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Arun Fulara’s script, My Mother’s Girlfriend, wins the Kashish QDrishti Film Grant 2020

Anjum Rajabali, Aruna Raje Patil, Onir, Neeraj and Sridhar Rangayan selected the winner at an online pitch session.

Our Correspondent

The Kashish QDrishti Film Grant, awarded to a filmmaker to make an LGBTQ+-themed film, was given to Arun Fulara for his script, My Mother’s Girlfriend. Jury members Anjum Rajabali, Aruna Raje Patil, Onir, Neeraj and Sridhar Rangayan chose the winner from the top five scripts that were pitched at an online session.

My Mother’s Girlfriend centres on the heart-warming story of a feisty widowed vegetable vendor, Sushma, who is in love with Sadiya, a neighbour who lives in the same slum, and traces the events that unfold on Sushma’s 50th birthday. The film is about these women and their love for each other as well as the love of a son for his mother.

Fulara had also won the Riyad Wadia award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker for his short film Sunday at the Kashish 2020 festival.

Sridhar Rangayan, festival director of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, which had begun this initiative, said, “It was amazing to see the enthusiasm for the grant that has become iconic for supporting filmmakers to make LGBTQ+ films for the past four years. This was the first year we had an open call for scripts and we received 24 submissions, of which five were shortlisted to pitch. The online pitch session was an eye-opener where the participants made a video pitch and also spoke about their projects in front of the jury. We definitely had a tough time selecting the winner!”

Neeraj, who is supporting the grant with a cash award of Rs2,00,000 through his company Lotus Visual Productions, said, “We at Lotus Visual Productions are elated by the response to this year's updated form of the Kashish QDrishti Film Grant. The diversity in ideas, expressed by the broad spectrum of filmmakers from all parts of India, certainly pushes the envelope as they raise the bar for nuanced portrayals of LGBTQ+ experiences.”

Reacting to the news of him winning the grant, Fulara said, "This is fantabulous news. This year has been extraordinarily bewildering for me. I have had a spate of great news on the personal front in the midst of the absolute mess all around. I realize my absolute privilege in having won this grant and intend to make the most of it by making a film we can all cherish. I thank the selection team and the jury and the team behind the Kashish QDrishti Film Grant for this incredible honour. Now to get on to the job of making the film."

My Mother’s Girlfriend is slated to have its world premiere at the next edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

Related topics

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival Indian independent cinema