The budget stays roughly the same at the Kashish Film Festival this year, but it’s coming from very different sources. “Earlier, UN bodies represented over 80-90 per cent of our funding. This time, private entities and corporates have accounted for 90 per cent of our budget, while the UN has given 10 per cent. We have their moral support too,” says Pallav Patankar, festival director at the country’s biggest queer film event.
He adds, “Crowd-funding is our biggest achievement this time. The festival is free, but the community must realise that those who have the means should come forward with support, and this time, they’ve contributed around Rs 85,000.”
Ask Patankar about the content this time and he enthuses, “We’ve tried to get more features and longer films. We’re excited about having a lot of vernacular content — Marathi, Punjabi, Kannada — besides English and Hindi films. There’s even comedy, which is a welcome change.”
Kashish 2012 will also have panel discussions simultaneously taking place at the venues’ foyers, so you can attend either that or the film. Gay organisations have set up stalls too. Registrations are all online and operations have been upscaled. One hundred and twenty films are going to be screened at two venues.
“France is the country of focus and one of the venues, Alliance Française, has helped us get some films. We even have French volunteers,” says Patankar. “It’s very apt because it’s a country that decriminalised homosexuality back in the seventeenth century and is very liberal.”
The response, meanwhile, has been overwhelming. Hundreds have registered in advance, and the festival is banking on the on-the-spot entries too, to raise money. Winners at the event will be picked by a jury of actors Renuka Shahane, Mona Ambegaonkar and Parvin Dabas and film critic Mayank Shekhar.
Must Watch Films
* August (2011) - USA - Dir: Eldar Rapaport
* Gigola (2010) - France - Dir: Laure Charpentier
* Men To Kiss (Maenner Zum Knutschen, 2012) - Germany - Dir: Robert Hasfogel
* My Last Round (Mi Ultimo Round, 2011) - Argentina - Dir: Julio Jorquera
* The Owls (2010) - USA - Cheryl Dunye
* We The Outsiders (Aamhi Ka Tisre, 2011) - Maharashtra, India - Dir: Ramesh Laxman More
* Family Khusreyandi (2009) - Punjab, India - Dir: BD Sharma
* Tales Of The Waria (2011) - USA - Dir: Kathy Huang
* Rites Of Passage (2012) - USA - Dir: Jeff Roy
* The Love Patient (2011) - USA - Dir: Michael Simon