KASHISH 2023 announces Rs.6.50 lacs in cash awards

46 Films in Competition at KASHISH 2023 in 10 categories and 5 LGBTQ+ filmmakers to pitch for KASHISH QDrishti Film Grant

The 14th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will disburse Rs.6,50,000 in cash awards at its latest edition of the festival that is scheduled from June 7th – 11th at Liberty Cinema and Alliance Française de Bombay.

The awards will be given in 10 categories to the films that are in competition in various categories – Best Narrative Feature and Best Indian Narrative Short supported by KASHISH Arts Foundation, Unity in Diversity Best Documentary Feature & Best Documentary Short supported by K.F.Patil Charitable Trust, Best International Narrative Short supported by GagaOoLala, Best Student Short supported by Whistling Woods, Best Screenplay supported by Abhay Kulkarni, Best Performance in a Lead Role Renuka Shahane, Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker supported by Wadia Movietone, and the latest addition this year, Ismat Chughtai Award for Best Indian Woman Filmmaker supported by Ashish Sawhny.

Also the KASHISH QDrishti Film Grant is awarded every year to a LGBTQ+ filmmaker, with a grant of Rs.2,50,000 supported by Lotus Visual Productions, and an additional grant of Rs.1,00,000 for 2 runners up supported by Renuka Shahane.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have so many organizations and individuals supporting the festival with awards and grants to recognize, applaud and nurture filmmakers across the world who have dared to push boundaries to create LGBTQ+ content that are truthful and honest, and are real cinematic gems”, said Sridhar Rangayan, founder festival director

Neeraj, producer at Lotus Visual Productions, who is sponsoring the film grant said, “KASHISH QDristhi film grant provides an opportunity to LGBTQ+ voices to tell their own stories. It promotes movie making that goes beyond token representation that uses the queer or trans narrative for profit mongering by differentiating between tokenism and authentic storytelling.”

Renuka Shahane, well-known actor & director said, “I think it is important to support community filmmakers to tell their own stories. That’s why I decided to contribute with my little might and support two runner-ups with cash awards and mentorship. Hope this helps the filmmakers reach closer to their dreams”.

“Shri K.F.Patil Charitable Trust in the name of my father who was a freedom fighter, stands for Unity in Diversity. As an award partner we are proud to be associated with KASHISH Film Festival which year after year has been promoting freedom and inclusivity for all human kind. When the world is going through so much upheaval, its time to accept people exactly as they are and exactly as they are not. The documentary awards are to encourage filmmakers to create awareness, inform and educate people from all parts of the world to open their hearts to the LGBTQIA+ community and learn to live in peace and harmony with every kind of person”, said Arunaraje Patil, founder of K.F.Patil Charitable Trust.

“The legacy of Wadia Movietone’s pioneering founder JBH Wadia and of his grandson – and my beloved brother – Riyad Wadia lives on through the KASHISH award constituted in Riyad’s name. Inspiration, Innovation, Inclusion – All these qualities are reflected year after year through the award winners. We are proud to continue supporting the award and KASHISH!”, said Nargis and Roy Wadia of Wadia Movietone

“Whistling Woods International has always extended its support towards encouraging talent and creativity in aspirants and students. Throughout the recent years, our collaboration with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival has grown stronger, and I am thrilled to continue our partnership this year. I firmly believe in the power of films and creative arts, and through these mediums instill the importance of diversity & inclusion. By sponsoring the Student Short Award, we hope many talented youth will find their expression and be encouraged to find courage in creativity. Wishing KASHISH 2023 all the success”, said Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International.

“It is an honor to support the Best International Narrative Short Award. GagaOOLala provides a platform for all to present diversity and different forms of love, and we aim to connect talented creators around the world. Short films are the perfect vehicle for young and experienced filmmakers to showcase their talent and find their voice. We want to help queer Indian directors find their audience, and with this partnership, we are glad to welcome great films to be on GagaOOLala”, said Jay Lin, founder of GagaOOLala, sponsor of the Best International Narrative Short Award.

“Awards are not just about prize money or trophy, it’s an appreciation and respect given to the qualitative hard work of a writer and creator. I wanted to institute an award for best writing in memory of my late father Dr. Arvind Vaman Kulkarni, who was a well-known Poet and Writer in Marathi literature, and thought KASHISH is the best platform for this award. KASHISH has always believed in quality, and this best screenplay award is for quality. My best wishes to Team KASHISH”, said actor Abhay Kulkarni who has instituted this award.

Speaking about the new award, the Ismat Chughtai Award for Best Indian Woman Filmmaker, instituted in memory of eminent Indian Urdu novelist, short story writer, liberal humanist and filmmaker Ismat Chughtai, her grandson and filmmaker Ashish Sawhny said, “I am delighted to partner with KASHISH, after 13 years of having many of my films screened, being part of panels and supporting the festival as best as possible. It was my Nani – Ismat Chughtai, the liberal feminist writer & filmmaker who gave me my wings to fly. Hence, the idea to institute an award, especially for women filmmakers in her honour seemed like a great match, and I hope this encourages more diversity and representation amongst our filmmakers.”

Details of all the nominations can be viewed under Films in Competition at http://mumbaiqueerfest.com

Registrations for the festival is available at https://insider.in/event/kashish-2023-jun7-2023

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