National award-winning film directors Hansal Mehta and Sunil Sukhtankar and actress Sandhya Mridul will be some of the prominent faces that will grace the jury if the 11th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.
The festival KASHISH 2020 Virtual will be held online from July 22-July30 2019. Mehta, Sukhtankar, Mridul will be part of the Narrative Jury panel. There will be two other jury panels – Faiza Ahmed Khan, Miriam Chandy Menacherry, and Nakul Singh Sawhney in the Documentary Jury panel, and Rabiya Nazki, Shankhajeet De and Tangella Madhavi in the Student Shorts Jury panel.
“We are thrilled to have such eminent filmmakers, actors, and producers on the three jury panels at KASHISH 2020 Virtual. It is amazing that these accomplished personalities managed to find the time, amidst the lockdown and the stress it has brought, to be able to view all the films and analyze them thoroughly. Their expertise adds great value to the jury process and we look forward to announcing the winners on July 30th at the virtual award ceremony”, said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.
“I’m honored to be a part of the KASHISH 2020 virtual panel. The world is passing through extraordinary times. It is at times like these that we must make extraordinary efforts to continue the work that strives to bind our increasingly polarized world together. Cinema is one such powerful medium and I’m so happy that this beloved festival is continuing to serve the world and particularly the LGBTQIA community with such a great variety of stories”, said Hansal Mehta, director of award-winning films like Aligarh, Shahid, City Lights, Simran, etc.
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Sandhya Mridul, a well-known actor said, “In spite of these times, art thrives and it’s so inspiring to see the show go on with KASHISH. We virtually connect with each other and so many others through stories. Virtual, yet so palpable & real! It gave me immense joy to see section 377 being declared unconstitutional in 2018 in India. I respect the other countries that I’ve done that in the past. As it should be. Freedom to be. Freedom to love. And it’s a privilege to be on the jury for LGBTQ cinema. I salute their resilience, courage, and creativity. Love is love is love. Art is art is art!”
Sunil Sukthankar, the award-winning filmmaker said, “I am happy to be on the jury panel of KASHISH Film Festival. In my youth, feminism helped me to break my rigid, ‘objective’ and so-called ‘mainstream’ understanding of the world and introduced me to a subjective and comprehensive worldview. Now, watching LGBTQ+ films is helping me to go beyond the binaries of gender biases.”
Faiza Ahmad Khan who won huge accolades for her documentary feature Supermen of Malegaon, said, “The films offer a window into the lives of people who refuse the narrow constraints of society and are challenging the narrative at many levels from the deeply personal to the national, which in so many countries is being overrun by fascist forces. The films also offer moments of freedom and joy that lie in solidarities that transcend these narrow limits.”
The festival will screen 157 films from 42 countries out of which 52 films compete for a total cash award of Rs.1,80,000 in the 9 competition categories that include Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Performance in a Lead Role, Best Documentary Feature and Short, Best Indian and International Narrative Short, Best Student Short and Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker.