12 Feature Films to Watch Out for at KASHISH 2021

The12th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film festival, South Asia’s biggest LGBTQIA+ film festival, opened online on August 19th and will continue till September 5th spread over 12 days of weekend screenings and weekday panel discussions and filmmaker Q&As. The festival will screen 221 films from 53 countries and is available across India and also across the world.

Festival Director Sridhar Rangayan picks 12 feature length films to watch out for at KASHISH 2021 and he has his own reasons, “While it is so difficult for me to pick 12 feature length films out of 39 feature length films playing at the 12th edition of KASHISH, I have picked these 12 that represents the true diversity of the LGBTQIA+ experiences across, sex, gender, ethnicity, region and social privileges. From Iran, India, Lithuania, Russia & Turkey to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Sweden & UK, these films highlights the challenges and triumphs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transwomen, transmen, queer & non-binary persons, against legal and social inequalities. Each one of them brings a new perspective of the LGBTQIA+ narrative and opens our eyes and touches our hearts. These are films that are difficult to access on mainstream platforms, and are a must-see at KASHISH 2021.”

The 12 films picked by Sridhar Rangayan and their screening dates are below. You can click on the links to see the synopsis. And read below why Rangayan picked the film.

Narrative Features –

No Hard Feelings (Germany) – August 19th 

No Hard Feelings, the opening film at KASHISH 2021, is a Berlinale Teddy Award winner that tells a heartwarming story of three first & second generation Irani immigrants in Germany, peppered with a cute gay love story. Available only to audiences in India

Another Self (Iran) – August 22nd

Coming from a country like Iran, this evocative film Another Self tells the story of a transgender persons’ journey standing up against her family and society.

Advent of Mary (Brazil) – August 27th

Advent of Mary is a beautiful story from Brazil of a young trans girl’s struggles to come to terms with her sexuality, amidst a conservative family and the Catholic church. The young girl is played by a real life transgender girl. Viva Inclusion! This film is in competition too for best feature as well as best performance in a lead role.

The Lawyer (Lithuania) – August 28th

A beautifully sensitive film from Lithuania, The Lawyer (Advokatas) is about a lawyer’s romance with a Syrian refugee who he meets through a sex-cam chat.  The film also stars a real life transman as one of the important character. This film is playing as Narrative Centerpiece. Available only to audiences in India

Love Spells & All That (Turkey) – September 4th

Lovely locations in Turkey, beautiful cinematography and brilliant performances enhance the enchanting quality of this film Love, Spells & All That about two women who were in love and meet after several years.

Unsound (Australia) – September 5th

Unsound, from Australia, is the perfect Closing Film since it is youth focused, about the next generation and has a real life hearing impaired person playing the lead role of a deaf transman in love with a singer. Available only to audiences in India

Documentary Features –

A Worm in the Heart (Russia) – August 20th

In the film A Worm From The Heart, the filmmakers, a gay couple from UK, travel to Russia to speak to the LGBTQIA+ activists there to find out the challenges the community faces. A very brave film, which is an eye opener. The film is in competition.

Canela (Argentina) – August 22th

A heartwarming documentary from Barzil, Canela is about a middle-aged transgender woman planning to go through her gender reassignment surgery, and how she navigates her relationships with her colleagues, friends and more importantly her wife, two sons & the family. The film is in competition.

Prince of Dreams (Sweden) – August 26th

Prince of Dreams is a languid observational documentary, filmed over 10 years, beginning when Erik, a transman, was only 17, tracing his struggles through his gender dysphoria and his love for Martyna, which makes him set out on a journey to question what makes a person a real man. This film is in competition.

Rebel Dykes (UK) – August 27th

Rebel Dyke is a funky out-&-proud documentary that is a heady mash-up of animation, archive footage and interviews with LBT+ artists, performers, musicians and activists in London. Waves the flag high up for lesbian, bisexual, trans & queer visibility. This film is in competition.

Always Amber (Sweden) – August 27th

Absolutely contemporary, Always Amber speaks and shows the youth of today who are not afraid to own up to their gender and sexuality. Amber, a gender non-confirming person and their best friend Sebastian, two queer youth in Sweden, share everything from dreams and parties, to new friendships. Available only to audiences in India

Admitted (India) – September 4th

Admitted is an eye-opener of a documentary from India about the most amazing transgender activist Dhananjay Chauhan. It is a life sketch of this powerhouse of a transwoman who was the first transgender student of Panjab University.

Information about all the films, as well as schedule and information on how to register, is available on the festival website http://mumbaiqueerfest.com