progressed beyond the business case to global action and Morgan Stanley continues its commitment to the community. We are pleased to partner for the 10th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and hope that the platform provides the opportunity for everyone to be heard and represented as equals”, said Rajat Mathur, MD, Head of HR at Morgan Stanley. Supporting Partners of KASHISH 2019 are Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai, Gol Studios and Whistling Woods International.

The Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai, Ulrika Sundberg said, “The Consulate General of Sweden is happy to be the focus country and partner of the 10th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Sweden attaches great importance to equal rights and opportunities for everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. While Sweden welcomes the Indian Supreme Court ruling on article 377 of the Constitution, decriminalizing homosexuality, there is scope for exchange of best practices on how to safeguard LGBT- persons’ equal rights and opportunities. In Sweden, the formal rights of LGBT persons have been strengthened through various reforms like an enhanced Constitutional non-discrimination principle, linked to sexual orientation, a gender neutral Marriage Code, enhanced family rights and criminal protection against hate crimes. We look forward to further exchange on this topic”.

“India is changing rapidly. What seemed impossible one year ago is now a reality, thanks to events like this film festival and the people behind it. For almost a decade KASHISH has brought the best local and international LGBT films to the cinemas of Mumbai building up an amazing community. Through this partnership, GagaOOLala wants to bring these diverse stories to the rest of India and Asia to places where queer film festivals are still unthinkable, said Jay Lin, Founder of Portico Media.

Commenting on Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) association with South Asia’s biggest queer film festival, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, said, “Love knows no barriers, and I can’t wait for a time where we don’t have to talk about issues facing the LGBTQ community because there would be no issues. The role played by various institutes and organizations in spreading this message of love and tolerance is a vital one, and we take this responsibility seriously. We hope to see a positive response on this special occasion and would like to convey our best wishes to everyone who is part of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.” “Post the reading down of section 377, we are seeing a greater willingness and engagement from corporate India to embrace their LGBTQI employees. This mix of Companies is not only International Conglomerates but also Indian corporate houses that envision a progressive, diverse and inclusive working culture in this country. Kashish in its 10th year is proud to have worked within the corporate space for the last 10 years to bring about the change in sensibilities through the power of cinema, dialogue and poignant portrayals of the LGBTQI lived realities,” said Pallav Patankar, Director of Marketing, KASHISH.