'People still think that being gay or lesbian is all about sex'

May 23, 2012, 07:53 IST | Aviva Dharmaraj

Says Sridhar Rangayan of the Mumbai international queer film festival, Kashish 2012, who talks about the role that he hopes that the films will play in helping people go beyond the stereotype

Organisers of the third edition of the Mumbai international queer film festival, Kashish 2012, want you to know that the sexual orientation of the protagonists featured in the 120 films is incidental. “These films ‘normalise’ the definition of what it means to be lesbian or gay,” says festival co-director Sridhar Rangayan, referring to the line-up that includes films from 30 countries.

Highlights include an India Focus that will feature four films on queer issues in regional languages, including Marathi and Punjabi, while Q-Toons is a special package of gay animation films. US filmmaker Rob Williams, who has in the past directed popular gay romantic comedies, will also attend the festival to present his films. 

Apart from film screenings, there will be panel discussions, interactive sessions with the cast and crew of select films, and an art corner that will ‘celebrate the lost art of Bollywood billboards with a queer twist’. “Most of the films being screened cannot be downloaded and might never be seen again in the country,” says Sridhar.

Jury members comprise actors Renuka Shahane, Parvin Dabas, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Mona Ambegaonkar and film critic Mayank Shekhar, who will judge films under the competition section.

What’s on tomorrow at Kashish 2012
Alliance Française de Bombay, New Marine Lines

LITTLE, 5 pm
Narrative Short/30 min/2011/Philippines
This is the story of José, affectionately called ‘Little’, because of his tiny manhood, who travels to the big bad city with his childhood crush. A story about love, family and longing.

Short Documentary/30 min/2010/USA
The journey of Jon Cory, aka Premdas, aka Rose Wood, through various genders and social roles. The film explores the spiritual quest of a burlesque performer, a yogi, and an artisan who transgresses set boundaries of traditional notions of body, gender, creed, and sexuality. 

Shorts package/105 min/France
Package of five short films portraying Contemporary French Queer Cinema: An Other World, Just For Sex, Manhunt, La Derade, The Incredible Adventures of Fusion Man.

Cinemax Versova, Andheri, Screen 1

Shorts package/49 min/ USA, India
The three films in this package address homophobia in the world of sport. The filmmaker will be present for the screening.

Playing Safe: Talking about Safe Sex, HIV/AIDS through popular media

Feature/113 min/2009/USA
Life doesn’t seem to be going according to plan for Hip-Hop choreographer Raj until he meets Jyoti, who suggests that he start a dance class for Indian women in the US.

GIRL SHORTS, 8.30 pm
Shorts package/62 min/Scotland, Germany, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel
Eight trans-continental short films that are imbued with fun, fights and fantasy.

Screens with THE OWLS
Feature/66 min/2010/USA
An experimental thriller/ film noir about four OWLs (Older Wiser Lesbians), who accidentally kill a young lesbian and hide the body.

Narrative Short/20 min/2010/USA
Post a friendly game of basketball, a mischievous good-humored gesture by his
fellow player, is returned by a homophobic litany by a character named Crim.

Screens with AUGUST
Feature/100 min/2011/USA
Eldar Rapaport directs his first feature film about two former lovers, Troy and Jonathan, who reunite after a painful break-up.
Abbreviated schedule. For the entire schedule,
Log on to www.mumbaiqueerfest.com 

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