Kashish 2023 that begins today brings together activists and filmmakers from Nepal, Singapore, Lebanon & India to talk about legal, economic and social rights of LGBTQ+ people in their individual countries. Supported by the Consulate General of Canada, one of the highlights of the festival is the panel discussion titled ‘LGBTQ+ Rights in Asian Countries – Nepal, Singapore, Lebanon & India’. The panel brings together several LGBTQ+ activists from Singapore, Nepal, Lebanon and India like Sunil Babu Pant, ex- MP of Nepal; Opera Tang, a Singaporean drag artist; Miguel Jelelaty, on whose life the award winning film Miguel’s War is based and Avni and Muskan, two transgender actors from Bhopal. Their films Blue Flower, Baby Queen, Miguel’s War and Ek Jagah Apni are being screened at the festival. To be held on June 9 between 4.30-5.30pm at Liberty Cinema, it will discuss impact of legal, social, political and in some places religious environments on the LGBTQ+ community.
“Canada is honoured to support the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival for the 10th consecutive year. As South Asia’s largest queer film festival, KASHISH is an important platform to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. We are excited to support a panel discussion on LGBTQI+ Rights in Asian Countries, along with film screenings and interactive sessions. Join us in celebrating stories of identity and inclusion with this year’s theme: Be Fluid, Be You!,” says Diedrah Kelly, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai.
Sridhar Rangayan, festival director said, “Being South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ+ film festival, our concerns lie with what is happening in South Asia and Asia in general with respect to LGBTQ+ rights. We wanted to have a dialogue among prominent activists and actors from some of the Asian films we are screening. We are privileged to bring together such an extraordinary panel with very powerful voices of the community.”
Sunil Babu Pant, the first openly gay Member of Parliament in Asia from Nepal and founder of Blue Diamond Society said, “I feel really honoured and excited to be able to present my film Blue Flower at KASHISH 2023, the largest queer film festival in South Asia. This will be the first screening of my film outside Nepal. I hope to meet other queer filmmakers, discuss queer rights in Asia, and celebrate queer life, arts, and cinemas at KASHISH in Mumbai.”