This year’s Kashish Mumbai International Queer Festival will screen almost 150 films on the LGBTQ community
As the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) of India continue their battle to decriminalise homosexuality and seek equal rights, there is one initiative that has been sensitising people about the community through the medium of cinema. In 2010, filmmaker and activist Sridhar Rangayan got approval from the Union ministry for information and broadcasting to organise the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Festival. “Kashish is both a platform for advocacy and entertainment,” says Rangayan. “It intends to serve two purposes—a pride event for the community where they can watch films and find a resonance of their own lives across the world; [and] an event where mainstream audiences could watch LGBTQ films to understand... [and] interact with the community.”
In its eighth year, the festival will feature 147 films from 45 countries, from May 24-28. “The quality of films has gone up, especially of Indian films,” says Rangayan, adding that India has 29 films—features, documentaries and shorts. He wishes, however, that the films had a shelf life beyond the festival. “If these reach out to mass audiences it will create a revolution,” he says.
GLORY AND GRACE