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Pune: Focus on youth as Kashish 2021, South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival, kicks off in a fortnight

The festival will open virtually on August 19 with Teddy Award winner 'No Hard Feelings' about Iranian refugees in Germany. It will screen 221 films from 53 countries out of which 55 compete in the nine competition categories.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: August 4, 2021 1:26:19 pm
The festival will open virtually on August 19 with Teddy Award winner 'No Hard Feelings' about Iranian refugees in Germany.

The 12th edition of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival, will open on August 19 virtually with the Teddy Award winner ‘No Hard Feelings’ about Iranian refugees in Germany and close on September 5 with Australian film ‘Unsound’ about a young deaf transman’s romance with a musician.

“We had to defer the festival earlier planned in May due to Covid-19. But now with these joyful youth films, this will certainly help ‘unlock with pride’. What is best is you can watch it from your own homes, not only in India but across the world”, Sridhar Rangayan, festival director, told The Indian Express. There are full-festival passes and weekend passes to attend the festival from anywhere in the world, and the registrations are open now.

The festival will screen 221 films from 53 countries out of which 55 compete in the nine competition categories that include the best narrative feature, best screenplay, best performance in a lead Role, best documentary feature and short, best Indian and International narrative short and Riyad Wadia Award for best emerging Indian filmmaker.

“Amidst the ongoing challenges across the world, Kashish wants to bring a ray of hope, and a chance to celebrate lives, by watching the best of Indian and International films from your own homes. We want to be resilient and celebrate the diversity of human experiences through cinema,” the festival director said.

The opening film ‘No Hard Feelings’ is about Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, who after being caught shoplifting is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets the siblings Banafshe (Banafshe Hourmazdi) and Amon (Eidin Jalali), who have fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test.

The director brings his personal experience of growing up as a second-generation Irani migrant, and also explores his own experiences as a gay man, lacking words to talk about his identity. In his work, Faraz re-inhabits this history and builds a visual archive of migration in Germany.

 

The closing film Unsound is a heartwarming story of Noah (Reece Noi -Games Of Thrones) who returns disillusioned to his mother’s home in Sydney.

The closing film ‘Unsound’ is a heartwarming story of Noah (Reece Noi -Games Of Thrones) who returns disillusioned to his mother’s home in Sydney and meets Finn (deaf actress Yiana Pandelis -Legends), a proud young, trans-man who works and runs a local centre and nightclub for his deaf community. But as the two become closer, and with no shared language to fall back on, they only risk hurting each other.

“It is so awesome to see that a hearing-impaired person has been cast to play the lead part of Finn. This is what diversity and inclusivity in casting are all about”, said Rangayan.

Mohini – Men in Sarees – by Marathi television actress Sharmila Rajaram Shinde to be featured

Marathi television actress Sharmila Rajaram makes her debut as a filmmaker with the documentary ‘Mohini’. Shinde told The Indian Express that the hard work that goes into capturing the reality of crossdresser folk dancers of Maharashtra was so satisfying. After a chance encounter with a male Lavani artist, Shinde takes the viewer along on her journey of insights she gathers about the art, history and taboo surrounding the dance form. From the formation of Bin Baykancha Tamasha, an all-male Lavani troupe, to the hurdles that the homophobic Indian society creates in the artistic expression of the male Lavni dancers, the film shows the glittery as well as the dark side of the painted faces in one hour and seven minutes.

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