KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival, is creating a new landmark for Indian LGBTQ short films, with the theatrical release of 4 short films in PVR Cinemas on Jan 21st & 22nd in 8 cities – Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Nagpur and Chandigarh. Tickets can be booked through Vkaao (link) or through BookMyShow(link), or can be bought at the venues on the day of the shows.
“This is a historic moment in Indian LGBTQ movement – where Indian LGBTQ short films can be watched on the big screen as a ticketed event in PVR cinemas. We can feel the palpable excitement of the filmmakers who are finding a voice to reach across to audiences. We are thankful to Vkaao alongwith PVR cinemas and BookMyShow for making this dream come true. We sincerely hope audiences will fill the theaters and give this initiative a big push,” said Sridhar Rangayan, founder festival director of KASHISH.
Konkana Sen Sharma, lead actor of A Monsoon Date said,“I’m so excited that our film A Monsoon Date is releasing in theaters. This is the first time I’m playing a trans-character, but this definitely is not the last. I think when we exclude LGBT from the society, from our films, we tell an incomplete story of the world. That’s why platforms like this are important… to share lives and experiences of a collective humanity. I hope the film and KASHISH will spread love and spread pride.”
“We are absolutely thrilled that our short film A Monsoon Date will have a theatrical screening; who would’ve thought this is possible for an LGBTQ film! Audiences in 8 cities who would not have attended film festivals can now watch four short films and gain a deeper understanding about people belonging to the LGBTQ community. Is there a bigger purpose that stories can serve or a bigger reason to make them! Fingers crossed, the halls get full for those two days so that we can make more and more of these films”, said Tanuja Chandra, director of A Monsoon Date
KASHISH has tied up with various organizations and film clubs to promote the screenings – Queer Azaadi March (Mumbai), FilmBooth (New Delhi), Prantakatha (Kolkata), Pride Circle (Bangalore), Cinephiles Film Club and Hyderabad Swabhimana Yatra (Hyderabad), Out & Loud Pune Queer Film Festival (Pune), Sarathi Trust (Nagpur) and Mangalmukhi Transgender Welfare Board (Chandigarh).
Vaibhav Lal, Co-founder, Vkaao said, “For independent filmmakers, making their movies is just the start. The journey from reel to screen is usually long and arduous. This is where Vkaao comes in. Vkaao believes in being the bulwark for independent filmmakers and independent cinema. In that spirit, Vkaao is proud to showcase the Best of KASHISH short films. The best of LGBTQ community cinema will now be brought into the mainstream in partnership with Vkaao. Join the audience and experience the stories of the LGBTQ community, brought to you by Vkaao.”
Rohan Kanawade, director of U for Usha, which has won several international awards said, “For a film aficionado like me, who has been watching films on the silver screen since childhood, this is truly a dream coming true and a milestone in my film-making journey. For a short film, after the film festival run, the only other platform usually is the OTT platforms. But KASHISH MIQFF and Vakao gave us one more platform, theatrical release, which was only reserved for feature films till now. This is not only exciting but also encouraging to me and all the other filmmakers. This initiative will surely encourage Indian short filmmakers to make more and more quality films.”
Abhishek Verma, director of The Fish Curry, the animation short film said,”For us, release of animation short film The Fish Curry is considered a major push towards bringing the original kind of content, the medium of animation and acknowledgement of the one of the important subjects in the country. Support and diversity acceptance of KASHISH MIQFF is the key that helped in bringing The Fish Curry to public in 8 cities with Vkaao. It’s very encouraging for a short film format. We are happy & honoured of being clubbed with other three important co-selections.”
Sudipta Kundu, director of Ladli said, “In a word, I can express my feeling, ‘Super Excited’! The theatrical release of Ladli along with filmmakers like Tanuja Chandra makes me feel very special. Moreover, it’s a great opportunity for an indie filmmaker like me. The team and I feel proud that we have made a small contribution to this historical event. Such an initiative by KASHISH surely helps new filmmakers to come up with in the future.”
In Mumbai, the Best of KASHISH Theatrical release is part of QAM Mumbai Pride Month activities.
KASHISH is also organizing the day-long 3rd KASHISH Chalchitra Utsav on January 19th at Bombay Art Society, Bandra where it will showcase regional language Indian LGBTQ films. This is free event open to everyone. It will screen 2 feature films – Kattumaram (Tamil) and Njan Marykutty (Malayalam), 9 short films in various Indian languages, and will also hold a panel discussion : IT’S OUR LIVES!, a Panel Discussion about Trans Identities & Trans Bill. More details about this event can be found here.