The Protector (Muhafiz)

Trailer

Writer/Director – Pradipta Ray | Length: ~20 min | Language: Hindi (English Subtitles)

During the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat, India, 30-year-old Samir, smuggles a Rafiq, a bearded Muslim man, being chased by a Hindu mob, into his workshop. Once inside, however, Samir tries unsuccessfully to seduce the handsome Rafiq. Annoyed by the refusal, Samir throws Rafiq out of his house, only later to find a terrified Rafiq who has managed to sneak back in.

Their dialogue leads to both men understanding each other’s plight a little better. Both conclude that the gay/trans community is no better off than the Muslim community – hunted and invisible.

BFI Flare 2022 – World Premiere

Inside Out 2022 – North American Premiere

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – Asia Premiere

Pariah (Gair)

Writer/Director – Nishant Roy Bombarde | Length: 18 min | Language: Hindi (with English subtitles) | Country: India

A new tenant in his home, the enigmatic Pankaj intrigues Rahul stirring within him a yearning he doesn’t quite understand yet. But there’s trouble brewing when Pankaj’s caste becomes known to the family. Pankaj, at odds with his feelings for a guy that are twice tabooed, struggles to keep a roof over his head. Conflicted by his growing love for a man his family considers beneath them, Rahul must decide what truly matters – age-old prejudices or the joy of first love.

New York Indian Film Festival – World Premiere

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – Asia Premiere

Queer Parivaar

Trailer

Writer/Director – Shiva Raichandani | Length: ~25 min | Language: English | Country: UK

When a mysterious person gatecrashes Madhav and Sufi’s wedding, the queer couple is forced to face past secrets and reevaluate their definitions of what makes a family. A story of intergenerational LGBTQ+ identities and experiences narrated musically through an original soundtrack.

BFI Flare 2022 – World Premiere

OutFest Fusion 2022 – USA Premiere

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2022 – Asia Premiere

Temple

Trailer

Director Nick Virk | English | 15 Min

Rehal’s love for Arul is unreciprocated, but Arul believes they can still be friends. One morning over breakfast, the two discuss finding acceptance as brown queer Londoners. They share a cultural understanding of being ostracised by the white heteronormativity of British society, and yet there is a fundamental difference between them. Rehal’s gender non-conformity leads to a conflict between their non-binary authentic self and a pressure to conform – a situation that Arul as a cis man, fails to understand.
They desire to be understood by each other, but in trying to accept each other, their co-dependency leads to toxicity that inevitably erupts. Words are exchanged, some kind, some hurtful. The two realize that in order to heal and grow, they must move away from one another, but in doing so, they seek to lose the one person who might understand them. They learn that acceptance comes from within, not each other.

Selected

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

UK Asain Film Festival

Florida South Asian Film Festival

First Time-Filmmaker Sessions – Pinewood Studios

SHORT to the Point


Awards 

Best LGBTQ Short – Independent Shorts Awards

Best Acting Duo – Independent Shorts Awards

Best Production Design – Independent Shorts Awards

Best LGBTQ Film – London Indie Short Festival

Best Director – London Indie Short Festival

Best LGBTQ Short – Indie Short Fest

Best Actor (Finalist) – The British Short Film Awards

Short Narrative (Semi-Finalist) – Dumbo Film Festival

My Mother’s Girlfriend (Mazhya Aaichi Girlfriend)

Trailer

Director Arun Fulara | Marathi with English Subtitles | 15 min

Renuka and Sadiya, two working-class women in love with each other, enjoy their day out celebrating Renuka’s birthday. After a fun-filled day, they head home to spend the night together. Unknown to them, Renuka’s son Mangesh is around.

Selected Festivals and Awards

World Premiere: Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, India, 2021

International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFFK), India, 2021, Winner Best Short Fiction Film

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, US, 2021, Winner Audience Choice Award.

Concorto Film Festival, Italy, 2021

Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, India, 2021

GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Ireland, 2021

Show Me Shorts Film Festival, New Zealand, 2021

Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival (US), US, 2021

Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival, US, 2021

LesGaiCineMad, Madrid International LGBTI Film Festival, Spain, 2021

Reel Out Charlotte Film Festival, US, 2021

Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest, UK, 2021

Image + Nation LGBTQueer Montreal Film Festival, Canada, 2021

Shorts That Are Not Pants, Canada, 2021

100% Manusia Film Festival, Indonesia, 2021

DIALOGUES: Calcutta International LGBT Film & Video Festival, India, 2021

Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival 2021, India, 2021

Bogotá Short Film Festival, Colombia, 2021

SamaBhav Travelling Film Festival, India, 2021

Aks International Minorities Festival, Film – Art – Dialogue, Pakistan, 2021

29th Mardi Gras Film Festival, Australia, 2022

TAG Queer Shorts, USA, 2022

SPE Media Festival, USA, 2022

Roze Filmdagen; Amsterdam LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Netherlands, 2022

Osaka Asian Film Festival, Japan, 2022

Positively Different Short Film Festival, Greece, 2022

Muskoka Queer Film Festival (MQFF), Canada, 2022

La Fête du Slip – Gender and Sexualities Festival, Switzerland, 2022

Sab Rab De Bande

Trailer

Dir: Sukhdeep Singh | Punjabi, Hindi with English Subtitles | Documentary

Sab Rab De Bande (We’re all God’s Creation) documents what it means to be queer and Sikh. The documentary, through interviews with LGBTQ Sikhs, captures the varied experiences of queer Sikhs and explores the topic of Sikhism and Homosexuality. The movie brings forth the various challenges that LGBTQ Sikhs grapple with and the different ways in which they reconcile their faith and gender/sexual identities. Featured in the documentary are five different people with different gender and sexual identities and belonging to different parts of India. The documentary also looks at how the Sikh clergy looks at homosexuality and transgender issues, and what is their stand on the topic.

Sheer Qorma

 

Trailer

 

Dir: Faraz Arif Ansari | Hindi with English Subtitles | World Premiere Frameline 2021

Starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta, Swara Bhasker, Kalyanee Mulay, Priya Malik, Jitin Gulati
Written & Directed by Faraz Arif Ansari
Produced by Marijke de Souza
Co-Produced by Keshav Suri, Lotus Visual Productions, Patience Darya, Rajesh Parwatkar
Associate Producers: Deepu Nair & Seema Hari
A Futterwacken Films Presentations

Sheer Qorma is a story of belonging and acceptance, identity and family, and how it comes together under one roof, as resilient, queer Muslim women of color choose to embrace the love that exists beyond their personal beliefs and social moralities.

Noteworthy festivals and awards:

World Premiere: Frameline 45, USA, 2021, Winner Audience Choice Award Best Short

Connecticut LGBT Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Short Film Audience Award

Gasparilla International Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Grand Jury Award

TRANSITION: International Queer Minorities Film Festival, Austria, 2021

Prairie Pride Film Festival, USA, 2021

OutSouth Queer Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Grand Jury Award

Indisches Filmfestival Stuttgart, Germany, 2021

Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Grand Jury Award

SFO Queer Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Grand Jury Award 

International Film Festival of South Asia, Canada, 2021

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Australia, 2021, Winner Equality in Cinema (short)

West Sound Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Short Narrative: Cinematography

Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati, USA, 2021, Winner Best Short Film

Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival, USA, 2021

Honalulu Rainbow Film Festival, USA, 2021

Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Canada, 2021

Thessaloniki International GLAD Film Festival, Greece, 2021

Queer International Film Festival, Mexico, 2021

DC South Asian Film Festival, USA, 2021

Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, India, 2021

Fargo Moorhead LGBT Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Film of the Festival

Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best International Film

Kansai Queer Film Festival, Japan, 2021

REELING: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, USA, 2021

Out on Film Atlanta LGBTQ Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Audience Award

Accolade Global Competition, California, USA, 2021, Winner, Award of Merit, Special Mention

The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Choice Award & Festival Favourite Award

Celebriamo la ricchezza del cinema lesbico, Italy, 2021

Harvey Milk Festival / Fabulous Independent Film Festival, USA, 2021

Chicago South Asian Film Festival, USA, 2021

Atlanta Indian Film Festival, USA, 2021

NEWFEST: The New York LGBT+ Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Audience Choice Award

Scottish International Queer Film Festival, UK, 2021

Seattle Queer Film Festival, USA, 2021

India International Film Festival Boston, USA, 2021, Winner Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress

Astoria Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Picture

Aks International Minorities Film Festival, Pakistan, 2021, Winner Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Short Film

Las Vegas Queer Arts Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Screenplay Award

Soho London Independent Film Festival, UK, 2021, Winner Best Actress in Supporting Role

Hyderabad Queer Film Festival, India, 2021

Dallas Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Actress and Best Film

NYC South Asian Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Actress and Best Director

REEL Q: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Short Film

Utopia Film Festival, USA, 2021, Winner Best Short Film

Revolution Me Film Festival, New York City, USA, 2021, Winner Best Social Impact Film and Best Drama Film

Dili International Film Festival, Timor-Leste, 2021, Winner Best Narrative Short

Cambria Film Festival, USA, 2022, Winner Cambria Heart Award

U for Usha (U Ushacha)

Trailer

Dir: Rohan Kanawade | Marathi with English Subtitles | 22 min.

Usha, a single mother who works as a farm laborer in rural India, finds herself drawn to a female teacher of local primary school, in ways she never knew possible. This attraction plays an important part, in firing her passion to read and write as she hopes to be as good as the teacher, one day.

‘U Ushacha’ is a subtle portrayal of sexual awakening, as well as how a naïve attraction can empower a woman to take control of her life, and make each day, something to look forward to.

Selected festival selections and awards:

Satyajit Ray Short Film Award 10th Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, UK, 2019.

2nd Runner Up Audience Choice Award 29th Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, Canada, 2019.

Best Short Film Jury Award 30th Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2019.

Best LGBT Short 30th Season of Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, India, 2019.

Best Short Film 8th Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival, Mississauga, Canada, 2019.

Best Short Film LGBT Category 20th Season of Virgin Spring Cinefest, Kolkata, India, 2019.

Special Mention 2nd Nagaon International Short and Documentary Film Festival, 2019.

“Queer Mixtape Audience Award” 4th Queer Film Festival Munich, Germany, 2019 and OPENING FILM for the festival’s 2020 edition.

Best Female Performance & Special Award 4th Filmingo International Short Film Festival, Mumbai, India, 2020.

Best Actress Award 10th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, Delhi, India, 2020.

13th Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, Cardiff, UK, 2019.

34th Lovers Film Festival: Torino LGBTQI Visions, Italy, 2019 (World Premiere).

19th New York Indian Film Festival, USA, 2019.

10th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, India, 2019.

31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Canada, 2019.

26th Long Beach QFilm Festival, California, USA, 2019.

Bay Area South Asian Film Festival, San Francisco, USA, 2019.

10th Bangalore International Queer Film Festival, India, 2019.

10th Chicago South Asian Film Festival, Chicago, USA, 2019.

12th Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival, USA, 2019.

14th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Seattle, USA, 2019.

32nd Out On film: Atalanta’s LGBT Film Festival, USA, 2019.

34th Reel Q: Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival, USA, 2019.

30th Reel Pride LGBT Film Festival, 2019, Fresno, California, USA, 2019.

30th Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Florida, USA, 2019.

14th SiGNS Film Festival, Thrissur, India, 2019.

24th LesGaiCineMad, Madrid International LGBTIQ Film Festival, Spain, 2019.

25th Chéries-Chéris Festival, Paris, France, 2019.

11th International Queer Film Festival Merlinka, Serbia, 2019.

8th Dharamshala International Film Festival, India, 2019.

8th Smita Patil Documentary and Short Film Festival, Pune, India, 2019.

12th Jaipur International Film Festival, India, 2020.

9th Pink Life QueerFest, Istanbul, Turkey 2020.

Imagine India International Film Festival XIX Edition, Madrid, Spain, 2020.

20th CinHomo International LGBT Film Festival, Valladolid, Spain, 2020.

36th Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBTQ+ Film Festival, USA, 2020.

9th Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival, India, 2020.

The Last Letter

Dir. Vishal Jejurkar | Hindi with English subtitle | 15 min

Producers Lotus Visual Productions, Vishal Jejurkar, Sharanya Rajgopal

Mohan is gay, he is 70 years old, lives in Mumbai, and he is still in the closet. The days in which he grew included times when different sexualities & lifestyles were neither understood nor tolerated. He was a bit too coward to confront society, so he let the “partly-blind” social norms guide his life. He got married to a girl, and in a few years, they had a daughter. He was never attracted to his wife, and with each passing year, the distance between them grew wider. He had nowhere to release his sexual tension, and no one to talk about it. But over the years, Mohan managed to create a fantasy world around him to help him escape from reality and society. His fantasy world was based on three key elements a gramophone, a rocking chair, and his wild imagination; he used to listen to music while sitting on his chair and fantasize about the men he found attractive. To manage complexity in his life, he used to write anonymous letters and then post them without any address or stamp. One day, while Mohan’s wife is cleaning the house, the gramophone accidentally falls to the ground, and along with that gramophone, Mohan’s fantasy world shatters to pieces. The repair shop asked for five days to repair the gramophone. In these five days, Mohan is now unable to escape to the insensitivity of his world. Things start falling apart, and Mohan realizes that he was a slave to the objects that launched him into his fantasy world and without them, he has become remarkably vulnerable. He struggles with the most mundane things that he managed to hide from all these years, he now starts to notice the things that were part of his life all along. He starts to see his world differently. Eventually, Mohan has to make a choice, either return to his fantasy world or face his fears and come out of the closet to live the remaining days of his life being himself.

Languages

Dir: Debadriata Bose | Bangali with English Subtitles | 29 min.

Produced by  QDrishti Film Grant 2017 awarded by Lotus Visual Productions through Kashish Arts Foundations.

Shankar’s family does not know why he has lost his job. Shankar is caught up between looking for a new job and his own contemplation. His daily life is dotted with the financial crisis and the awkwardness of being unemployed. Amidst all these things strange illusions come to him. He doesn’t know how to deal with these situations. He cannot share his helplessness with anybody, not even Mohan, with whom he is a bit close. One day he realizes that he cannot anymore communicate with the world around him.

The film can be seen on https://www.gagaoolala.com/en/topic/71/the-best-of-kashish-2019