KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the first and only LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater and the first queer festival in India to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE FEATURES
CHRONICLES OF HARI (Harikatha Prasanga)
105mins / 2016 / India / Kannada with EST
Director: Ananya Kasaravalli
Harikatha Prasanga (Chronicles of Hari), set in a coastal town of southern India, narrates the story of a Yakshagana artist Hari who has gained extreme popularity portraying female roles. The story of Hari’s life unfolds through different perspectives captured in three episodes across four audio-visual interviews conducted by filmmakers Sharmila and Sundar, primarily interested in investigating and documenting on his whereabouts.
95 min / 2016 / Ireland / English
Director: John Butler
Lonely Ned is resigned to his status as the school outsider and the constant insinuations about his sexuality. Everything changes with the arrival of his new roommate Conor, a star player in the rugby team, and English teacher Dan Sherry whose presence evokes The Dead Poets Society as he asks the boys: “If you spend your whole life being someone else, who is going to be you ?” The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-mad school form an unlikely friendship until it’s tested by the authorities.
Best Irish Film at Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards
CENTERPIECE DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
THE PURSUIT: 50 YEARS IN THE FIGHT FOR LGBT RIGHTS
59mins / 2016 /USA / English
Director: Ilana Trachtman
The pursuit of happiness for the LGBT community continues 50 years after activists protested discrimination against “homosexuals” in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. LGBT elders recall life in the 1960’s, when “gays” were “hidden in plain sight,” vulnerable to arrest and psychiatric treatment, fired from jobs, and publicly shamed.
A thoughtful look back and an intimate look at the present, The Pursuit reminds us that while the past half-century has seen momentous changes, the fight for LGBT rights continues today.
Award of Excellence, Special Mention at Indie Fest
Award of Excellence, Special Mention at ImpactDocs
TWO SOFT THINGS, TWO HARD THINGS
71mins / 2016 / Canada / English
Director(s): Mark Kenneth Woods, Michael Yerxa
As a small group in Nunavut, Canada prepare for a seminal LGBTQ Pride celebration in the Arctic, the film explores how colonization and religion have shamed and erased traditional Inuit beliefs about sexuality and family structure and how, 60 years later, a new generation of Inuit are actively ‘unshaming’ their past.
This warm and thoughtful documentary looks at the challenges faced by LGBTQ Inuit and how a new generation is forging a more inclusive society. It also shows how the growing embrace of LGBTQ Inuit is helping the whole community on its journey to heal the past
Audience Award at Queer North Film Festival, Sudbury
FILMS IN COMPETITION : BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
80mins / 2016 / Armenia / Armenian with EST
Director: Pouria Heidary Oureh
Aram, the Iranian Armenian youth who immigrated to the US in childhood, returns to Armenia for the first time to propose to the Armenian girlfriend whom Aram met and lived within the US. Aram sees many cultural, religious, and national differences on the one day trip, but harder obstacles lay ahead.
Audience Award for Best Feature at Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam
Best of fest award at 5th Speechless Film Festival, Minnesota, USA
85 min / 2016 / USA / English
Director Deb Shoval
Lola Kirke shines as Joey, an aimless young woman searching for a direction in her small town of rural Pennsylvania. A visit to an Army recruiting office appears to provide her a path but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna, a rough and tumble housewife neglected by her long-haul trucker husband, that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipated. As Joey falls deeper in love, she begins to lose sight of what’s most important to her, while also becoming blind to the mistakes she is making.
Jury Award at Kansas City LGBT film festival
Best First Time Director at qFLIX Philadelphia
Best Women’s Feature Jury Award at North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Best Narrative Feature Jury Award and Best Narrative Feature Audience Award at Indie Memphis
GLORY AND GRACE
94mins /2016 /Brazil / Portuguese with EST
Director: Flávio Ramos Tambellini
Graça is diagnosed with a brain aneurism that may rupture at any moment. Desperate about who will take care of her two children in the event of her death, she decides to go after her brother, Luiz Carlos, whom she hasn’t seen in over 15 years due to a quarrel. When they meet, however, Luiz Carlos has become Gloria, a beautiful and successful transvestite, who now owns a restaurant and brags about being independent. At first, Gloria is unwilling to reconnect with her family; but as she becomes more guilt-stricken, she accepts Graça’s invitation to meet her nephews and eventually realizes that maybe, to be complete, she needs to become a mother.
PLAY THE DEVIL
92mins / 2016 / Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas, USA / English
Director: Maria Govan
Gregory, a gifted working-class teenager from Paramin, stars in a theater play that brings him to the attention of James, an affluent businessman. The two men strike an uncanny friendship as James takes Greg under his wing, pushing him to discover himself professionally, creatively, and intimately. Confused, Greg must at once deal with the return of his drug addicted father, and navigate through the early days of adulthood. As Carnival Monday approaches and the locals prepare for the annual male initiation parade, Greg must confront James – an act which will culminate in life changing events for him.
Jury Award for Best Feature Film at qFLIX Philadelphia
Youth Jury Award for Best Film and Best Trinidad + Tobago Feature Film (ex aequo) at Trinidad + Tobago FF
Best Female Feature Director at Woodstock Film Festival
FILMS IN COMPETITION : BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
STORM-DRENCHED MINDS (Cerveaux Mouillés d’Orages)
75mins / 2016 / France / French with EST
Director: Lhémon Karine
It’s the story of Hélène and Laurence, two handicapped women who are newly married. It is a story about being marginalized, about autonomy, a search for freedom and its shining message. Rejecting pathos, the film shows lives and their imperfections as forms of resistance in a world mainly adapted to and fit for able-bodied persons.
IN LOVE AS IN LIVE (Canto Alla Vita)
60 min / 2016 / Belgium / French with EST
Director: Turi Finocchiaro
Raymond and Raymond love each other. When one of them, already HIV positive for the past 27 years, gets cancer, their struggle becomes a joint one. Expressing their love to their friends, they try to shape a new life, full of the unknown. Their journey sweeps us along on an amazing sentimental odyssey.
TRANSITIONING : TRANSGENDER CHILDREN
52mins /2016 / Spain / Catalan, Spanish with EST
Director: Roser Oliver
In this moving film, we explore the transitioning through first-hand stories told by four young people who have taken this step. Their moving statements shed light on how these boys and girls felt, both before and after making the transition, and the difficult process that parents often go through in accepting that change.
But the trans reality, especially in the adult world, reaches much further. Not everyone identifies specifically with either the masculine or feminine gender. That’s the case for Noa, Àlex and Daniel, three members of Joves Trans de Barcelona (Barcelona Trans Youths) who don’t consider themselves either male or female and contest the idea of the binary genre distinction.
No Dress Code Required (Etiqueta No Rigurosa)
92mins / 2016 / Mexico / Spanish with EST
Director: Cristina Herrera Bórquez
A documentary about Victor and Fernando two stylists from Mexicali. They are the go-to professionals for the city’s socialites. To their customers, they were a lovely couple until they decided to legally marry. Losing the support of people and friends and confronting a backlash of criticism, through their fight they woke up members of Mexicali’s society to fight homophobia and inequality.
FILMS IN COMPETITION : BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
SINGLE MEN (双生)
29mins / 2016 / China / Chinese with EST
Director: Alexia Wong
“Single Men” captures the daily life and concerns of two middle-aged single gay men. Together with them, the documentary revisits three decades of change in Chinese society for sexual minority communities. Moving to a new place, both single men prepare for a new life, yet at the same time they’re anxious about the future. They need to face the future alone. It’s a reality that needs to be addressed by all members of sexual minority communities in China.
24 min / 2016 / Indonesia, Netherlands / English, Indonesian
Director: Anouk Houtman
What is it like being transgender in Yogyakarta? There is no single answer to this question. This film aims to show different ways of negotiating visibility in the Indonesian society when one ‘crosses gender’. The difficulty of this negotiation becomes apparent through the anti-LGBT sentiments and actions in early 2016.
30mins /2016 / India / Malayalam with EST
Director: Rajesh James
The film is about the journey undertaken by a diverse group of people comprising males, females and transgenders across South India in a truck. The film seeks to explore many compelling thoughts on life, love, and gender. The film hopes for a society where none have to crush their desires because the majority does not understand it…
A DOLL’S EYES
12mins / 2016 / USA / English
Director: Jonathan Wysocki
Haunted by the movie ‘Jaws’ since childhood, a filmmaker discovers why the movie affected him so deeply.
LANDS OF LOST CONTENT
45mins / 2017 / Rwanda, Serbia, United Kingdom / English
Director: Elena Horn
Lands of lost content is a documentary about a gay Orthodox Christian student called Nik Jovic Sas from Serbia who meets a genocide survivor and ballet dancer from Rwanda.
Ishimwa Muhimanyi returns to Rwanda after many years to meet his remaining family exploring the role of religion in the genocide and facing memories that only return in fragments, while Nik travels to Serbia wanting to reveal his homosexuality to his family, facing numerous challenges on the way.
FILMS IN COMPETITION : BEST INDIAN NARRATIVE SHORT
18mins / 2016 / India, USA / English, Hindi with EST
Director: Kawa Hatef
The story of Raju, an unnoticed dance studio caretaker whose love for a beautiful dance instructor ignites his journey of self identity.
13.15 min / 2017 / India / Hindi with EST
Director: Vishal Srivastava
Wajood (Selfhood) revolves around a young hijra’s(trans-woman) life, who seems to fancy herself with an auto-rickshaw driver. When confronted by the elders of her community about her unrealistic expectations goes on a subconscious quest to know if somebody will ever fall in love with her or is this thought as naive as told by everyone around her?
THE CLARINETS (Shehenaiiya)
23mins /2017 / India / Bengali with EST
Director: Debadrita Bose
A young man from the suburbs comes to the city for some shopping. He misses the last train to home and roams about. Suddenly he meets another man, who offers refuge for the night.
THE FISH CURRY (Maacher Jhol)
12mins / 2017 / India / Hindi with EST
Director: Abhishek Verma
A young man, Lalit, 28, decides to come out to his parents about his own sexuality and his love engagement with his boyfriend cum flatmate, Ashutosh. He plans to cook exotic Bengal style fish curry, maacher jhol. The dish is his father’s favourite. To maintain precision about the process and ingredients, he refers to the radio cook show.
14.20mins / 2016 / India / Hindi, Urdu with EST
Director: Maaria Sayed
‘Chudala,’ is an intimate exploration of a father-daughter relationship in a rapidly developing India. Based on an Indian mythological story of a woman turning into a man in order to seem significant to her family, this film tells the story of a lower middle class Muslim girl Rukhsana who returns to her house as Rehan – a man and is haunted by the memories of her life as a woman.
13mins / 2016 / India / Bengali, English, Hindi with EST
Director: Karishma Dube
Set in New Delhi, a closeted lesbian risks family and social boundaries as she pursues her household maid, Devi.
15mins / 2017 / India / No Dialogues
Director: Faraz Arif Ansari
Set in the fast-paced environs of the usually bustling Mumbai local train system, Sisak details a romance that develops slowly and intoxicatingly, nestled in the silences and quiet comforts of the end-of-day train journeys between two men.