Forty-one films will compete for top awards at the 7th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film festival to be held between May 25 – May 29, 2016. South Asia’s biggest and India’s only mainstream LGBTQ film festival, will screen 182 films from 53 countries, will be held at three venues in South Mumbai – Liberty Cinema, Alliance Francaise de Bombay and Max Mueller Bhavan.
“The quality of the films in competition this year is a testimony of diversity of narrative style as well as technical and aesthetic brilliance of filmmaking,” said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director. “They are not just LGBTQ films, but films that have a new storytelling edge to them. Every year KASHISH tries to raise the bar, and this year the films in competition in seven categories are definitely world-class.”
An eminent jury panel comprising filmmakers and actors will judge the seven competition categories – Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature Film, Best Documentary Short Film, Best International Narrative Short Film, Best Indian Narrative Short Film, Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker and Best Performance in a Lead Role.
Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares will sponsor cash awards of Rs 30,000 for the Best Narrative Feature Film and Rs 20,000 each for the Best Indian Narrative Short Film and the Best Performance in a Lead Role. The winner of the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker will win a cash prize of Rs 15,000 sponsored by Wadia Movietone. The Best Indian short film at KASHISH also gets to compete for the Iris Prize in UK which carries a cash prize of 25,000 pounds.
“Films in Competition are shortlisted on the basis of novelty of idea or engaging storytelling or technical brilliance or all of these. Special attention is given to those dealing with issues faced by LGBTQ youth in a positive, uplifting manner; or act as a catalyst for a discussion; and also reiterate this year’s theme – 7 SHADES OF LOVE,” said Saagar Gupta Director of Programming.
In the Narrative Feature category, four films compete for the top award: BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING directed by Joseph Graham and DADDY directed by Gerald McCullouch both from the USA, HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) directed by Josh Kim from Thailand and TWO GIRLS DESCENDING THE STAIRS directed by Fabiano de Souza from Brazil.
In the Documentary Feature category, three films compete for the award: one film from the USA – AN ACT OF LOVE directed by Scott Sheppard and two films from France – COMING IN directed by Marlies Demeulandre and PANSY! directed by Jean-Baptiste Erreca.
In the Indian Narrative Short film category, the nominees are the Tamil film MANAM directed by Balaji M and the Marathi film DAARAVTHA directed by Nishant Roy Bombarde. These two films will also compete for the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Indian Emerging Filmmaker along with three other films – ANY OTHER DAY (Hindi/Marathi) directed by Srikant Ananthkrishnan and Vikrant Dhote; THAT’S MY BOY (Kannada/ Malayalam) directed by Akhil Sathyan and WALKING THE WALK (Telugu) directed by Moses Tulasi.
23 short films will compete in the International Narrative Short Category and six films will compete in the Documentary Short Film category.