Meet the KASHISH 2017 Festival Jury

Eminent Jury of Screenwriter Anjum Rajabali, actor Lubna Salim, TV Producer and writer Vinta Nanda, editor Jabeen Merchant and writer Aseem Chhabra will judge 51 films in competition.

The Festival Jury for the 8th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival was announced on May 17, 2017 at a press conference at the Mumbai Press Club. South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival will be held between May 24-28 at two venues in South Mumbai – the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise. 147 films from 45 countries will be screened over five days. Of these 51 films will compete in the eight competition categories for top awards that carry total cash awards of Rs 2.25 lakhs. The awards are sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, Whistling Woods International, Wadia Movietone, K F Patil Charitable Trust and Lotus Visual.

The eminent jury that will judge the film this year are screenwriter Anjum Rajabali, actor Lubna Salim, TV Producer and writer Vinta Nanda, editor Jabeen Merchant and writer Aseem Chhabra. Additional jury member is Roy Wadia.

“I have been hearing about the KASHISH festival for a few years now, and have been keen to involve myself in some way in it. Hence, it is a pleasure and an honour that they asked me to be a jury member this year. KASHISH is a very important initiative, which is already sensitising Indian society to issues faced by the LGBTQ community. The film festival is the ambassador of this community to the rest of the world. We are proud that it is the biggest LGBTQ Film Festival in South Asia!” says Anjum Rajabali, screenwriter and teacher. Rajabali has written for such successful and critically acclaimed films like Ghulam, Drohkaal and Rajneeti.

“It is an honour to be on the jury of KASHISH,” said writer and TV producer Vinta Nanda, who is known for popular Television serials like Tara and the critically acclaimed film White Noise. “The experience of watching diverse cinema from all over the world is intense and empowering. I hope that everybody gets to see the films that have been curated for KASHISH 2017,” added Vinta Nanda.

Jabeen Merchant who has edited acclaimed films like NH10, Manorama Six Feet Under and Anaarkali of Aarah, said that KASHISH over the eight years had become an important cultural event in Mumbai. “KASHISH has created a wonderful space in our city not only for the LGBTQ community but for everyone who loves cinema. I have always been a friend and supporter of everything that this festival stands for, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the jury,” said Jabeen Merchant.

Actor Lubna Salim, who is known for the popular TV serial Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby said that it was an honour to be a part of the jury for KASHISH 2017. “I was aware of KASHISH form the time my short film Lihaaf was screened at this unique festival.I am extremely proud to be part of the jury this year also because it includes some very important people from the film and TV fraternity,” said Lubna Salim, adding, “KASHISH as a festival has played an important role in creating space for LGBTQ rights in minds that were living in denial of their existence. It has also paved the way for LGBT community to be accepted as an integral part of our society. I congratulate Sridhar Rangayan and his team for keeping a significant social forum alive through this festival.”

“For last few years I have been following the KASHISH MIQFF – tracking the films and reading posts on social media by enthusiastic audience members. This year I am thrilled to be able to attend the festival, to watch the films, interact with the audience, as well as meet my fellow jurors.  The films in competition are strong and I look forward to the judging process,” said Aseem Chhabra, writer of book ‘Shashi Kapoor – the Householder, the Star’ and festival director of New York Indian Film Festival.

“Being part of Kashish for many years from the Wadia Movietone perspective, I’ve been impresssed by the quality of the submissions which increases year after year. It’s really interesting to see this as a member of the jury for the Riyad Wadia Award,” said Roy Wadia.

KASHISH 2017 opens on May 24, 2017 with the American film Signature Move, directed by Jennifer Reed and stars Shabana Azmi. Acclaimed Indian gay road drama LOEV will be the closing film on May 28, 2017.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 

 Founded in 2010, KASHISH MIQFF is held over 5 days at two venues. The festival this year will be held at Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise in South Mumbai. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. Voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the world, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater. The film festival this year will be held between May 24-May 28, 2017, at two venues in South Mumbai – the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise. Delegate Registrations are open on Book My Show


THEME of KASHISH 2017 : ‘Diverse, One’ 


The theme of KASHISH 2017 explores the diversity of the LGBTQ communities. The diverse shades of the rainbow remind us that as people we are all different and we are all unique. In the fight for an equal society, basic human rights and against laws that criminalize and discriminate, it is our shared values that bring us together. We are strongest when we come together, when we embrace one another’s uniqueness and celebrate our differences. We are Diverse, We are One.


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