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Together with pride: 9th edition of Kashish film festival kicks off in Mumbai

At the festival, 140 films from 45 countries, including 33 titles from India, will be screened.

mumbai Updated: May 24, 2018 11:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,pride walk,kashish film festival
The festival is screening 140 films from 45 countries, including 33 titles from India. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

There was dancing, singing and loads of double entendre on stage, thanks to hosts RJ Mantra and RJ Rohini; and cheering, whistling, rainbow-coloured dupattas and dazzling tiaras in the audience, as the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival kicked off its 9th edition at Liberty cinema on Wednesday.

Block your dates
  • The festival is on at Liberty and Metro Inox cinemas, Marine Lines, till Sunday.
  • Passes cost Rs 600 per head and are available at the venues.
  • For the full schedule, go to mumbaiqueerfest.com

Together With Pride is the theme, with screenings of 140 films from 45 countries, including 33 titles from India.

“This year we have the highest number of Indian films that have pushed cinematic boundaries, in terms of narrative, content and technical finesse,” said festival director Sridhar Rangayan.

The festival opened with the French film, Beats Per Minute, about the early years of the AIDS activist group, Act Up-Paris.

“Many of this year’s films offer insight into family bonding and acceptance across cultures,” said Rangayan.

With a view to promoting that acceptance, 190 students were also given free access this year.

“There are various notions people have about the community. Through movies that convey the issues of the community, we hope to bridge this gap,” said Bhagirathi Raman, consultant for the festival.

“Over the years, we observed that a lot of students couldn’t afford passes to attend the festival, which is why we decided to provide ‘scholarship’ to college students,” said Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, associate partner of Kashish.

If you are planning to head to Kashish, don’t miss Onir’s feature film, Shab, starring Raveena Tandon and Ashish Bisht, about the lives of queer people living on the edge; and Rohit Dwivedi’s Khejdi, the story of a transgendered individual from rural Rajasthan on a journey of self-discovery.

In the Best Narrative Feature category, the Tamil film, My Son is Gay by Lokesh Kumar, is competing with the Malayalam film Irattajeevitham by Suresh Narayanan. Irattajeevitham follows two friends as one of them decides to undergo gender reassignment surgery in a small town in Kerala. My Son is Gay is a `rare Tamil film about a young man’s struggle to deal with his sexuality and gain acceptance from his mother.

The festival has shortlisted 47 films in all, for awards across eight categories. The winner of the best Indian queer short film award will head to the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, UK.

“This is a great place to watch amazing movies that are hard to catch otherwise and meet like-minded people. I always make new friends,” said Bharat Jagwani, 28, a visitor at the festival for the second consecutive year.

First Published: May 24, 2018 11:21 IST