UPDATE - to to the COVID crisis, Kashish has - wisely - postponed until Thursday, 19 August 2021 until Sunday, 05 September 2021.
The 12th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be held ONLINE from May 20th to 30th 2021, with a possibility of one / two day ON GROUND event in Mumbai (we will be able to take a decision on this only by mid February).
At #KASHISH2021Virtual each online program will be made available for 48 hours (2 days) across the World. Submit if you are open to have your film screened online for 48 hours open to the world. KASHISH ensures total security for all the films screened online.
Considering the challenging situation all filmmakers must be going through, the festival has decided to Waive Off Submission Fees in ALL Categories. So Happy Submissions!!
The theme of KASHISH 2021 is #UnlockWithPride, representing the festival's mission to unlock geographical & racial barriers, and encourage love & acceptance of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and thereby unlock a new normal of hope for everyone.
Note: This is only the overall festival theme and all films need not coincide with the theme. The festival programs a broad range of films with diverse LGBTQIA+ themes.
ABOUT KASHISH MIQFF
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the first LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Intersex, Asexual) film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater, and the first LGBTQIA+ film festival in India to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
KASHISH MIQFF, now considered South Asia’s biggest LGBTQIA+ film festival and one of world’s top 5 coolest LGBTQIA+ film festival, has over the past 11 editions become one of the biggest pride events in India.
Founded in 2010, the festival has grown from strength to strength, attracting close to 9000 footfalls over the 4 1/2 days of the festival at two/three venues. The festival, every year, has screened 110 - 180 films that include shorts, documentaries, features - all centered around LGBTQIA+ themes. The festival also attracts topline Bollywood celebrities, prominent filmmakers and media personalities, and receives every year over 150 write-ups in mainstream press in India and globally.
KASHISH MIQFF has both Competitive and Non-Competitive categories.
KASHISH MIQFF awards around Rs.1,80,000 lacs (US$2500) in cash prizes – the largest total amount awarded by any LGBTQIA+ film festival in Indian subcontinent.
The Competition Categories are:
- Best Narrative Feature
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Documentary Short
- Best Indian Narrative Short
- Best International Narrative Short
- Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker
- Best Performance in a Lead Role
- Best Screenplay
- Best Student Short Film
The winners will be selected by a panel of eminent Jury. The decision of the Jury will be final and is indisputable.
WALK WITH ME
Dir: Isabel del Rosal / 112 min / USA
As she braves life after divorce, a young mother must challenge herself to take some personal risks after finding love in an unexpected place.
THE LAWYER Dir: Romas Zabarauska / 97 min / Lithuania Life drifts by for gay corporate lawyer Marius, his time spent teasing friends and chasing young lovers. One day, Marius’ estranged father dies. Mourning turns to love as the lawyer finds an unanticipated connection with a sex-cam worker Ali – a Syrian refugee stuck in Belgrade.
CURED Dir: Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon / 80 min / USA This feature-length documentary takes viewers inside the David-versus-Goliath struggle that led the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illnesses in 1973. Viewers meet the key players who achieved this victory, along with allies and opponents within the APA. The film illuminates the strategy and tactics that led to this pivotal yet largely unknown moment. Indeed, following the Stonewall uprising of 1969, the campaign that culminated in the APA’s decision marks the first major step on the path to first-class citizenship for LGBTQ Americans.
Dir: Marco Simon Puccioni / 83 min / Italy
The intimate dialogue between two fathers who trace back the last four years of the growth of their twins. They remember how their children coped with, in different ages, living in a family with two fathers, answering their companions’ questions about the mother or playing on names and roles. They seek, among different sensitivities, the names to be given to people of extended families created with assisted procreation techniques.
ADVENT OF MARY
Dir: Vinícius Machado / 103 min / Brazil
Maria, an 11-year-old transgender girl, tormented by the search for her identity, faces religious and family pressure until she meets Lena, her new neighbour. A pure friendship, free from judgments and prejudices, moves Maria to discover and understand her condition.
Dir: Peeter Rebane / 107 min / Estonia, Malta, Russian Fedration
Firebird is a touching love story set in the Soviet Air Force during the Cold War. Sergey, a troubled young private, is counting the days till his military service ends. His life is turned upside down when a daring fighter pilot, Roman arrives at the base. Driven by curiosity, Sergey and Roman navigate the precarious line between love and friendship as a dangerous love triangle forms between them and Luisa, the secretary to the base Commander. Sergey is forced to face his past as Roman’s career is endangered and Luisa struggles to keep her family together. Amid the fears of the all-seeing Soviet regime, they risk their freedom and their lives in the face of an escalating KGB investigation. Based on a true story.
Dir: Nicol Ruiz / 72 min / Chile
Claudina is a traditional woman from the countryside. After the pass away of her husband, she gets into a lonely routine. Having a difficult economic situation, Claudina has to move with her dearest grandson Cristóban, and her daughter Alejandra, knowing that both women have a distanced relationship. Living together, Claudina meets the neighbor Elsa, an independent and married woman who sings on a hidden bar called “Porvenir“ (The Future.) Claudina starts a relationship with Elsa, getting in love. Since then, she develops a journey of self-knowledge to be free, under the judgment of her daughter and friends on a religious and conservatory little town, obsessed with UFO sighting.
THE MAN WITH THE ANSWERS
Dir: Stelios Kammitsis / 80 min / Cyprus, Greece, Italy
Victor, a Greek ex-diving champion in his early 20’s, lives with his grandmother in a seaside town in Greece. Missing out on his triumph days and tired of working at a furniture factory, his life suddenly changes with his grandmother’s death. Driving an old dusty car, he begins a road trip to Germany. On the boat to Italy, he meets Matthias, an adventurous young German, who is on his way home. Matthias persuades Victor to take him along and, as they drive north, Matthias pushes him to come out of his comfort zone and reveal the real reasons behind his trip. Victor’s uptight character clashes with the more free-spirited Matthias. When their journey comes to an end, through the unpredictable turns of life, will their questions find the answers they so much long for?
Dir: Ralston Gonzales Jover / 99 min / Philippines
It tells the story of a Filipino migrant father in Brisbane named Leo, his journey into transitioning as Lea, and his fight as a trans person for the custody of his Filipino children.
A WORM IN THE HEART
Dir: Paul Rice / 88 min / Russia, Ireland, USA
The documentary follows the trajectory of the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia, Mongolia and China as Paul Rice and Liam Jackson Montgomery, a gay couple, stop off to meet with members of the LGBTQ+ community. The film is a collection of emotionally driven personal interviews captured on the journey that collectively capture the current state of the LGBTQ community in these three countries.
Dir: Cecilia del Valle / 77 min / Argentina
Áyax Grandi, an architect from the city of Rosario, at 48 he decided to become Canela. This film narrates the parenthesis in the life of Canela where she is torn between having gender reassignment operating surgery or not. With that concern, a search begins. She consults with healthcare professionals, her sons and old friends until she realizes something about her desire that she didn’t really expect.
I AM HERE -WE ARE TOGETHER
Dir: Tomoya Asanuma / 60 min / Japan
This film captures GID (gender identity disorder) /GD (Gender dysphoria ) /Transgender people in Japan, as well as the problems they face on a daily basis. We also discuss the issues caused by the restrictive requirements of the Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases Act, the law that allows changing of legal sexes. We all have been living together this entire time, but somehow GID/GD/Transgender people are always treated as they don’t exist. They are often discriminated against and judged as some kind of perverts and weirdos. This film explores the reality of the Japanese transgender community through the various interviews with GID/GD/Transgender people.
PRIDE & PROTEST
Dir: Blaise Singh / 90 min / UK
PRIDE & PROTEST is the film synthesis of the many conversations shared by the Rainbow Films team on important but often ignored issues met by QPOC about racism within the larger queer community, as well as issues around intersectionality and visible diversity in the more mainstream and White heteronormative society they live in.
PRINCE OF DREAMS
Dir: Jessica Nettelbladt / 90 min / Sweden
Erik was born female, but from an early age he felt trapped in the wrong body. When he was 18, he began his transition with hormone treatments and surgery. After meeting Martyna, the love of his life, thoughts of what makes a person a real man weigh on his mind. He struggles with body dysphoria – would he ever be able to accept himself? Suppressed memories resurface. Troubling incidents from the past: bullying at school, years of sexual abuse. Anxiety and depression have left him too ill to work, but a new door opens as well – a journey beyond his wildest dreams.
Prince of Dreams was filmed over the course of 10 years, beginning when Erik was 17. Though it deals with serious issues, the film is also alive with humor and with love.
Dir: Harri Shanahan, Siân A. Williams / 82 min / UK
The film follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common peace camp and went on to become artists, performers, musicians and activists in London. A heady mash-up of animation, archive footage and interviews tells the story of a radical scene: squatters, BDSM nightclubs, anti-Thatcher rallies, protests demanding action around AIDS and the fierce ties of chosen family. This is an extraordinarily privileged glimpse into a bygone world by those who not only lived out their politics with heartfelt conviction but lived to tell the tale.
Dir: Smarak Samarjeet / 25 min / India
Can a Trans woman reimagine the world before her, without a fight for her rights, acceptance in the society, and equal opportunity? A documentary short subject about a young trans woman, seeking a dignified life for her and her community.
LIVE, DANCE, POSE
Dir: Valentina Riveiro Moreira / 12 min / Spain
The Ballroom : an underground scene that has been surviving for decades with origin in the United States and has landed in Spain. This dance form is here to stay and continue to function as a safe space for the LGTBIQ + community. Its protagonists will introduce us to this underworld and their personal stories in which we will see how it has influenced their lives.
NOTHING BUT A HUMAN
Dir: Swati Jaiswal / 45 min / India
This documentary is about a young Gender Fluid Artist, Hiten Noonwal, who happens to also belong to the LGBTQ community as well. His journey as an artist started very young as he was growing up in a village situated at the Haryana-Delhi border in a Haryanvi Family. From designing dressing for Local Ramleela Cosplay of his village to reaching NID Ahmedabad as an Apparel Design student showed him a way to use his artistic talent to not only express himself through his art, also to use it as a weapon to fight his social battle and bring awareness in the society.
Dir: Gail Willumsen / 53 min / USA
OUT LOUD chronicles the first season of the historic Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, the largest group of transgender and gender nonconforming people anywhere in the world who regularly sing together. Led by Lindsey Deaton, who co-founded the chorus and served as its first artistic director, these choristers, many of whom have no musical training, come together to hone their craft and find their voices. Some choristers have the added challenge of coping with changes to their vocal range as they take hormones to transition. The stakes are high for all as they prepare for their 2016 public concert debut in this inspiring story of an extraordinary choir.
Dir: Bhargav Lahkar / 43 min / India, USA
A documentary, inspired by true life experiences of Assamese trans-man Milin Dutta.
Dir: Catarina de Sousa & Nick Tyson / 27 min / Portugal, USA
A group of teenagers discuss their ideas of a queer utopia. They build online safe spaces within a popular video game and create a manifesto for a more equal and just world where everyone can be their true self. In this moving short documentary, directors Catarina de Sousa and Nick Tyson prove there is much to learn from Generation Z. With humour and kindness, they illustrate the power of a community of love.
Indian Narrative Shorts
ARE WE THERE YET?
Dir: Bhanu Babbal, Kashyap Swaroop / 7 min / India
When two contrasting personalities are thrown into a new world of constant cohabitation, under the creeping clouds of mortality, they are left to navigate through an important life decision together – revealing the truth of their relationship to a parent figure.
Dir: Radhika Prasidhha / 8 min / India
Begum Parvathi is a seven minute short conversational piece between two characters. Two women meet online. Over the course of a few months, they share an intimate connection that develops over phone calls, texts and other virtual exchanges. The possibility of meeting in real life fills them with curiosity, hesitation, longing and maybe even a little bit of catastrophising for their own individual reasons. Do they end up on the same page? Will they meet? Will they hold hands? The conversation unfolds.
Dir: Jiya Bhardwaj / 18 min / India
Closets (Almariyaan) is a journey of a middle – class Indian couple who work on learning and accepting their son’s sexuality and help make a comfortable ground for him to come out of ” the closet” , but when the actual truth comes out, they can’t come to terms with it. A perfect satire to bring out the importance and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community in India in the current times, the film is a fun ride that leaves you with thinking about much more than it projects.
Dir: Jinesh VS / 14 min / India
The COVID lockdown has taken charge. Every single person is required to be inside. Nobody could go anywhere. Those who lived everyday shuttled from work to home and vice versa are confined within homes. The movie is about a 25-year-old girl, Aaru who explores the underlying thrusts, senses, and insinuations of her psyche during the lockdown period. She finds comfort in the presence of her friend. They find bliss in their deep conversations and verbal expeditions. But gradually she is ascertained with a life-changing perception about herself. And she can’t process this apprehension. Inside is about how Aaru sorts that realization, or her life for that matter.
Dir: Kirnay Bhatt / 25 min / India
The squared circle of life presents a fair share of opponents for the small town, introverted boxer, Kirnay, who dreams of representing her country.
THE LONELY PRINCE
Dir: Shivin, Sunny / 15 min / India
A lonely Prince, drowning in melancholy, invites a Sculptor to his court to create a piece of art just for him. As the Sculptor spends his days chiselling away on a block of marble, the Prince too discovers a new side of himself, for a brief moment forgetting the world of solitude that surrounds him.
International Narrative Shorts
A BRONX STORY
Dir: Bell Soto & Gabriel Peña / 20 min / Peru,USA
Two queer Dominican men living in Bronx, New York, navigate modern-day relationship’s trails and tribulations while trying to keep their love afloat.
APRIL’S LAST MEMORIES
Dir: Nancy Cruz Orozco / 20 min / Mexico
Camila and Abril grew up together in a small town on the coast and are best friends. There´s an obvious and uncomfortable attraction between them. April’s family will move to the city, their paths will have to separate forever. No one understands how to say goodbye to the person they love.
Dir: Stefan Langthaler / 30 min / Austria
80-year-old retiree Arthur lives in a modest home in Vienna. For quite some time he has lovingly been caring for his seriously ill wife Martha, with only female nurses assisting him. When the new male hungarian care worker Fabiu enters the picture, his routine is broken. But soon the two men become closer and inside Arthur feelings of desire and suppressed longing start to rise.
Dir: Shin Si-A / 21 min / Korea, Republic of
Queer love story of dancers Su-gi and Yeon-jae.
Dir: Lamberto Guerra / 20 min / Spain
One night. Three women. Three generations. A grandmother, a mother and a daughter are about to lose Lila, the pet that has joined them for the past 20 years. This will expose their unresolved conflicts: their fears, their mistakes, their secrets… And how much they need each other. Tonight, they not only face a bitter farewell, but the distance that had separated them until now, and they will discover if they are able to walk that path… Or if they will have to keep walking alone.
Dir: Lukas Vizner / 28 min / Slovakia
A short movie about a relationship of a talented pianist Christoph and an experienced porn-star Philip opens a complex topic of prejudice in society, as well as within LGBTI community.
PINK & BLUE
Dir: Carmen LoBue / 13 min / USA
After a surprise first-time pregnancy, a Trans couple of color wrestles with how the new baby will affect their relationship and how to raise a child in a binary world.
Dir: Iven Tu / 12 min / Canada
A middle-aged man, Charlie, wakes up every day trying to get over the loss of his beloved. One morning, he follows the apparition of his deceased partner to the ocean, where he almost drowns.
Dir: Andrey Volkashin / 20 min / Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
A bitter-sweet story about an unusual friendship between a nine year old daredevil Mario and an eccentric gay man Borche, challenged by the prejudices and hatred of the parents in a remote Macedonian small town.
STRAY DOGS COME OUT AT NIGHT
Dir: Hamza Bangash / 11 min / Pakistan
Karachi, Pakistan. Iqbal, a migrant sex worker, cannot come to terms with his illness. He convinces his uncle to take a day trip to the beach, desperate for respite. The Arabian sea beckons.
Dir: Thomas Hescott / 18 min / United Kingdom
1965, the eve of decriminalisation for acts of male homo- sexuality. Matthews, a young gay man at odds with the world, discovers love, sex and a family in the backstreets and underground bars of Soho.
THE FLY OF STARLING
Dir: Bárbara Fdez / 13 min / Spain
The Fly Of The Starling speaks of a love story of two unknown in an unsolvable equation A relationship that runs through the streets of Madrid in the 80 s, in which our main character far from cultural revolution of the time, lives his love story in the most absolute secret. His boyfriend ends up disappearing without a trace and the only memory he has of him are his letters that were never sent to him. At his elderly age he recalls those memories and reflects about his love and loss.
THE LAST ROMANTICS OF THE WORLD
Dir: Henrique Arruda / 23 min / Brazil
The world as we know it is about to be ended by a pink cloud. Far away from the urban chaos, Pedro and Miguel seek only eternity.
THE SILENCE OF THE RIVER
Dir: Francesca Canepa / 14 min / Peru
Juan, a 9 year-old Peruvian boy, lives with his silent dad in a floating house on the breathtaking Amazon River. This idyllic background sets an allegorical journey into the rainforest jungle, where nature, gender, truth and all things begin to reveal the identity of his dad.
Dir: Teresa Garratty / 10 min / United Kingdom
After a bad break-up, Jess focuses on rebuilding her life and her self esteem. Dating someone new might help, but what if it all goes wrong? Only one way to find out.