It is time once again to get ready for India’s largest mainstream queer film festival: KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival .

The first edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 organized by Solaris Pictures and Bombay Dost in association with The Humsafar Trust was held from April 22-25, 2010 turned out to be a milestone event in LGBT movement in India.

It had many first - the first ever queer film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre: PVR Cinemas; the first queer film festival in India to apply for and obtain an exemption from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the first ever queer film festival in India to have competitive categories and cash awards.

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2011 to be held in April 2011 intends to be BIGGER, BOLDER and QUEERER.

We call upon filmmakers, both in India and across the world, to submit shorts, features and documentaries that highlight / focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters, communities and expressions.



KASHISH at Q! Film Festival, Indonesia


Jakarta:26 Sep, Subtitles 18.00 | 30 Sep, CCF 17.00



Jakarta:25 Sep, Kineforum 14.15 | 29 Sep, CCF 17.00

Award Winning Gay Films from KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 to screen in Mumbai again

This weekend in Mumbai, award winning films from the largest queer film festival in India - KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 will be screened again due to popular demand. Shorts films 'Steam' (USA) , 'Dirty Magazines' (USA), 'I am Gay' (Sweden) and the rom-com feature 'Oh Happy Day' (UK) will comprise the four film package to be screened as part of Bombay Dost's Sunday High screening series on September 5th. Four more award winning films will be screened on Sept 19th.  

Kashish 2010 - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 turned out to be a milestone event in LGBT movement in India. It was the first ever queer film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre PVR Cinemas. It was also the first queer film festival in India to apply for and obtain an exemption from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The four days of the film festival drew an unprecedented audience turnout of over 1200 people who came to watch 110 films from 25 countries. The festival was supported by a host of Bollywood celebrities like Rahul Bose, Manisha Koirala, Zeenat Aman, Sanjay Suri, Purab Kohli, Celina Jaitley, etc. There was coverage in more than 200 news sites, ezines and blogs with exclusive spreads in several mainstream newspapers in India as well as leading international newspapers.

The panel discussions and interaction with filmmakers and resource persons highlighted several issues related to LGBT community. This not only mainstreamed queer visibility, but also presumably empowered the LGBT persons.

Kashish 2010 - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010 was organized by Solaris Pictures and Bombay Dost in association with The Humsafar Trust. It was supported by UNDP, UNAIDS and Movies That Matter.

September 5th

(2009)   15.30 min / Short / USA / Dir: Eldar Rapaport
Two guys who are stuck in a steam room with no exits try to figure out the situation and each other.
Winner - Best International Short  -  Jury Citation: A compelling thriller, it encompasses a whole socio-political world with deft, cinematic brilliance.

(2008)   39 min / Short / USA / Dir: Jay J. Levy
In the 1980s, a mother-son relationship takes a wild left turn after she finds adult gay magazines under her son’s bed on his birthday.
Winner -Special Jury Award -  Jury Citation: An over-the-edge view of a real situation, that makes its point with sensitivity

3. I AM GAY (Jag Ar Bog)
(2008)   14.30 min / Short / SWEDEN / Dir: Nicolos Kolovos
A humorous glimpse into a young man’s dilemma about how to reveal his secret to his Greek-Swedish family which is quite orthodox. He finally designs his own unique way!
Special Jury Award  Jury Citation: A humorous look at the agonies of coming out in a traditional family

(2007)   100 min / Feature / UK / Dir: Ian Poitier
In advertising, being true to oneself is a hard pill to swallow… Oh Happy Day is a comedic romp through London's white collar boardrooms n bedrooms. Jonathan and David meet at a formal black-tie dinner and end up spending the night together at Jonathan’s London flat. The budding relationship faces its first challenge the very next morning when Jonathan discovers that David is his “new client” at the marketing firm where he works.
Audience Favourite (based on survey feedback)


Date:  September 5, 2010
Time:  5pm to 8pm.
Venue: The Humsafar Trust's Drop-in Centre, 4th floor, Municipal Transit Building (Vakola Municipal Market Building), Near Raheja Point and Vakola Masjid, Santacruz (East), Mumbai.
Getting there: It's approximately minimum fare by auto-rickshaw from Santacruz station (East). You could also take routes 311 or 313. The same routes also operate from Kurla (West) station..
Programme Courtesy: KASHISH – Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
Space courtesy: The Humsafar Trust.

Note: More KASHISH award winners will be screened on September 19, 2010

Kashish Award Winners Speak...

Category: Best Documentary Short

Title: XXWhy

We would like to thank the eminent jury members of Kashih Film Festival and its well meaningful organisers who were bold enough to give the best short documentary award to a novice film maker like me.

In a fluid world of shifting boundaries and contested terrains of identity politics , XXWhy dreams a world sans constructed boundaries of class, caste, sex and gender.

We would like to dedicate this award to Sree Nandu- the protagonist of XXWhy, and his indomitable spirit which personifies his astonishing journey through the turbulent spaces of Kerala. .Three cheers to my friend Sree Nandu and all the cheers to more Sreenandus to exercise their rights, voice and visibility for democratisig the public domain .

The award is truly encouraging and its confidence is the capital to begin my next work.

Manjula Bharathy and the crew of XXWhy

Category: Documentary Short - Special Jury Award

Title: Flying Inside My Body

It feels great to see that Flying Inside My Body is still travelling the festival circuit after completing 2 years and picking up awards. To top it, winning at the Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival feels great, given that it's India's biggest LGBT festival, matched with a large number of international entries competing! Spaces for discussions on gender and sexuality are fast shrinking, so festivals like KMQFF present filmmakers an ideal platform to reach out to large audiences and initiate a such critical dialogues. I hope that the festival continues to grow in the coming years and is able to reach out to audiences across spectrums...

Sushmit Ghosh and the directorial team of Flying Inside My Body

Category: Documentary Short - Special Jury Award for Student Film

Title: Speak Up! It Is Not Your Fault

As students we were filled with apprehensions as our film- ‘Speak Up! It’s not your fault’, got screened for the first time for a film festival and that too of immense grandeur. The film includes the sweat, passion and single mindedness of 10 young aspiring students, guidance of professors and participants in the film. Our joy knew no boundaries when the film won the ’Special Jury Award for student film’ at the Kashish – ‘Mumbai International Queer Film Festival’. We were overwhelmed by the appreciation we received from the audiences, Jury and the fellow film- makers. We thank Kashish from the deepest of our hearts to provide us and our film the platform. Also, I wish more successful film festivals in the coming years for Kashish, where we can contribute as volunteers and film makers. Cheers for KASHISH !!!

Deepika Lal, Student Filmmaker, Speak Up! It’s not your fault

Category: Best Documentary Feature

Title: Prodigal Sons

I am absolutely thrilled that PRODIGAL SONS has won the award for Best Documentary Feature at your wonderful festival. It is quite an honor. On behalf of my family (especially my brother Marc) and all of the people who made this film happen (especially my partner Claire), it is a pleasure to accept your kind and generous recognition.

One of the greatest rewards of showing our film has been to see -- despite the specifics of my family or our culture -- how the film connects with audiences around the world. We all have so much more in common than we have separating us, and I am thankful that by sharing the story of my family we can touch hearts on the other side of the globe.

I really wish I could be there in person to show my gratitude, but please accept my most heartfelt thanks for the award for Best Documentary Feature. It will be treasured!
With warmest wishes from New York City,

Kimberly Reed, Director/Producer, Prodigal Sons

Category: Documentary Feature -Special Jury Award

Title: Holding Hands

We are honoured and delighted to receive a special jury award for Holding Hands. We hope this film will encourage people to speak out if they witness violence or are a victim of violence. In Australia, we were alarmed to discover that 85% of gay men and lesbians have experienced homophobic abuse; we wanted to reveal how one act of hatred can radically affect a survivor’s life, so that people can truly understand the devastating effects of hate crimes. We do hope that one day this film will be seen as a remnant of times gone by, and our community will be free to live their lives openly, without fear of homophobic violence. Thank you to Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival for honouring our film with this award.

Tonnette Stanford and Katherine Wilkinson, Co-Directors, Holding Hands

Category: Best International Short

Title: Steam

It's been a pleasure and honor to be included in the first Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival let alone win the top prize. It's been my goal as a filmmaker to create films that make people think and feel and to reach as broad an audience as possible. I am glad that message was heard all the way to India. I thank you very much for this award and I wish you best of luck and many prosperous years with the festival and I hope one day to come visit. Thank you!

Eldar Rapaport, Director, Steam

Category: International Short - Special Jury Award

Title: Dirty Magazines

Hello Mumbai, Thank you so much I just found out that I won this Jury Award. Thank you it’s so exciting. I wish I could be there to accept it. Thank you so much for honoring my work and everyone’s work in this way. I made a film to hopefully to make people laugh no matter what country they are from and it apparently has achieved that. Actually I was just commissioned to write a Bollywood film so hopefully I can see you again with my Hollywood-Bollywood crew. Hope all is going great in your part of the world and really thank you a very-very deeply for this recognition that means a lot. Thank you!

Jay J. Levy, Writer/Director/ Producer, Dirty Magazines (transcript from the video message)

Category: International Short- Special Jury Award

Title: I Am Gay

I could not in my wildest dreams ever think that my film would travel all the way to India. I am extremely proud and pleased that the jury and the audience appreciated my film. The first thing I will do tomorrow is to visit an Indian restaurant here in Sweden and celebrate with spicy food and Indian beer. Thank you very much!

Nicolas Kolovos, Director, I Am Gay

Category: Best Indian Short

Title: Lost & Found

I'd like to thank the organizers of Kashish MIQFF 2010 for creating this wonderful space for LGBT cinema that people in our country have little access to, the selection committee for having given me a chance to share my films with the audiences and the jury for making this so special for me. This is so encouraging and I hope to make many more films and be a part of future Kashish film festivals

Shrenik Jain, Director/Producer, Lost & Found

A Note of Thanks from the Festival Programmer

KASHISH has raised so many questions for me, it is going to take some time to sort them all out. For now I find myself wanting just to share my deepest gratitude with all the filmmakers who became a part of our journey, sharing their work at this very first edition of KASHISH.

I also thank our total team of volunteers, projection-room technicians, venue managers and core committee members without whose cohesive support we could not have had the seamless screenings of the programmed films. A special thanks also to our venue partners - Alliance Francaise de Bombay and PVR Cinemas who contributed to realize our dream of mainstreaming queer cinema. And how can we not mention our ever-enthusiastic and eager Jury, who gave us their valuable time and viewed not only the ‘in competition’ films but even the non-competitive ones too. We thank them for their supportive and encouraging gesture throughout.

My greatest thanks go to the delegates. Following the record registration figure of 900 plus, seeing the large crowds attending even the allied events, braving the presence of media flash, queuing up patiently for the screenings many a times to be turned back because there were no more seats available, the several houseful shows at the112 seater PVR Audi-5 especially on the last day – all combined was the true ‘kashish’, the true allurement, at this Festival

Thank you dear delegates! Hope we continue to receive your love and support to make KASHISH grow bigger and bigger. Esi ummeed ke saath ki Kashish ke liye aapki kashish aisi hi bani rahegi, see you all and everyone at KASHISH 2011.        
~ Saagar Gupta

Four days of Films-N-Fun at Kashish: A report

Kashish 2010 - Day 1:  What you missed (and we wish you hadn't)

Kashish - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival had a star-studded opening on Thursday with some of the cast of 'I Am' inaugurating the four-day fest.

Director Onir led his cast members, Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri and Purab Kohli in lighting the traditional lamp at PVR Juhu to declare the film festival open. This is the first queer film festival in India of international stature. It is also probably the first in India to be held at a mainstream venue.

"I am really proud that Mumbai is hosting an international queer film festival of this stature," said actor Manisha Koirala. Sanjay Suri, who is also producing I Am, echoed this sentiment. "I wish this film festival had happened five years ago so that we could have premiered 'My Brother Nikhil' here," said Sanjay, who thanked the UNDP and Humsafar Trust for their support for 'I Am'.

Onir said he was proud to be part of the opening of Kashish. Actor Rahul Bose dwelled on the fact that everyone is a victim of discrimination and stereotyping at some point of time. Onir’s latest film is based on true incidents and is truly a community-owned film, with funds raised through social networking sites and over 400 contributors worldwide coming together in common cause. Four stories of marginalized individuals who are forced to struggle against society, shot in four cities, dealing with four issues never dealt with by so-called mainstream cinema: I AM AFIA, I AM OMAR, I AM ABHIMANYU, I AM MEGHA.

Earlier during the opening ceremony, anchor Neha called upon festival directors Sridhar Rangayan and Vivek Anand and Ashok Row Kavi, Technical Officer Sexual Minorities Desk at UNAIDS India and the founder of Humsafar Trust to take the stage and set things in motion.

"We always wanted to get a queer film festival of international standards to Mumbai," said Sridhar. "This year the screenings are at Audi 5; I have a dream that at next year's edition of Kashish all five screens at PVR would screen the film festival," said Vivek. Ashok said that UNDP and UNAIDS would continue their support of Kashish.

Sridhar introduced the jury members: theatre person DOLLY THAKORE; actor SUHASINI MULAY; playwright MAHESH DATTANI; actor RAJIT KAPUR; and film critic MEENAKSHI SHEDDE. Dolly Thakore expressed her unflinching support for the cause. Mahesh commended the Kashish team for "visibilising the invisibles.' Suhasini Mulay and Rajit Kapur said they were amazed at the talent reflected in the films, including the Indian entries, many of which were first-time efforts.

The screenings began at 10 am simultaneously at PVR Juhu and Alliance Francaise, Manine Lines, to packed audiences.
The highlights of Day 1 were 'Flying Inside My Body' - a documentary on photographer Sunil Gupta; two documentaries by Sophia College students `Engayging Lives’ and 'Speak Up, It's Not your fault'; and a panel discussion on cinema and censorship with panelists censor board member Nandini Sardesai, anti-censorship activist Gargi Sen, filmmaker Vinta Nanda and Ashok Row Kavi, moderated by Paromita Vohra.

Nandini and Gargi took diametrically opposite stands on the issue while others questioned the need for censoring films in the age of mobile MMS/online videos. Ashok Row Kavi held the audience enthralled with his unique take on queer representation in cinema.

To view pictures of the opening ceremony, please click on this link to get into an online folder containing the images (no sign-in required): https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B4aUlkRoQ5jgOWY2NGU2NmMtY2NkZi00M2QzLTllN2QtMDIwMWY4NzY1MDYy&hl=en_GB

To view pictures of the opening gala held at Vie Lounge Juhu on the eve of the festival (ie 21 April), please click on this link that will take you to the online folder (again, no sign-in required) https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B4aUlkRoQ5jgNzE3NTczNDQtNTU3Ni00NTBiLThkMWEtZjI4ZGJlZGIxNDAx&hl=en_GB

Day 2 of Kashish - Friday, April 23, 2010
It was a day for the girls. At PVR Juhu, there were two special film packages for women in love with women and a retrospective of lesbian filmmaker Pratibha Parmar.

Films in the `Love stories for Girls' and `Girls Talk' packages were all about the first kiss from the girlfriend, blind dates and caring but bitchy lovers.

"The intention was to make it a sort of community outing so that a whole group of girl friends could come to the theatre together to meet, watch the films and talk," said festival director Sridhar Rangayan.

The highlights of the day were `The Other War' - a tale from Israel about three women caught in the middle of a war, 'U-Haul: The Music Video' and 'Jodie: An icon'.

The T in LGBT was represented through two poignant movies, 'The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquella' and 'Unraveling Michelle', a journey through the male to female transition of a filmmaker.

In the afternoon, Onir, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, Mahesh Dattani, Meenakshi Shedde and Ashok Row Kavi came together for a discussion on role of the media and celebrity in advocacy, moderated by Parmesh Shahani. 
The discussion began with a brief flashback into queer representation in Indian cinema in recent years. 

Mahesh said that being at Kashish has brought home the fact that 12 years after writing the play 'A Muggy Night in Mumbai' on a gay theme, it's good to know that one is not alone on the subject of gay love, that there are other writers using this theme. 

Meenakshi Shedde, who was asked about 'Dostana' said that the movie was intelligent in the way the many layers of queer issues were represented in a movie that reached the mass market, hence the film is precious in its own way. 
However, she praised 'Sancharam' for being a bold film that gave such dignity to same-sex love, in contrast to 'Dostana'. She also said that the upcoming 'Just Another Love Story' is also very sophisticated and brings out a nuanced discussion on alternate sexuality.

Ashok Row Kavi said that the last 15 years of the LGBT movement have been marked by fear and anxiety connected to Section 377. Carrying over from the panel discussion on cinema and censorship the previous day at the Alliance Francaise venue of Kashish, he said that why should only Karan Johar be allowed to make money on a Dostana -- why are film festivals like Kashish barred by the government from charging their delegates? We must have sustainable models for festivals in India.

Manav revealed that while being an out gay man and belonging to a royal family at the same time has brought him much love and respect abroad, he feels a great sense of responsibility from both these identities and he has had to keep a balance between the two. Manav said that he can't help it if he was born into a royal family but he would prefer being known as an activist. He tells other gay royals who are unwilling to come out to at least support the LGBT community in other ways.

Onir revealed how 'My Brother Nikhil' was his first film so it was important to position it. He had to 'cheat' the mainstream audience into watching his HIV-themed film by not highlighting the fact that a gay couple was at the centre of the film. After the theatrical release, the film went to gay festivals and events everywhere. Five years after that film, he finds himself more confident as a filmmaker and has a film 'I AM' with the 'I AM OMAR' story highlighting police harassment of and social discrimination against gay men. Incidentally, the trailer of 'I AM ' was premiered at the Kashish opening ceremony on Thursday.

Parmesh raised various questions related to celeb culture and the commoditization of culture including identities like 'queer'. Why are there not enough celebrities supporting the queer cause? Why are there very few queer celebrities? Ashok Row Kavi said that four of Bollywood's biggest directors are gay but closeted. They better be ashamed. At least I have Onir on my side. He added that we must not completely depend on celebrities; what's needed is a mass movement that walks on the feet of activists.

Onir said it is important to have the right kind of celebrities endorsing queer issues, people who really believe in what they are saying. For example, we should not have an actor doing a pretend-gay role. Meenaskshi said there was no way of avoiding celeb culture but one way of taking advantage of it is to sensitize the intelligent celebrities about queer issues. Another way is for the queer community to take a stand on the other large issues that concern society which will open up our connections with it.

The discussion was punctuated with a lot of humor thanks to Ashok Row Kavi and Manav.

Kashish started distributing among its delegates complimentary copies of a booklet of extracts from a new shorty story collection called 'Quarantine' by debutant Rahul Mehta, thanks to publisher Random House.    

Day 3 of Kashish - Saturday, April 24, 2010
A year and a half after director and playwright Chetan Datar's death, his path breaking play ‘Ek Madhav Baug’ was translated into Hindi. A play reading by Mona Ambegaonkar brought the roof down at PVR Juhu.

An emotional Vivek Anand, CEO of Humsafar Trust and a close friend of Datar, who translated the play into Hindi, said it was a huge moment for him personally. ‘EK Madhav Baug” was staged in Marathi and English and there were plans to always do a Hindi version, which never happened during Datar's lifetime," said Vivek.

A tale about an unconventional mom's discovery of her son's sexuality and her efforts to deal with it, got a standing ovation from the audience for Mona.

"Society may not be there to always support you and agree with your choices, but you have to go ahead with your journey irrespective," said Mona. Asked about how should parents deal with a lesbian or gay child, she replied, "It should be a hands-off approach, but be there to support them."

Mona's performance not only got a standing ovation but brought tears into many eyes.

Saturday also saw the houseful sign going up for four consecutive sessions at the 112-seater PVR Juhu.

The other highlights of the day were ‘Suddenly, Last Winter’ - about how a couple deals with a wave of homophobia sweeping through Italy; ‘Prodigal Sons and ‘Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma’.

There were many transgender-themed films at the Alliance Francaise today and the highlight there was a panel discussion called 'Trans Gaze -- the world of transgenders through the lens'. The panelists were the makers of a film called 'Our Family', Dr. Anjali Monteiro and Dr. K. P. Jayashankar, who belong to Tata Institute of Social Sciences; Prasanth Kanatur, whose film 'The Missing Colours' is being shown at the festival, and Urmi, head of the 'Care and Support' unit of Humsafar Trust. The discussion was moderated by Dalip Daswani.

Author R. Raj Rao attended some of the sessions at the Alliance Francaise along with friends from Pune.

Final day of Kashish- Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010

Zeenat Aman at Kashish
`Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko' - the audience could well have sung to her as Zeenat Aman traipsed down the red carpet at PVR Juhu on Sunday. The occasion was the closing of Kashish - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010, just before the screening of the festival closing film ‘Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyu’.
"In the '70s, I was at the forefront of the hippie moment with 'Hare Ram Hare Krishna'; 'Dunno Y...' will similarly lead the new wave of queer films in the country," said Zeenat Aman, who led the cast and crew of the yet to be released film, including Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and debutants Yuvraaj Parashar and Kapil Sharma.
"When Kapil came to me with the story of 'Dunno Y…' I thought it was different, multi-layered with many shades," said Zeenat while speaking about the movie. "Bollywood has for years had dress designers, make-up artistes and hair dressers who were open about their sexuality and were accepted," she said, but in answer to an audience question she said, "I personally don't know of any gay actors who are in the closet."
Zeenat said that though Bollywood has fleetingly touched upon queer issues in films like 'Dostana', there was a change afoot to deal with the issue sensitively. Asked about the secret of her beauty, she replied modestly with a smile, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder."
Sanjay Sharma, the director of 'Dunno Y…', said that he was proud that it was the festival's closing film. The film's writer and actor Kapil Sharma said: "Our film is on a sensitive issue. We hope it entertains you and leaves you with a smile."
Dunno Y…’ is a film about an Anglo-Indian family living in Goa that goes through many crises – from a father who deserts the family to a son who comes to terms with his sexuality after his marriage. The film is a contemporary take on what it means to be gay in India where social taboos and family pressures do not allow a person to fulfill his need for love.

‘Lost and Found’ wins Best Indian Short at Kashish
Delhi-based filmmaker Shrenik Jain's `Lost and Found' won the Best Indian Short Film Award at the Kashish - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2010. ‘Lost and Found’ is an 11-minute film about a comedy of errors that follows when two strangers meet in a crowded bus.

The awards were handed out at a ceremony at PVR Juhu on Sunday evening. The Best Short Documentary award went to Bharathy Manjula's Malayalam film 'XXWhy' about Kerala's first out female-to-male (F2M) transgender.

'Prodigal Sons' directed by Kimberly Reed, and 'Steam' directed by Eldar Rapaport, both from the USA, won Best Feature Documentary and Best International Short Film awards, respectively, at the festival.
Special jury cash awards were also handed out to 'Flying Inside My Body' (Short Documentary),
'Holding Hands' (Feature Documentary) and 'Dirty Magazines' (International Short Film), and a special jury award to a media student's film - 'Speak Up! It Is Not Your Fault'.
The jury was effusive in their praise for the films screened at the festival. "I enjoyed my four-day journey with Kashish," said Dolly Thakore, a theatre personality. "I wish these films could reach out and be shown to a wider audience," she said.
Reaching out to a larger audience should be the aim was also the view of another jury member and a film critic, Meenakshi Shedde. "The quality of the Indian films shown at Kashish was jaw dropping. They dealt with a spectrum of issues and were multi-layered. Even at international film festivals like Cannes and Venice, out of the many films screened, there are four of five that remain with you. At Kashish too, there are four to five films that I will take home and remember, said Meenakshi.
Jury member and nation-award winning actor Rajit Kapur credited Kashish with broadening his horizons and widening his perspective. "I do consider myself educated, liberal and modern. I am leaving Kashish after four days as a richer human being," said Kapur, adding, "These films should be a part of any mainstream film festival. This is a part of you, me, us."
Another jury member and again a National Award winning actor, Suhasini Mulay, also heaped praise on the films. "The caliber and craftsmanship of the filmmakers just got me...," she said. "The Indian entries were sensitive and well-made. They may have been made without much money, but conveyed what they wanted to say. That is the core of a good film."
Over the last four days, over 500 people came to watch the over 110 films that were screened simultaneously at two venues - PVR Juhu in suburban Mumbai and Alliance Francaise, Marine Lines in South Mumbai. 

"We never expected the film festival to get such a huge response," said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.

The audience too was all praise for the film festival. Jehangir Jani, an artist known for alternative themes in his sculptures and paintings, commented on the platform that Kashish provided for the community. "When I came out in the '80s I never knew anything about gay culture, except in snatches. Kashish is a landmark event because something like this has got a mainstream venue and is in the public eye."

As Dolly Thakore told Ashok Row Kavi, founder of Bombay Dost and Humsafar Trust, co-organisers of Kashish: “Little did one know that when we met in the early ’80s, you would start a [gay] movement of such dimensions [in India]. What a wonderful team you have orchestrated… so disciplined and professional. You have to be proud of your success. I can’t begin to tell you how privileged I feel to have participated in your maiden venture. Congratulations. More power to you.”

-- By the Kashish 2010 News Desk


KASHISH - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival rocked and how. Houseful shows, jam packed audiences, world premiers, star attendance, media coverage, etc.

We thank each and everyone who supported KASHISH in so many different ways and all those who came to see films, participate and made KASHISH an event to remember.

We will be uploading information of all the events, behind the scene action, etc on the site soon.

A BIG THANKS to everyone!

KASHISH Award Winners

The following films received awards  at KASHISH MIQFF2010.

The jury were extremely kind to pool in Rs.85,000 to award cash prizes for the main winners of the four categories as well as special jury awards for a few other deserving films.

Category: Documentary Short

Best Documentary Short - XXWHY by Dr Bharathy Manjula, India
Jury Citation: For a moving film made with fluidity, honesty, superb cinematography and restrained emotions
Award: Kashish plaque and jury cash award of Rs.15,000

Special Jury Award - FLYING INSIDE MY BODY by Sushmit Ghosh, Rintu Thomas, Sumit Sharma and Ajeeta Chowhan, India
Jury Citation: For a stark film exploring sexuality and identity, with honesty and first-rate cinematic values 
Award: Jury cash award of Rs.10,000

Special Jury Award for Student Film - SPEAK UP! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT by Deepika Lal, India
Jury Citation: For a focused, mature approach to child sexual abuse, made with sensitivity and personal courage
Award: Jury cash award of Rs.5,000 

Category: Feature Documentary

Best Documentary Feature - PRODIGAL SONS by Kimberly Reed, USA
Jury Citation: For weaving a range of sexual and personal challenges cohesively, and with courage
Award: Kashish plaque and jury cash award of Rs.15,000

Special Jury Award - HOLDING HANDS by Tonnette Stanford and Katherine Wilkinson, Australia
Jury Citation: For a touching film, intimately conveying the struggle, and hope, of living with homophobia
Award: Jury cash award of Rs.10,000

Category: International Short

Best International Short - STEAM by Eldar Rapaport, USA
Jury Citation: A compelling thriller, it encompasses a whole socio-political world with deft, cinematic brilliance.
Award: Kashish plaque and jury cash award of Rs.10,000
Special Jury Award - DIRTY MAGAZINES by Jay Levy, USA
Jury Citation: An over-the-edge view of a real situation, that makes its point with sensitivity
Award: Jury cash award of Rs.5,000

Special Jury Award - I AM GAY (Jag Ar Bog) by Nicolos Kolovos, Sweden
Jury Citation: A humorous look at the agonies of coming out in a traditional family 
Award: Jury cash award of Rs.5,000

Category: Indian Short

Best Indian Short - LOST & FOUND by Shrenik Jain
Jury Citation: For sensitively capturing in a few minutes an entire gamut, and the vulnerability, of cruising.
Award: Kashish plaque and jury cash award of Rs.10,000

In addition to the above awards, three films received special awards sponsored by ACCORD EQUIPS, Mumbai. 

Film: XXWHY by Dr Bharathy Manjula, India
Award: Complete HD camera shooting kit (consisting of 1 HD camera, 1 mic, 1 light) for their next short film for 2 days.  

Film: LOST & FOUND by Shrenik Jain, India
Award: Complete HD camera shooting kit (consisting of 1 HD camera, 1 mic, 1 light) for their next short film for 2 days.  

Film: SPEAK UP! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT by Deepika Lal, India
Award: Complete HDV camera shooting kit (consisting of 1 HD camera, 1 mic, 1 light) for their next short film for 2 days.