Mumbai/IBNS; The 14th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia's biggest LGBTQ+ film festival will be held June 7 - 11, 2023 at Liberty Cinema, and June 8 - 10, 2023 at Alliance Française de Bombay; and also online from June 16 - 25, 2023.
The festival will screen 110 films from 41 countries at its on-ground edition and 127 films from 45 countries overall.
Sridhar Rangayan, founder festival director has a recommendation list for KASHISH 2023 audiences.
Sridhar Rangayan says, "It is always difficult choosing a few films from the vast repertoire of films screening at the festival, this year 110 films from 41 countries screening at the on-ground edition.
"But here are a few of my personal picks, celebrating the 7 colors of the rainbow."
June 7, 2023 | 9.30pm | Liberty Cinema
105 min / India / Hindi
Pine Cone features three stories from the life of filmmaker Sid Mehra, as he negotiates relationships in his search for love. The stories are in reverse chronological order – 2019, 2009, and 1999. A human being is a human being, and love is love, and Sid while proudly gay, is not defined by it. It is about a man who refuses to apologise for who he is, a man determined to live life in full – the prejudices of the world be damned!
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "It is the opening film of the festival, directed by National Award winning director Onir, and is a beautiful film about love. But what is more beautiful is that Onir has cast queer actors to play the role."
June 8, 2023 | 5.45pm | Alliance Française
THE LAW OF LOVE
Dir: Barbora Chalupová
89 min / Czech Republic / Czech
It looks like the Czech society is LGBT+ friendly. But when it comes to legalizing marriage, ignorance and hatred suddenly appear. Czeslaw, and his companions run a campaign to show that the fight for LGBT+ rights in Europe is not over.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "With marriage quality being the current hot topic in India, this film from the Czech Republic shows how same-sex love is opposed vehemently by vested interests and how the LGBTQ+ community have to fight for their rights which is due to every citizen of the country."
June 10, 2023 | 10.30am | Alliance Française
Dir: Daresha Kyi
90 min / USA / English
Did you know there are more than 32,000 mothers in America, many from conservative, Christian backgrounds, who fully accept their LGBTQ+ children? They call themselves “mama bears” because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQ+ people. MAMA BEARS explores this growing movement through the lives of three diverse mothers and their LGBT+ offspring.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "What are queer children without their families. When your parents pick up the cudgels to fight for you, one can see the palpable love by the parents for their children. These parents are an inspiration and I would like to invite our own parents support group Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents to come and watch this beautiful film."
June 10, 2023 | 5.45pm | Liberty Cinema
EK JAGAH APNI
Dir: Ektara Collective
88 min / India / Hindi
Laila and Roshni are looking for a house after they are evicted from the place they rented. It soon becomes evident that their search for a home is also their ongoing search for a place in this society that wants to keep them away in a section that cannot be the center. As the search for a home continues, it transcends physical spaces and biological bonds. New friendships blossom and help comes from unexpected quarters.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "This film is winning hearts and awards wherever it is screening across the world, and we are proud to present its Mumbai premier. The film stars real life transgender actors who have played their parts brilliantly, and they will be at KASHISH to present their film and also take part in a panel discussion."
June 10, 2023 | 5.45pm | Alliance Française
KISSING THE GROUND YOU WALKED ON
Dir: Hong Heng Fai
93 / Macau / Cantonese
Chou, a writer who has not written for years, is looking for a tenant to share a spare room in his house. One day, an actor called Chiang comes to rent the room. His clear and innocent eyes have evoked the writer’s interest. Chou finds out that the daily life of Chiang is a performance in itself, he begins to refer to the new tenant as the blueprint of his novel.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "We hardly get films from Macau and such a beautiful and aesthetic feature length film from there makes it truly special. An adaptation of Anton Chekov's ‘Seagull’, it is the filmmaker’s feature debut, and uses more sensual experiences than words to convey its narrative, blurring the line between the one who looks and one looked at."
June 10, 2023 | 10.00pm | Liberty Cinema
Dir: Tsuyoshi Shoji
110 min / Japan / Japanese
An old picture book writer named Yamazaki, having been handsome as a young man, grows narcissistic of his beauty. But now, can’t bear his own aging. One night, Yamazaki meets a young and beautiful man named Leo. Yamazaki collapses during a session with Leo, and reveals his agony.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "This is a very special film about old age and the youth of today, set in contemporary Japan offers a glimpse of Japanese gay culture of the past and the present. The filmmaker Tsuyoshi Shoji, whose previous short film won an award last year at KASHISH, will be attending the festival to present his film."
June 11, 2023 | 9.30pm | Liberty Cinema
WHEN TIME GOT LOUDER
Dir: Connie Cocchia
113 min / Canada, USA / English
Departing for college, Abbie leaves behind her parents and brother, Kayden, who has autism. As Abbie falls in love with her new independence and budding relationship with a woman, her parents try to teach Kayden more independent life skills as they help him transition from high school to adulthood and adjust his routine without Abbie. When Abbie returns home for the holidays she discovers Kayden is in the hospital, and as a family they must find a solution for his future.
Sridhar Rangayan recommends: "It is the closing film of the festival, and is a film that is made from the heart with a passion that is palpable on screen too. The cast & crew made up of persons from the queer and autistic communities, show that they can match up to best. This is how filmmaking in future is meant to be, having a synergy of people from the communities they represent."