Brazilian film Gloria and Grace directed by Flávio R. Tambellini won the Best Narrative Feature Film Award at the awards ceremony of 8th edition of South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival – KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival on Sunday May 28, 2017. British Actor Petrice Jones won the award for Best Performance in a Lead Role for the Trinidadian film Play The Devil. Maacher Jhol – a hand-drawn 2D animation film in Hindi directed by Abhishek Verma won the Best Indian Short Narrative Film Award.
Malayalam film Naked Wheels directed by Rajesh James won two awards K F Patil Unity in Diversity Best Documentary Short Film Award and the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker. The latter award was shared with Vishal Srivastava for his film Wajood. The QDrishti Film Grant – that gives a filmmaker a Rs 1 lakh grant to make their next LGBTQ film – was won by Debadrita Bose for her Bengali film Shehenaiiya. The Best Student Short Film Award was won by the American film Still Devout directed by Melissa Perez.
National Award winning filmmaker Onir, actors Swara Bhaskar and Jim Sharb presented the awards to the winners. The main jury this year comprised of screen writer Anjum Rajabali, actor Lubna Salim, film editor Jabeen Merchant, TV producer Vinta Nanda and writer Aseem Chhabra. The additional jury was Roy Wadia of Wadia Movietone. Cash prizes of Rs 2.25 lakh – the largest cash prize in an LGBTQ film festival in South Asia – was given to the winners. The awards were sponsored by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, K F Patil Charitable Trust, Whistling Woods International, Wadia Movietone and Lotus Visual. The closing and awards ceremony saw performances by singer Jason Arland, Dancing Queens – India’s first transgender-led dance troupe and Rainbow Voices – India’s first and only gay choir group. The show stopper performance was by singer Sona Mohapatra, who brought the house down with her popular numbers. The jugal bandi between Sona and dancer Sanjukta Wagh electrified the Liberty Cinema stage.
The festival that was held over five days from May 24-28, 2017 at two venues in South Mumbai – Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise, screened 147 films from 45 countries. Skybags and Godrej Industries were Principal Partners of the festival. IBM, Whistling Woods International and the Canada Consul General were Supporting Partners. The opening film was Signature Move, directed by Jennifer Reed and starring Shabana Azmi. Acclaimed Indian gay road drama LOEV directed by Sudhanshu Saria and starring Shiv Pandit and Siddharth Menon was the closing film.
Founded in 2010, KASHISH MIQFF is held over 5 days at two venues. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. Voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the world, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater. The film festival this year was held between May 24-May 28, 2017, at two venues in South Mumbai – the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise.