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En Magan Magizhvan, Irattajeevitham, Nobleman lead 9th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival


The annual festival is being held from 23 to 27 May in Mumbai this year.

Sonal Pandya

The 9th edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival opens today in Mumbai with 140 films and short film from 45 countries. This year’s theme is ‘Together, With Pride’.

The festival will showcase 33 Indian films made up of six feature films, 23 short films and six documentary shorts. The films will be screened across two South Mumbai theatres — Liberty Carnival Cinemas and Metro Inox.

Director Lokesh Kumar’s Tamil film, En Magan Magizhvan (My Son is Gay), will be screened on Friday, 25 May. In the film, Varun comes out to the mother of his best friend. His own mother Lakshmi is not able to believe it and there is tension between the two because of it. The deeply personal film will likely resonate with many.

Malayalam film Irattajeevitham (2017), directed by Suresh Narayanan, will be screened on Saturday, 26 May. The film tells the story of Sainu and Amina who’ve known each other since childhood. As they grow up, they are attracted to one another. However, Amina is wrestling with her inner identity as a man and disappears one day. Sainu has to marry another man from the village. A decade later, the pair is united when Amina returns as Adraman, a man.

Both En Magan Magizhvan and Irattajeevitham are screening in competition against the international films Body Electric (2017), Air (2017) and Mater (2017). Vandana Kataria’s debut film Noblemen (2018) is being shown as the centrepiece narrative feature. The film stars Ali Haji as a 15-year-old bullied by his insensitive schoolmates at a posh boarding school. Kunal Kapoor, Ivan Rodrigues, Ankit Kukreti, and Mohommad Ali Mir are also part of the cast.

Onir’s Shab (2017), starring Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Suri and Ashish Bisht, will also be screened on 25 May. The five-day film festival will also feature panel discussions and an acting workshop by Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares.

In Rohit Dwivedi's Khejdi (2018), the title character is grows up as a transgender person isolated in small, remote Rajasthani village, away from others with only her father for company. One day, however, Khejdi is married off to a stranger and discovers the world outside.

Sridhar Rangayan's Hindi film Evening Shadows (2018) will close the festival on Sunday, 27 May. The film also explores a coming-out story as Kartik comes out to his mother Vasudha and the duo have to deal with the aftermath. French film, Beats Per Minute (2017), which deftly deals with the AIDs epidemic in France during the 1990s, will open the festival on 23 May. Directed by Robin Campillo, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year where it also won the Grand Prix award.

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Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival