In an honour for the Indian LGBT community, filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan, who earlier this year co-won the National Film Award for Best Editing, will be the Grand Marshal at Montreal Pride to be held on August 14, 2016. Rangayan, the founder and festival director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s biggest LGBT film fest, will lead the Pride parade, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I am excited to fly the Indian tricolour along with the rainbow flag to underline that I am both Indian and gay – both my identities are a matter of pride for me,” said Rangayan. “I am both humbled and honoured to be chosen to lead Montreal Pride as one of the Grand Marshals. It is indeed a great privilege and, as with any privilege, comes with responsibilities. I hope that I can amplify the struggles and victories of the Indian LGBT community, and seek global support in ensuring a free and equal society,” added Rangayan.
Éric Pineault, founding president of Montreal Pride welcomed Sridhar Rangayan. “The entire Fierté Montréal team is honoured to be welcoming Rangayan to the 10th edition of Montréal Pride. Whether through his work as one of the organizers of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, as a producer of LGBTQ-themed films or as an activist for our communities, Rangayan is a pioneer in the advancement of rights for LGBTQ individuals in India. We are delighted to have him as a grand marshal and are proud to be presenting his film The Pink Mirror during our festival,” said Éric Pineault. He and two other staff members of Montreal Pride – Jean-François Guevremont and Jean-Sébastien Boudreault had attended KASHISH 2016 this year as special guests.
Montreal pride, in its 10th year, is the largest LGBTQ gathering in the Francophone world and attracts close to 500,000 local and international visitors who take part in more than 125 activities and events, like film screenings, musical performances, drag shows, etc. The Pride will be celebrated over the course of seven days, from August 8, 2016, culminating in the spectacular pride march on August 14.
It is this spirit that found a resonance with India’s and South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival – the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, which over the past 7 editions has established itself as one of the important events in Mumbai’s cultural calendar and one of the most celebrated pride events in India. KASHISH has underlined the importance of mainstreaming LGBTQ issues through the medium of films, literature and other arts.
Rangayan’s debut film Gulabi Aaina (Pink Mirror) made in 2003, which still remains banned in India, will be screened on August 10th at Club Unity as part of Montreal Pride activities. Rangayan will also be screening his latest award winning film ‘Breaking Free’ in Toronto at the prestigious The Royal Cinema on August 17th. The screening hosted by Amnesty International is being supported by Inside Out Toronto LGBT film festival and other organizations in Canada.
“I am certainly looking forward to these exciting events and meeting several activists, filmmakers, event organizers and people from the Canadian LGBT community and allies. We are all together in our common mission for greater understanding of human rights and recognizing the right of each individual to live with dignity,” said Rangayan.