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Kashish 2020: French film The Shiny Shrimps to open virtual festival, Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele to close

A total of 157 films from 42 countries will be screened at the 11th edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival from 22 through 30 July.

Our Correspondent

The eleventh edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival has announced its line-up of films, with the opener being the French film The Shiny Shrimps, directed by Maxime Govare and Cédric Le Gallo.

The Shiny Shrimps, a film about a homophobic Olympic swimmer trying to coach an amateur water polo team to qualify for the Gay Games in Croatia, has been a festival hit and won critical and popular acclaim.

This year's event will be closed with the Indian feature film Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele about a young man and a young woman on a road trip that turns their lives upside down and makes them understand what real love is. The film, starring Anshuman Jha and Zareen Khan, will have its Indian premiere at the festival.

Festival director Sridhar Rangayan said, “We are thrilled to be announcing our opening and closing films for Kashish 2020 Virtual. The two films are so different, yet resonate with this year’s theme, ‘Moving Forward, Together!’, which is meant to highlight stories about different identities — gay, lesbian, transgender and queer. The festival opens with a film that is funny and campy and ends with one that touches your heart."

Anshuman Jha, who has also produced Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele, said the film attempts to discover the love in friendship through its protagonists who are both from the LGBTQ+ community.

"From the first time I heard it from Harish sir [director Harish Vyas] in New York in 2017 to the one-year development process we took it through to being selected as one of the 10 scripts from Asia at the South Asian Film Market in 2018 to shooting it in May–August 2019 to our world premiere at the world's LGBTQ+ capital New York City in November 2019 at the HBO South Asian International Film Fest and now to playing as the closing film at Kashish, this has been a special journey," Jha said. "As an actor, this is the hardest and most sensitive character I have played yet. This film is a celebration of friendship, a celebration of the community.”

Kashish 2020 Virtual will screen 157 films from 42 countries. Thirty of the films are from India. Click here for the full schedule.

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Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival