Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CSB Promotion - KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013


[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013 Poster

It’s been only 4 years since Sridhar Rangayan, the director of LGBT themed films – ‘The Pink Mirror’ and ‘Yours Emotionally’, has started organizing KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. But it has already transformed into an important annual event in Mumbai’s cultural calendar. Not just Mumbaikars, the festival receives audience from other cities as well. People like Manas Modi, a Bangalore resident, will be traveling to Mumbai this week to attend the festival. “I will be reaching Mumbai on Friday evening so that I can at least catch the films screened on Saturday and Sunday.

This sort of euphoria is heartening to see since it signifies the willingness of the people to invest time and effort for LGBT events in India, and also the fact that such events are earning as much visibility and importance as any other mainstream event. Sridhar reveals that a sizable population of straight folks also attend the festival. “Last year, almost 32 percent of the attendees were non-LGBT, comprising of students, film buffs and academicians.“ And there is a valid factor which is making this possible. Sridhar explains, “KASHISH is the first and only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre and one of the first queer festivals to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This is enabling us to reach out to large number of audience.”

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013
Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director of KASHISH Film Festival

For this year’s edition, the organizers have received a whooping 300 submissions; out of which, 132 films from 40 countries are selected for screening. They were also pleasantly surprised to see submissions coming from conservative countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Serbia and Israel. Each year KASHISH honours one country to appreciate and acknowledge efforts made by other countries producing qualitative queer cinema. This year, the focus will be on China where LGBT movies from China will be featured in the ‘Country Focus’ package. Sridhar opines, “Mainstream cinema from China has already made its mark, but a small group of filmmakers are making films on queer themes. These films are often made underground and with great ingenuity. Our efforts at KASHISH this year is to showcase these films and the brave filmmakers.”

[Image] Crazy Sam's Bloginess: KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013
Movies from China will be featured in the ‘Country Focus’ package

Since its debut in 2010, KASHISH has become one of the biggest LGBT film festivals in India and South Asia, helping people to open their minds by challenging their beliefs and notions. Sridhar Rangayan understands that as each edition comes by, the benchmark for bringing awareness and entertainment keeps getting higher. “KASHISH is no more just a film festival, but an annual cultural experience, and we hope to live up to it!”
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is scheduled to be held on May 22-26, 2013 at Cinemax Versova in Andheri West and at Alliance Francaise de Bombay, Theosophy Hall, 40 New Marine Lines - Churchgate from May 23-25, 2013.

For complete schedule of the festival, click here.
To check out the ten not to be missed films of KASHISH 2013, click here.
For information on the films featured in 'Country Focus', click here
For complete list on insightful discussions and conversations apart from the film screenings, click here.

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