‘Mater’ is Best Narrative Film, ‘Ajay’ wins Best Indian Short and ‘Pashi’ is QDrishti winner at KASHISH 2018

Cash awards of Rs 2.40 lakhs given out at South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival
Argentinian film ‘Mater’ directed by Pablo D’Alo Abba won the Best Narrative Film Award at the 9th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Awards were announced in nine competition categories. ‘Ajay’ directed by Vikrant Dhote won the Best Indian Short film, while ‘Pashi’ directed by Siddharth Chauhan won the Rs 1 lakh QDrishti Film Grant. Preet, who directed the film ‘Gray’ was named the winner of the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Film Maker. Actor Chetan Kanwar won the Best Performance in a Lead Role Award for ‘Pashi’. The awards were announced at the closing ceremony on Sunday May 27, 2018 at Liberty Carnival Cinema, hosted by stand-up comic Abish Mathew and actor Dilnaz Iran. KASHISH 2018 – South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival was held between May 23-27, 2018 and screened 140 films from 45 countries.
The winners in the other categories included ‘Little Potato’ (K F Patil Trust Unity In Diversity Best Documentary Short); ‘Boys For Sale’ ( K F Patil Trust Unity In Diversity Best Documentary Feature); Marguerite (Best International Narrative Short) and ‘Celebrate Eileen’ (Best Student Short Film). Cash awards totaling Rs 2.40 lakhs were given to the winners and were sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Lotus Visual, Wadia Movietone, K F Patil Charitable Trust, Whistling Woods and KASHISH Arts Foundation.
The Jury Comprised of actors Tara Deshpande, Sid Makkar and Jayati Bhatia, National award winning filmmakers Ramchandra PN and Batul Mukhtiar and documentary filmmaker Malati Rao. The student jury comprised of National Award winning film editor Irene Dhar Malik, academician Jeroo Mulla and activist Harish Iyer.
“Every year, the competition gets fiercer and stakes keep getting higher. But our goal in the end is to encourage independent filmmakers who make films with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) themes,” said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.
The awards
1. Best Narrative Feature
Director: Pablo D’Alo Abba
Country: Argentina
Jury Citation: “A poignant, humorous film that explores the clash between traditional and less traditional relationships exposing the vulnerability of those the law doesn’t protect and the irony of status quo- a woman dominates her son with impunity but won’t tolerate two mothers raising her grand child.”
Award: It carries a trophy, a gift hamper and cash award of Rs 30,000 sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.
2. Q Drishti Film Grant Winner
Director: Siddharth Chauhan
Country: India
Jury Citation: “A story set in a picturesque, quaint town in Himachal Pradesh with quirky characters. It explores love, lies, sexuality, desire, betrayal through the journey of a teenage boy.  This unhurried short film keeps one fully engrossed as harsh truths of its principle characters are revealed in an otherwise calm setting. It is much more than just a pashi (bird trap).”
Award: Sponsored by Lotus Visual it carries Rs.1,00,000 grant and mentorship by KASHISH Advisory Board members to make the filmmakers next movie.
3. Best Indian Narrative Short
Director: Vikrant Dhote
Country: India
Jury Citation: “A powerful, moving depiction of a hypothetical crime, a young man sexually assaulted by his friend, narrated in documentary style, pitting class and caste, taboo and totalitarian, lies and truth, gay and straight, in an edge of your seat thriller that leaves you guessing long after the end.”
Award: It carries a cash award of Rs 20,000 sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares. Winners are awarded a trophy, a gift hamper and a free 2 day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips.
4. Riyad Wadia for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker
Director: Preet
Jury Citation: “A film set in a traditional joint family in India where expectations are mismatched from the start. A man who cannot please his wife, placate his peers, renounce his love or refuse his mother. using the vivid colors of an artist’s canvas director Preet’s exquisitely crafted frames recreate the sadness and suffocation of a family entangled in a web of torment.”
Award: It arries cash award of Rs.15,000 sponsored by Wadia Movietone, a trophy, a gift hamper, and a free 2 day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips.
Special Jury Mention for Riyad Wadia Award
Rahul MM for the film BIRDS OF PARADISE
Jury Citation: A very human story that touches your heart and offers a different dimension to transgender lives. It offers hope of a future where love and dignity is assured.
5. Best Performance in a Lead Role 
Chetan Kanwar for PASHI
Jury Citation: “A seamless, brave and authentic act by the young Chetan Kanwar. His character’s journey of discovery, of turmoil  – both within and outside – is portrayed with fearless truth and endearing innocence.”
Award:  It carries a trophy, a gift hamper and cash award of Rs 20,000 sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares.
Special Jury Mention 
Gu Xiang for SUNKEN PLUM
Jury Citation: A stellar performance by Gu Xiang who brings pathos, passion, fire and fear to his portrayal of a vulnerable transgender person fighting for acceptance against difficult odds in his hometown in rural China.”
6. Best International Narrative Short
Director: Marianne Farley
Country: Canada (Quebec)
Jury Citation: “A heart wrenching tale of love unspoken and a life bereft aptly alluding to that great poem on longing and death -Gray’s Elegy-“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”
Award: It carries a trophy, a gift hamper and cash award of Rs 15,000 sponsored by KASHISH Arts Foundation.
Special Jury Mention 
Director: Yorgos Angelopoulos
Country: Greece
Jury Citation: “The complete journey of a conservative, paranoid father who fears his young child is gay ! The child evokes love and laughter. A beautiful, relevant, pleasant watch.”
Drrectors: Roberto F. Canuto & Xiaoxi Xu
Jury Citation: “A transgender woman is forced to go back home as a man. The narrative is so powerful, one experiences the brutal conflict and torture the protagonist undergoes. Breaking shackles, being oneself, and most importantly Acceptance – are some of the themes in this heroic tale.”
7. K F Patil Unity In Diversity Award for Best Documentary Feature
Director: Itako
Country: Japan
Jury Citation: “The jury found it unique for its honesty, brutality and integrity. The jury found the blend of form and content remarkable. The film goes into the heart of the matter fearlessly, creating an intense impression for the audience.”
Award: It carries a trophy and a gift hamper and a cash prize of Rs 15,000 sponsored by the K.F. Patil Charitable Trust.
8. K F Patil Unity In Diversity Award for Best Documentary Short
Director: Wes Hurley, Nathan M Miller
Country: USA
Jury Citation: “The jury found this short film to be layered and complex in its narrative. The mother son relationship stood out for its wit and overwhelming love. The film tells this story using an innovative form with a warm sense of humour.”
Award: It carries a cash prize of Rs 10,000 sponsored by the K.F. Patil Charitable Trust.
9. Best Student Short
Director: Judith Westermann
Country: Germany
Award: The award carries a cash prize of Rs.15,000 sponsored by Whistling Woods International. Winners are also awarded a trophy, a gift hamper. and a free 2 day HD shooting kit (camera, mike and one light) sponsored by Accord Equips.
Jury Citation: “An unsual film which tackles transgender identity in a humourous yet, touching manner. The story unravels in a nuanced cinematic style.”
Special Jury Mention
Director: Clara Stern
Country: Austria
Jury Citation: “A poignant film that sensitively explores the period of transition in the life of a transgender person.”