Pride Month: Why you need to attend KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Festival and Satrangi Mela

04 June,2023 08:23 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Nidhi Lodaya

A queer film fest and mela showcasing LGBTQiA+ run businesses make up the first Sunday of Pride Month

Besides screening 110 movies from 41 countries, the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Festival, South Asia’s largest queer film gala, will host panel discussions and musical performances. Pic courtesy/UJJWAL MINOCHA

Watch LGBTQiA+ themed films on the big screen with 1,200 people. That's the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Festival for you. Considered South Asia's biggest queer film festival, KASHISH is currently on its 14th edition with 127 films from 45 countries, which can all be viewed online, while 110 films from 41 countries will be screened offline as well. "KASHISH debuted in 2010 after the reading down of Section 377 by the Delhi High Court. We started with Patrik, Age 1.5; a Swedish feature film, with one screen at PVR Cinema, Juhu that had 125 seats. Crowds were queuing up for shows," says festival director Sridhar Rangayan.

Sridhar Rangayan

Over the years, KASHISH has been instrumental in advocating equal rights, sensitising society to LGBTQiA+ issues and nurturing queer filmmakers in India. Rangayan observes that films have moved from rom-com and entertainment to reflect a more nuanced world view. "We are seeing an increase in Indian LGBTQ+ centric submissions from 22 films in the first year to 90 this year," says Rangayan. "Their quality has also improved drastically," he shares. "The narratives have shifted from angst-ridden, who-am-I, what-am-I kind of films to dealing with realities of LGBTQ+ persons' lives in everyday situations.
It has also shifted from urban centric topics to rural and semi-urban environments."

The theme for the year is "Be Fluid, Be You!" "It's giving wings to aspirations of the contemporary generation that is fluid in thoughts, actions and sexualities," says Rangayan, "This is expressed through films, art and poetry and is universal in appeal." Some not-to-miss movies this year include Ektara Collective's Ek Jagah Apni and Tsuyoshi Shoji's Old Narcissus.

WHAT: KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
WHERE: Liberty Cinema and Alliance Française de Bombay
WHEN: June 7 to 11
PRICE: Rs 999 onwards

Rang de

Social's Satrangi Mela is back with a much bigger celebration this Pride month. "We started as an online edition in June 2020 and soon realised that the community needs spaces to create awareness and interact with each other through art and culture," says Pearl Daruwalla, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Impresario Handmade Restaurants. Their first offline session was in November 2021, and since then, they have had more than 15 editions across the country.

Besides a flea market place, Satrangi Mela also has performances such as drag showcases, open mic, theatre productions, and a DJ and live music during the party

Satrangi Mela is an all-day marketplace for queer businesses and artistes. As the day progresses, expect open mics, flashmob, drag shows and theatre productions, which ultimately lead to a party. "We don't believe that Satrangi Mela or awareness has to happen only during Pride month," says Daruwalla. "That is why we do it all around the year, not just for the community but also for allies." Besides a flea market, showcases and performances, this edition will also have face and body painting, tarot card reading, tattoo artistes - all of which will eventually melt into a disco-themed ball.

Pearl Daruwalla

WHAT: Satrangi Mela (Pride Edition)
WHERE: antiSOCIAL, Lower Parel
WHEN: June 11, 2 PM onwards
PRICE: till 5 PM

mid-day's top three movies to miss work for

Pine Cone
Dir: Onir
105 min / India / Hindi

These are three stories from the life of filmmaker Sid Mehra as he negotiates relationships in the search for love. The stories are in reverse chronological order: 2019, 2009, and 1999. A human being is a human being and love is love, and Sid, while proudly gay, is not defined by it and refuses to apologise, prejudices be damned!

The Law of Love
Dir: Barbora Chalupová
89 min / Czech Republic / Czech

Czech society may seem LGBTQiA+ friendly, but when it comes to the raging issue of legalising same-sex marriage, ignorance and hatred suddenly seem to make an appearance. Czeslaw and his companions run a campaign to show that the fight for LGBTQiA+ rights in Europe is a long way from over.

Mama Bears
Dir: Daresha Kyi
90 min / USA / English

Did you know there are more than 32,000 mothers in America, many from conservative Christian backgrounds, who fully accept their LGBTQiA+ children? They call themselves Mama bears because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQiA+ folks.

life and style sunday mid-day lesbian gay bisexual transgender LGBTQIA+ mumbai Lifestyle news culture news Arts and culture
Related Stories