British star, Sir Ian McKellen will inaugurate the seventh edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) film festival to be held in Mumbai from May 25 to May 29, 2016, at three venues, Liberty cinema, Alliance de Francaise and Max Mueller Bhavan.
Over 182 films from 53 countries will be screened at the festival. McKellen will be the chief guest at the Opening Ceremony of the festival to be held on May 25, 2016 at Liberty, where its stunning red carpet, the grand sweep of its magnificent staircase and mammoth chandeliers will rival McKellen in the ‘wow’ factor.
McKellen said, “For too many years, gay characters appeared in films only as comic relief, as often as not meeting a sticky end, as if that’s all they deserved. Increasingly, in India too, the film industry has matured, treating gay people with the same seriousness as straight characters. I look forward at Kashish, to discovering more about Bollywood’s film-makers who reject fantasy for the truth about gay people,” added McKellen.
Festival director, Mumbai’s Sridhar Rangayan said that it seems apt that the festival, the theme this year is '7 Shades of Love' will welcome one of the most internationally acclaimed actors who is also a strong voice for equal rights.
McKellen is an English actor, who has taken many Shakespearean roles, and is globally known for his parts in blockbuster Hollywood movies, Gandalf in ‘The Lord of The Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy and Magneto in the ‘X-Men’ movies.
McKellen’s Kashish inauguration is part of his India visit for the ‘Shakespeare Lives on Film’, festival on the occasion of the Bard’s 400th death anniversary.