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Ahmedabad will host a day-long film festival of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) films at IIM-A’s Confluence, Asia’s biggest business school summit. The film festival, a first for Ahmedabad city, will be organised on November 29, 2015 by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and supported by Safe Haven, a local queer support group.

“This day long festival aims to not only spread awareness, but also offer entertaining films that the audience will remember for a long time. LGBT films need not always be serious and ponderous; they are also little gems of everyday lives and interesting peek into lives and loves of LGBT people all over the world,” said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director of KASHISH, which over 6 years has become South Asia’s biggest LGBT film festival. “We are happy to bring these films to IIM, Ahmedabad,” added Rangayan.

Speaking about the importance of this event, Chitranshu Mathur, student at IIM and representative of IIM-Ally, said “IIM-Ally has held guest talks, a movie screening and meetings in the past, which have been open to everyone inside and outside IIMA. Now, we want to go a step forward by hosting KASHISH Forward and Best of KASHISH in our campus, to give people in Ahmedabad a glimpse of KASHISH, the renowned queer film festival.” IIM-Ally is the LGBTQ resource group of IIM Ahmedabad, which has members including faculty, students and others from the IIMA community. The objective of IIM-Ally is to help create a more supportive and affirming environment for all individuals on the IIMA campus, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other form of human diversity.

The event will consist of two parts – KASHISH Forward, a travelling campus LGBT film festival will screen Indian and international award winning LGBT films particularly focussed on youth, dealing with diverse subjects like gender, sexuality, coming out, homophobia, transphobia, family acceptance, pride, etc. KASHISH Forward screenings have already been held at Panjab University, Chandigarh; Presidency College, Kolkata; Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai; Ambedkar University, New Delhi; Tagore International School, New Delhi and Ashoka University, Sonepat.

The second half of the day will screen ‘Best of KASHISH’, a collection of short films that have been award winners at KASHISH 2015. These films give the audience an insight into lives of LGBT persons around the world, with either dramatic or funny short films. The evening will conclude with screening of the acclaimed documentary feature ‘Purple Skies’ by Sridhar Rangayan, followed by a dramatic feature film.

Dhaval Shah, a member of the local queer support group Safe Heaven which is mobilizing community participation at the event, said, “KASHISH gives us this opportunity to come together, bond over the struggles faced by us and make our presence felt in this city. Through KASHISH, we attempt to show the broader community in Ahmedabad, a glimpse into another world, a world of hope, resistance and love. KASHISH represents to us our efforts channelled into one goal – the sensitization and expansion of the mind, an idea of inclusion and harmony.”

The idea for Safe Haven, a Queer Support Group for Ahmedabad, stemmed from a growing concern that the city lacks a safe space for queer community to come together and mingle.

The event is a free event, open to all. Seating is on first come, first served basis. The details are:

Event: KASHISH @ IIMA

Date: November 29th

Time: 10.00am to 8.00pm

Venue: IIMA New Campus, IIM Ahmedabad.