Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Window to the world
Four’s the score when it comes to debuts at the seventh edition of Kashish, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) film festival that begins on May 25.

A still from Ghost Empire from Cyprus
A still from Ghost Empire from Cyprus

There are four new countries that have sent participating films from among 53 nations — Cyprus, Cuba, Paraguay (Zulema) and Costa Rica (She-Wolves). We liked the synopsis of Ghost Empire from Cyprus, which looks at the recent arrests of gay men in Northern Turkish occupied Cyprus.

It mixes the personal with the political. Because films are a window to a country’s soul, here’s a chance for Mumbai to see how various parts of the world perceive and treat LGBT groups.

A nice win for paper boats
While all eyes are glued to the desi fare at the French Riviera, a 22-minute short by city filmmaker Amit Khanna (writer of TV show Roomies) has been creating waves at the Nice International Film Festival.

Lead actor Darshan Gujar on set; a still from An Untold Story Of Paperboats
Lead actor Darshan Gujar on set; a still from An Untold Story Of Paperboats

Titled An Untold Story Of Paperboats, the film is about child soldiery and Naxalism in West Bengal. It won the Best Foreign Language Short Film award at the festival. “Nice had received a record number of entries this year.

Neeru Khera and Amit Khanna post the win
Neeru Khera and Amit Khanna post the win

So, we’re excited about the win. The response has left us overwhelmed,” producer Neeru Khera said. She is hopeful of bagging buyers when the film screens at Cannes’ non-competition Short Film Corner on May 20.

Marol’s new library cafe
You remember a gritty success story we shared with you a few months ago about street kid-turned-author Amin Sheikh, who has been working on opening a library café? Sheikh has been gathering funds for his dream project for the last few years, and the proceeds from the sale of his autobiography — Bombay Mumbai Life Is Life I Am Because Of You — have come handy.

Amin Sheikh
Amin Sheikh

It captured his tumultuous life, from living off food picked up from dumps to getting rescued by an NGO and working as Man Friday with Amul girl creator Eustace Fernandes to starting a private taxi service and even travelling to Barcelona. Sheikh has now bought a car repair shop in Marol and renovations are on to turn it into a café that will be run by street children.

Expect to be served muffins, sandwiches and cakes with hot beverages. “It’s a ground floor space and sees a lot of natural light. It’s perfect,” he said about the café that will open in two months. We are booking a first-day-first-show table here for sure.

Pune says, picture this
Stunning images of the Kumbh Mela and Goa captured by 150 students of the Symbiosis School Of Photography will be on exhibit at Mumbai’s NCPA for you to feast your eyes on.

One of the pictures from the collection that will be on display One of the pictures from the collection that will be on display 

Covering fashion, industry, travel and food, the photographs in Bene Captus (Latin for Being Captured) offer something for everyone. Go, drop in. Tomorrow’s photographers need some encouragement.

Comic gets serious about art

Pic/Shadab Khan

(From left) Yusuf Lakdawala, Hemant Nigam, Johnny Lever and Daksha Khandwala at a new Worli-based art centre that opened doors on Saturday.

City cycling tour catches London’s attention
The midnight cycling ride from South Mumbai to Bandra organised by the group, Mumbai Travellers, has featured on our pages, and we hear, it has now landed international attention.

Mumbai Travellers at a previous eventMumbai Travellers at a previous event

A London-based channel has featured the tour in its world news bulletin. Vaibhav Khaire, founder, told the diarist, “We had arranged a ride for the channel. I hope this will encourage more people to take the route by night, and try cycling in general.”

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