As Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival came to a close on 26th, it was time to hand out the awards to the winners. As Indian makers are not too much filming in this LGBT sections, the Best Narrative Feature Film at the 4th Kashish Film Festival went to Morgan directed by Michael Akers from the USA. The award, which has a cash prize of Rs 30,000 sponsored by actor Anupam Kher, was handed out at the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday evening. “We thank the festival for its amazing work in helping to bring film’s such as ours to the audiences who desperately need it,’’ said Akers.
The Best Indian Short Narrative film award was won by Urmi directed by Jehangir Jani. The award was given by filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi. Jehangir Jani's 10-minute short film, Urmi, highlights the plight of a transgender in the city and urges society to be more inclusive.
Another film “Hide and Seek” (Chuppan Chupai) on the transgender community that came from Pakistan won the Best Documentary Feature award. The film directed by Sadat Munir and Saad Khan is one of the first films that focus on the lives of the gay and transgender community in Pakistan. While the duo is skeptical about getting public screenings of this film in Pakistan, albeit they are happy that it not only got screened in India, especially Mumbai, but also got an award. “Here in Mumbai and India, the picture of LGBTIQ acceptance is not the same as elsewhere in South Asia,” said Saadat Munir.
The Best Documentary Short Film award went to the Cambodian film “Two Girls against the Rain” directed by Sopheak Sao. The Best International Short Narrative Film Award went to Polaroid Girl directed by April Maxey from the USA.
Actor Crystal Arnette won the first Kashish Best Actor award, instituted by Kher and his acting school Actor Prepares.
The Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker was shared by two young directors Manva Naik for her film “Dopehri” and Rohan Kanawade for “The Lonely Walls” (EktyaBhinti).
The awards were judged by an international jury panel comprising filmmaker Aruna Raje Patil, Bollywood actor and model Simone Singh, theatre director Quasar Thakore Padamsee, author and poet Jerry Pinto and Iris Prize director Berwyn Rowlands.
Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, since its inception in 2010, has provided a platform for screening LGBT films from India and around the world in a mainstream space.