In five years, Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival (KMIQFF) has created a niche for itself by highlighting the innumerable issues faced by the country’s LGBT community. It is now a fixture in the city’s annual culture calendar and continues to draw in the crowds.
Besides spatial expansion (shifting its venue to Liberty Cinema), the five-day festival has grown in terms of content — with 154 films from 31 countries.
Talking about what people can expect from the festival, Sridhar Rangayan, festival director, KMIQFF, says, “Apart from shorts, documentaries, narrative features as well as animation films, there are seven competition categories judged by the jury members ­— actors Sarika, Pia Benegal and Avantika Akerkar, and film-maker Onir. “We have a diverse variety of international content coming from Canada, Turkey, Cameroon and Uganda, among others.”
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With the Supreme Court’s refusal to review its verdict on criminalising homosexuality, the organisers of the festival have chosen the theme — Dare to Dream — as a reflection of the ground realities for the LGBT community. Rangayan adds, “Across the world, law pressurises LGBT individuals not to be open about their sexuality. Our theme this year reflects on the spirit of people wanting to live a life of equality and dignity.”
The festival will come to a close with fashion designer Wendell Rodricks and LGBT activist Ashok Row Kavi receiving the Rainbow Warrior Award.