KASHISH 2014 Moves To Mumbai’s Iconic Liberty Cinema

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Liberty-Cinema-screen

In its fifth year KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2014 will move to a new venue – the iconic Liberty Cinema at New Marine Lines. The historic art deco single screen theatre, which has seen premieres and screenings of Bollywood classics over the past half century, will host South Asia’s and India’s biggest and only mainstream LGBT film festival between May 21-25, 2014. The festival will also simultaneously be held at Alliance Francaise de Bombay between May 22-24, 2014.

“The USP of KASHISH has always been that it has been held at a mainstream theater – this is our effort to take queer films to a larger audience for them to understand more about LGBT people and their lives,” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director. “For the last four years PVR and Cinemax multiplex theaters have supported us and we indeed are thankful to them. But it was time to move to a larger theater because we always had over 30% extra audience we couldn’t accommodate. This year, with the big grand Liberty Cinema with over 1000 seating capacity, the festival will be able to accommodate everyone who registers”.

Nazir Hoosein, owner of the theatre said,  “Liberty Cinema is delighted to have been chosen as the main venue partner for the KASHISH film festival. We believe in equal rights for everyone. It is our hope that the festival will go a long way in the eventual change in attitudes and elimination of prejudices. We wish the organisers the very best in succeeding in this endeavour.”

Liberty Cinema – construction began in 1947 the year of Indian Independence and hence the name Liberty – has been a historically important cinema hall with its iconic Art Deco construction and magnificent interiors. Heritage experts say it has the finest art deco interiors in all of India.  It has been described by one writer as “an exquisite jewel box of rococo decoration enhanced by a coloured lighting scheme suggesting a fairyland far away from the bustle and tumult in the streets outside”.Mehboob Khan’s Andaaz (1949), which saw Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Dilip Kumar work together for the first and only time was the first film to be premiered at Liberty. Super hit Bollywood movies Mother India (1957) which ran for a full year here, and Hum Aapke Hai Kaun (1994) which ran for around two and half years, had their dazzling premieres at this theatre.

“Liberty Cinema, over the decades, has stood for freedom of cultural expression, which correlates with KASHISH’s mission of liberty, equality and dignity for all. Also placing the festival in the cultural heartland of South Mumbai will enable greater participation of a diverse audience segment who are always looking to see good qualitative cinema. KASHISH 2014 promises an unforgettable cinematic experience,” added Rangayan.

KASHISH 2014 will reflect this spirit of optimism with its theme ‘DARE TO DREAM’, a theme that is a salute to the undying spirit and synergy of LGBT communities around the world and the changes it has brought in. ‘Dare To Dream’ is a reflection of the hopes, plans, strategies, dreams for the future and will reinvigorate and reinvent aspirations.

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