KASHISH 2012 – Introduction India’s Biggest Queer Film Festival returns for its third edition! KASHISH 2012 – 3rd Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be held from May 23-27, 2012 at Cinemax Versova, Andheri West and from May 24-26, 2012 at Alliance Française de Bombay, Marine Lines.
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the first and only gay & lesbian film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater and the only queer festival to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The festival is organized by Solaris Pictures and Bombay Dost in association with The Humsafar Trust.
KASHISH, India’s biggest queer film festival, this year features 120 films from 30 countries with the highest number of features yet – 23 features! Added to this are loads of shorts packages that are exciting, intriguing and evocative.
While the popular shorts packages like Girls Shorts (a mix of lesbian themed shorts), Rainbow Warriors (about queer people who have made a difference), Indian Masala Mix (exciting shorts by young Indian filmmakers) and Red Ribbon package (films on HIV/AIDS), there are several new packages like Urban Longings (about meetings and departings in a city), Unfair Games (homophobia in sports) and Family Ties (about the queer person and their families).
An interesting entry is a package of animation shorts titled QToons that provides a guffaw, a sigh, a giggle and many laughs. Making this year exciting and intriguing are shorts that feature even zombies and a gay superhero.
This year KASHISH is proud to present four queer feature films from India! Four feature length films from India, in four languages - Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil/Kannada and Hindi -all dealing with Hijra and transgender characters, but from totally different perspectives.
While WE THE OUTSIDERS (Aamhi Ka Tisre) (2011 / 109 mins, Marathi), is a poignant drama about Bablu, who is thrown out of his family because of his effeminacy and finds refuge with the eunuch community who are helping others like him; FAMILY KHUSREYAN DI (2009/ 95 mins, Punjabi) is a rollicking comedy about a transgender person in a rural village in Punjab who has to pretend to be a macho Robinhood hero to save a village from an evil landlord!
While QUEENS! DESTINY OF DANCE (2011 / 112 min / Hindi) is a colorful emotional drama with dances, set in an opulent Hijra gharana (household) with Seema Biswas as the Guru Amma trying to protect her clan; LET THE BUTTERFLIES FLY (Chittegalu Haradali) (2012 / 74 mins, Kannada/Tamil) is a grass roots level documentary that highlights the discrimination and violence faced by Hijras in the society, with the life story of Shilpa who faced severe police torture and abuse from medical establishment, who tried to make her a ‘man’ by force.
The four films approach the subject in four unique ways, but each of them are essentially Indian at heart & absolutely humane.
Country Focus – France
This year the Country Focus is France. The festival will screen two highly acclaimed French Features GIGOLA (2010 / 102 min) directed by Laure Charpentier and LE FIL (The String) (2009 / 93 min) directed by Mehdi Ben Attia. Gigola is a breathtaking exploration of the gay underbelly of Paris in the 1960s through the eyes of a sauve lesbian hustler; and ‘Le Fil’ is a bitter-sweet romance that’s plays on the class difference between a rich young man and a handsome young labourer. Both the films boast of wonderful cameos by two of France’s extraordinary top notch actresses - Marisa Paredes in Gigola and Claudia Cardinale in Le Fil.
The Country Focus also includes a short film package : FRENCH RENDEZVOUS with six short films portraying Contemporary French Queer Cinema – ranging from tender love stories to tongue-in-cheek humor to action thriller. Few of these are made by first timer filmmakers, but their films do leave a long-lasting impression on viewers.
Filmmaker Focus – Rob Williams
Rob Williams, regarded as one of the most prolific gay filmmakers working today, fills many shoes – he is an award-winning screenwriter, director, producer and co-owner of Guest House Films.
From gay romantic comedies to dramas, Rob has an impressive roster of movies dealing with the politics of human relationships, pepped up with an attractive and talented cast and interesting scripts.
His movies have screened at film festivals around the world, winning audience, jury and acting awards, and securing distribution deals in North America and international territories. Along with his long-time partner (and fellow screenwriter) Rodney Johnson, Rob was named to Instinct Magazine’s “Leading Men of 2008” for their contributions to gay cinema.
KASHISH 2012 showcases his three features, from his debut feature LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP (2006 / 97 min) to his later productions, MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY (2009 / 89 min) and ROLE / PLAY (2010 / 85 min). A short film written by him – Regrets, is also screening in the short film package, Crossed Paths.
Long Term Relationship is all about love and its inherent problems. Glenn has finally found his soul mate Adam, a cute Southern man, through a personal ad; but he didn’t expect that his first love will also have ‘compatibility’ issues. But a little patience and a lot of humour can perhaps make it a long term relationship.
An extremely popular film Make The Yuletide Gay, spins the story of out-and-proud Olaf visiting his family home for Christmas and crawling back into the closet to keep his parents happy, even as they try to set him up with his childhood girlfriend. Matters get out of hand when Olaf’s charming campy boyfriend pays a surprise visit, adding to fun, music and drama.
In Role/Play, outed soap opera star Graham seeks refuge at an exclusive Palm Springs resort. Outed soap opera star Graham seeks refuge at an exclusive Palm Springs resort, but quiet anonymity eludes him when marriage-equality activist Trey checks in to escape the fallout from his own bitter divorce.
KASHISH- Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
Festival Website: http://www.mumbaiqueerfest.com/ | Festival Blog: http://kashishmiqff.blogspot.com/