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Explore the social side of being queer

Mumbai's queer film festival, Kashish 2015, is all set to kick-off from May 27, with 180 films from 44 countries

The Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2015 dedicated to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, is back for its sixth edition, and this time with films that appeal directly to their friends, families and colleagues.

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina
A still from the film, Love is Strange, starring John Lithgow (left) and Alfred Molina (right). The film opens the sixth edition of Kashish 2015 on May 27

The five-day film festival, that opens on May 27, will screen 180 films from 44 countries at three venues in south Mumbai including the iconic Liberty Cinema, Alliance Française de Bombay at New Marine Lines and the Max Mueller Bhavan at
Kala Ghoda.

Sridhar Rangayan, festival director of Kashish 2015
Sridhar Rangayan, festival director of Kashish 2015

Sridhar Rangayan, festival director, informs that though the acceptance of the LGBT community in India has increased, there’s still a need to address how friends, family and colleagues of the LGBT community behave around them. “Our friends, family and colleagues provide the support system that any person, irrespective of his/her sexual orientation, relies on to move forward in life. And not having them affects everyone. In this edition of Kashish, we have tried to explore stories of the relationships of the LGBT community with their friends, families and colleagues,” he informs.

The theme resonates throughout the festival including the opening film, Love is Strange, which tells the story of two elderly gay men based in the US, who decide to get married, but circumstances force them to live separately. “It’s like the story of any elderly couple, who are forced to live separately due to circumstances. And, just like a straight couple, they also need the support of their families and friends,” he adds.

Rangayan informs that the festival received nearly 700 films this year — the highest since its start in 2010. “We have been very strict with the selection of films, and as visitors would see, the quality of films has also improved this year, both technically as well as aesthetically,” he shares.

While the focus remains on issues faced by the LGBT community, Kashish, Rangayan informs that it is no longer just a festival for the queer, as more than 30% of its visitors are not LGBTs. Also, the contribution of student films has increased as the current edition will have nearly 25 films made by film students across the world. “We hope to present Kashish as a platform for student filmmakers to showcase their work and reach to audience. We are also hoping to be able to provide films from previous editions of Kashish available to visitors as DVDs,” he adds.

From: May 27 till May 31
At: Liberty Cinema, Alliance Française de Bombay at New Marine Lines and Max Mueller Bhavan at Kala Ghoda.
Log on to: Mumbaiqueerfest.com

Art at Kashish

Kashish 2015 will also feature a group art show, titled The 377191 Wall, showcasing 271 works in mixed media.

A mixed media on canvas by Dipti Bondre
A mixed media on canvas by Dipti Bondre

The group show will feature 238 artists showcasing support to the freedom to choose who to love, and against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Till: June 27
At: Gallery Beyond, 130/132, first floor, Great Western Building, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, Fort.
Call: 22837345

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