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Together with pride: 5-day Kashish film fest ends on a high in Mumbai

Spanish film Mater, by Pablo D’Alo Abba, bagged the best narrative feature award

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 23:41 IST
Anesha George
Anesha George
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Kashish film festival,liberty cinema
Chetan Kanwar (centre) won an award for playing the lead in Pashi, on the last day of the film festival, on Sunday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT)

There was a lot of laughter, thanks to hosts Abish Mathew and Dilnaz Irani, who paid a nostalgic tribute to the late Sridevi, and glitz one would expect on the closing day of the 9th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
that was organised at Liberty Cinema.

Spanish film Mater, by Pablo D’Alo Abba, bagged the best narrative feature award. The biggest prize at the event, with a cash award of ₹30,000, was sponsored by Bollywood actor Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares — The School for Actor’s’.

Also on the agenda were androgynous fashion show by Mx Gaurav troupe and a show by High Heel Hotties, a group of men who perform to peppy Bollywood numbers in heels to challenge gender stereotypes. With 47 films competing for awards in eight categories, total cash prize up for grabs was ₹2.65 lakh.

“Every year, the competition gets fiercer and stakes keep getting higher. But our goal in the end is to encourage independent filmmakers, especially when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) themes,” said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.

The best Indian narrative short went to Ajay by Vikrant Dhote. Chetan Kanwar won the best performance by an actor portraying a LGBT character for his role in Pashi. The movie is a story of a teenager from a small town in Himachal Pradesh exploring the different facets of love.

“I am not a trained director. This was just an attempt on my part. So this is a huge deal for me and an encouragement for other directors, who dare to dream,” said Dhote.

The five-day festival wrapped up with the screening of an Indian film, Evening Shadows, by Rangayan. The film highlights poignant tale of a gay son opening up about his sexuality to his mother.

Kashish first-timer Richa Rathore, 24, who is training to become an actor, called the event an eye-opener. “I come from Shimla, a small town which barely gets to see this proud display of freedom,” she said. “After seeing the films and meeting people here, I feel empowered.”

First Published: May 27, 2018 23:41 IST