To raise awareness about the issues that the LGBTQ community faces in India, Saathi, the LGBTQ resource group of IIT Bombay, has organised a film festival in association with KASHISH.
The film festival is called KASHISH Forward, which is being organised by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. With eight screenings in six cities in October, it wants to sensitise students and staff members about issues surrounding the community. It is the first travelling LGBTQ campus film festival, which will screen these films in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kharagpur, Kolkata and Sonepat.
The festival began on October 5 in IIT Bombay, and then took place in O.P. Jindal University, Sonepat, on October 10.
It is now set to take place in IIT Delhi on October 11, IIM Bangalore on October 14 and IIT Kharagpur on October 15. Other places for screenings in the pipeline are Gargi College, New Delhi, Presidency College, Kolkata, and a screening hosted by Prantakatha in Kolkata for the youth.
“Over the past two years KASHISH Forward has screened at 19 colleges and the journey has been amazing,” said festival director, Sridhar Rangayan, adding “The response from students and academics to the film screenings and discussions has been very positive and productive, in shaping the mindset of the younger generation.”
The festival is focussing on youth-oriented LGBTQ films.
It is based on themes like gender identity, sexual orientation, bullying and homophobia, coming out, finding love, dilemmas of parents and family acceptance, among others. The screenings have been conducted at campuses not only in the metros, but also in B-town cities like Sonepat, Ahmedabad, Kharagpur and Chandigarh.
“The films screened at KASHISH Forward invoked a sense of purpose and need for keeping up the good fight”, said Anoop Yadav, a student at IIM Ahmedabad and coordinator of the campus group IIM Ally.
Filmmaker Sopan Muller’s film ‘My Child Is Gay, I’m Happy’ is about parents of LGBTQ children speaking out in support of them.
He said, “It is important that the film is seen by as many people as possible, for it to make a difference. And what better place than centres of learning.”
KASHISH Forward is organized by KASHISH Arts Foundation, a not-for-profit trust that aims to organise programs in the field of arts, culture, literature, theatre and films. It wants to create awareness and work for the social, cultural, educational awakening of citizens of India, who are marginalised on the basis of their gender identity.
If you’re interested in organizing a KASHISH Forward event in your college, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a free event, open to all.