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Mumbai’s LGTBQ community members house film festival participants with ‘pride’

The filmmakers have come to the city to participate in the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2018 00:58 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
LGBTQ,Mumbai,Liberty Cinema
The festival opened at Liberty cinema on Wednesday.(HT FILE)

For the past two days, 28-year-old Prachi Kathale’s parents have been taking care of two filmmakers from Kolkata. The filmmakers have come to the city to participate in the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Their film ‘Languages’ will be screened at KASHISH.

Kathale, who is a filmmaker herself, has been urging her parents to attend the film festival from the last few years, so that they could understand more about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. But they would always refuse to accompany her to the festival.

“For my parents, the term gay was like an alien concept, which is why I wanted them to come and experience the festival. But, while I have been away, my parents have been interacting with the filmmakers who are staying at our place.”

Kathale said that her parents have now opened up to the idea having such a festival.

“For the first time, they are looking forward to attend the film festival,” said Kathale.

Like the Kathale’s, there are four other places, which are housing the participants of KASHISH.

Anindya Das, 33, is participating in the festival for the second year in a row. His documentary ‘Zara Nazar Uthake Dekho’ is being screened at KASHISH. He said his experience in the city has been far better this year.

“Last year when I attended KASHISH, finding a place to stay was a major concern for me because I was new to Mumbai and didn’t know about the available options,” said Das.

“This year however, I have Omesh Mashan, a Mumbai resident, hosting me and it is a great relief because even the smallest aspect of the day, such as someone providing you with breakfast makes things convenient for you when you are in a new city,” she said.

Sridhar Rangayan, the festival director, said that while those hosting the filmmakers are members of the community themselves, they didn’t think it was appropriate to ask the sexual orientation of their guests.

“In most of the international film festivals, visitors are provided with an option of home stay,” said Rangayan.

“In a city like Mumbai, the stay is expensive. The fact that there is a stigma attached with the LGBTQ community in India, made it all the more difficult for the participants. But, I guess things are getting better now,” he said.

First Published: May 26, 2018 00:56 IST