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LGBTQIA+ festival in India KASHISH to go virtual amidst Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

June is marked as a pride month for LGBTQIA+ community across the globe. Mumbai, a city that celebrates and honors the community is teetering with the novel coronavirus as the worst-affected Indian city. Hence, in the wake of the outbreak, Mumbai’s very own film festival – KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival - has decided to go virtual.

The festival committed mentioned that considering that the city, the nation and most of the world is facing a crisis with the Covid pandemic putting shut to any large gatherings, the festival will be celebrated virtually. 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 colors, and the show must go on!” said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director of KASHISH.

Celina Jaitly, a popular actress and festival ambassador of KASHISH stated, “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.”

She added, “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 honored 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.”

Pallav Patankar, Director of Marketing at KASHISH stated in an official statement: “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-19 scenario, it Is important that we push borderless communication in a world that is poised to bring back the borders.”

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 programs would be available for viewing across the world, except a few films that may be geo-blocked for viewing only in India.

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Published on June 10, 2020
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