“Its bigger, bolder and queerer this year,” said filmmaker Shyam Benegal, as he flagged off the press conference for the second edition of Kashish, India’s only mainstream Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) film festival, on Wednesday.
The second edition of the annual film festival will be held from May 25 to May 29 at Cinemax, Versova, and Alliance France, New Marine Lines.
The festival is an initiative, which aims at providing a forum to the LGBT community through the medium of cinema. “The festival wants to create an acceptance of the fact that being homosexual is not abnormal,” said Benegal, also the Festival Patron.
The jury this year comprises of filmmaker Sai Paranjpye, actors Samir Soni and Shernaz Patel, film critic Khalid Mohammad and international festival director John Badalu from Indonesia.
“The films will help in creating an identity for the people who still haven’t come out of the closet,” said Sai Paranjpye, a vociferous supporter of the cause and also the chairperson of the jury.
Actor Celina Jaitley, who is the brand ambassador for Kashish, is a strong supporter of the LGBT movement. “My association with this cause has helped me discover my true self. I strongly feel that films best showcase human emotions and such festivals are the best platforms to celebrate this fact,” said Jaitley.
The festival, that saw a full attendance for all its shows last year, hopes to generate the same kind of support this year. “Such large turnouts prove that people have become more accepting than before. I am certain that there will come a day when such festivals will not be required,” said Vivek Anand, one of the festival directors.