Mumbai’s Kashish queer film festival goes online due to the coronavirus pandemic

The film festival is one of the first ones to go the virtual route, as pride events across the country look for an alternative that adheres to social distancing norms
Celina Jaitly and Sridhar Rangayan (Sridhar pic by Punit Reddy)
Celina Jaitly and Sridhar Rangayan (Sridhar pic by Punit Reddy)

With the COVID pandemic putting shut to any large gatherings, Mumbai’s KASHISH International Queer Film Festival has decided to go virtual. The ‘KASHISH 2020 Virtual’ film festival will go live on July 22 and conclude on July 30, making it the first-ever big film festival in India to go online with a full line up of new films.

“These are challenging times and we at KASHISH love challenges and take it head-on. Considering the safety and well-being of everyone, this year we have decided to hold the film festival online. We are committed to bringing our LGBTQIA+ stories out there to the world, as a means of healing and empowerment. The world must see us out there, in all our splendid colours, and the show must go on!” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director of KASHISH.

Celina Jaitly, a popular actress and Festival Ambassador of KASHISH sent a message from Austria, “Films, movies, cinema—whatever terminology you want to use, the industry is magical and enormously influential in everyone’s lives. In times like these, it is even more important not to lose that magic. Cinema like literature is the reflection of society, and not only does it influence society but has a great impact on successive generations. Hence KASHISH has and will always be an amazing platform for raising awareness and mobilizing people to stand up for the rights of their LGBTQ brothers and sisters. I am thrilled and honoured to be a part of this glorious film festival’s journey since its inception”. Seasons Greetings, a film in which Ms.Jaitly stars, is part of the festival line-up.

KASHISH 2020 virtual plans to screen about 100 plus films online in a pre-scheduled set of programs, along with online panel discussions, filmmaker Q&As, performances and opening & closing ceremonies. Most of the film-based programs would be available for viewing across the world, except a few films that may be geo-blocked for viewing only in India.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for the festival to use a technological platform and bring Indian queer content to international audiences, besides bringing international content to Indian audiences. For India, in a post 377 world, it is equally important for us to discuss the future evolution of the  Indian LGBTQIA+ movement. KASHISH 2020 Virtual will herald a change in the way we look at queer content. In a post COVID scenario it is important that we push borderless communication in a world that is poised to bring back the borders”, said Pallav Patankar, Director of Marketing at KASHISH.

For schedule and other details visit the festival website:

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