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Aina on China at Queer film fest

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang may not quite like this one, but, we think a visit to Kashish, a Queer Film Festival beginning today in the city, is in order.


Dolly Thakore with Sridhar Rangayan at the Alliance Francaise in Mumbai. Pic/Abhinav Kocharekar

This is because a Chinese rainbow will rise at KASHISH 2013. The country focus at KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival this year is China. The Festival features queer films from China, where homosexuality is still a taboo. The festival will be held at Cinemax Versova between May 22 and 26, 2013 and at Alliance Francaise between May 23 and 25, 2013.


Yes, that is Speechless

“Each year KASHISH honours one country in our ‘Country Focus’ package to appreciate and acknowledge efforts made by other countries producing qualitative queer cinema,” says Sridhar Rangayan, festival director. “I was invited as a guest to the Beijing Queer Film Festival in 2011 and I saw how the Festival was held against insurmountable odds. But the passion and excitement by the community attending the festival was palpable. These films are often made underground and with great ingenuity. Our effort at KASHISH this year, is to showcase these films and the brave filmmakers,” added Rangayan.


The Lala Road

Unfortunately, Li Keqiang leaves today, a day before the Chinese film package unveils at the Film Fest, “We would have been glad to have him inaugurate this, at the Festival,” says Rangayan. The festival organisers also have a message for the Premier saying, “KASHISH believes in providing a showcase for queer films from countries where Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) persons face challenges to live an open and dignified life.


From the movie, Strong

We believe that the Chinese LGBT landscape is undergoing dramatic changes with a greater call for visibility and acceptance. We hope that, like in India now, the legal and Govt. bodies allow a more inclusive space for LGBT persons in China.” Festival Programmer Saagar Gupta says, “Homosexuality is taboo in China yet their queer cinema has managed to carve a niche for itself, because it has always been true to its people and culture. The films in the package reflect the ground realities of queer life in China with great honesty.” There are three narrative features and three documentaries from mainland China and Hong Kong.

The Chinese Package
Speechless: Set in a remote part of Southern China will be the opening film of this year’s Country in Focus package. A tale of love and romance between a mysterious Frenchman and a Chinese student

Thursday May 23: 9.15pm Cinemax Versova

Graupel Poetry: This is about the complicated relationship between two young men who come to the city to pursue dreams of becoming successful actors. Their growing intimacy with each other creates complexities. More than just social taboos; it is a questioning of one’s own identity.

Friday, May 24: 7.10 pm Alliance Française de Bombay

Lan Yu: Set against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square uprising, the film is about a successful businessman’s relationship with a young student, where infidelity and political situation form barriers to a beautiful epic love affair.

Friday, May 24: 9.15pm Cinemax Versova

Mama Rainbow: Tells the story of six mothers from across mainland China using their love to overcome prejudice and difficulties.

Friday, May 24: 3.15pm Alliance Française de Bombay

The Lala Road: Chinese women face intense pressure to marry. Stakes are especially high for Cain, Zhang Linlin, Baozi and Ruyi. They are 'Lalas' or women who love women.

Friday, May 24: 7 pm Alliance Française de Bombay

Strong: Puts a human face on violence against LGBT people in China, with the poignant portrait of Zhang Lingxuan.

Friday, May 24: 6.30 pm Alliance Française de Bombay

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