Beginners (Opening Film)
Oscar-winning film Beginners, imaginatively explores the glee, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Golden Globe Award nominee Ewan McGregor). Shortly after the death of his mother, Oliver’s father Hal (Christopher Plummer, winner of the 2012 Academy Award, Golden Globe & BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actor) decides to come out of the closet at age 75 and live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life – which includes a younger boyfriend, Andy. The story weaves in Hal fighting cancer and Oliver’s nascent relationship with the irreverent and unpredictable Anna. Beginners was inspired by Mike Mills’ own father and is meant in turn to inspire everyone weighing their chances and choices in life and love.
(2010) 105 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director Mike Mills
Screening @: May 23, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 9.30 pm (Opening night by invite only)
Two former lovers, Troy and Jonathan, reunite after a long-ago painful breakup. After spending several years in Spain, Troy returns to Los Angeles and decides to phone Jonathan and meet for coffee. A seemingly innocent rendezvous turns into an attempt to revive the past. Only this time it’s not that simple, as Jonathan has a new beau, Raul, and is trying to make the right decision a second time around. The film jumps times and perspectives and offers overlapping story lines to project circular feel and repetitiveness. With subtlety, “August” explores themes of timing, interlacing of emotions, and the complexity of making choices. It won the Best Feature at Iris Prize, the world’s biggest LGBT prize.
(2011) 100 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director: Eldar Rapaport
Screening @: May 24, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 11.00 pm
GIGOLA (Centerpiece Film)
Set in 1960's underbelly of Paris, adapted and directed by Laure Charpentier from her own novel, Gigola is a story of a mercurial woman who abandons herself to the sensual world of Sapphic desire. After her lover’s suicide, an emotionally aloof Georgina butches up as Gigola and becomes part of the notorious nocturnal life of Place Pigalle. Her encounters with an infatuated and aristocratic Odette who keeps showering her with riches, makes her wealthy. Using that money she tries to free a fellow prostitute from an Italian gangster-pimp’s ownership, and in the process falls in love with both of them. Starring the gorgeous Lou Doillon who exudes sensuality and vulnerability equally and the rugged and handsome Eduardo Noriega (whose film ‘Burnt Money’ is also screening at KASHISH this year), the film even has a saucy musical number performed at a lesbian nightclub. Celebrated French actress Marissa Perdes makes a fabulous cameo as Odette, a wealthy, older aristocrat who lavishes Gigola with money and sports car in return for sexual favours. This movie is classy and saucy with an interesting take on hustling.
(2010) 102 min/ Feature/ FRANCE/ Director: Laure Charpentier
Screening @: May 25, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 8.30 pm
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Alliance Francaise, 6.30 pm
MEN TO KISS Original Title: Männer Zum Knutschen (Centerpiece Film)
A tale of chaotic relationship of the unequal couple of Ernst and Tobias. Though opposites attract, respectable banker Ernst is often unsure, whether bubbly and always cheerful Tobias takes their relationship as seriously as he does. Soon their relationship is put to a test by the sudden visit of Ernst’s eccentric female friend, Uta. She schemes to drive a wedge between the pair, forcing Tobias to rise to the challenge, with a little help from his friends to checkmate this unwelcome guest. An upbeat sitcom with a fun ensemble cast and vibrant images of gay Berlin make it a memorable tale of love, friendship and loyalty. It’s a time to laugh, cry and fall in love.
(2012) 83 min/ Feature/ GERMANY/ Director: Robert Hasfogel
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 8.30 pm
MY LAST ROUND Original Title: Mi Último Round
Every chance is worth fighting for! Set in a machismo-centric town of Southern Chile where homosexuality is taboo, the film follows the love story between Hugo, a young kitchen hand and Octavio, a middle-aged local boxing champion. When Octavio is advised never to box again for risk of permanent brain damage, the couple moves to the capital Santiago, hoping to live their love - secretly defying it from the hostile outside. But nothing turns out as planned: the romantic advances from his new boss’s daughter threaten to unravel Hugo’s relationship with Octavio, while also serving as the catalyst to drive Octavio back into the ring for one last fight. My Last Round is an astounding and heartfelt story from Latin America, a quiet, sure-handed meditation on a working class relationship between two men.
(2011) 87 min/ Feature/ CHILE, ARGENTINA/ Director: Julio Jorquera Arriagada
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 3.15 pm
OWLs stands for Older Wiser Lesbians, aging revolutionaries who are caught between a culture that still has no place for them, and a younger generation indifferent to their contributions. This film, an experimental thriller/ film noir is about four OWLs who accidentally kill a young lesbian and hide the body, without reporting it to the authorities. Their guilt and long-kept, dark secret comes back to haunt them, as an unexpected stranger shows up in their lives, bringing tension and discord. Little do they know that this mysterious stranger has a plan which includes all four of them. A funny, humane look at the bonds that restrain, and the dreams that remain. Created through a participatory filmmaking process with an all women cast and crew, ‘The OWLs’ is a narrative/documentary hybrid style that entwines scripted dramatic action with commentary by characters and actors. In this way, the literal collective of lesbian/queer artists who made The OWLs also influence the meaning of the film, reflecting the community relationships that have been so defining in the growth of this generation.
(2010) 66 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director: Cheryl Dunye
Screening @: May 24, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 8.30 pm
WE THE OUTSIDERS Original Title: Aamhi Ka Tisre
Inspired by the life of India’s most well-known transgender person Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, the film is a poignant tale of the stigma and discrimination faced by transgenders among their families and in society; and how with the help of a support structure, they can be empowered too. Bablu, an adolescent, encounters a strange feeling of being a woman trapped in a man`s body. And with this, begins his painful journey. Abandoned by the family and the society, Bablu has nobody to turn up to, except for the community of eunuchs. He takes refuge in their world which is a very different world altogether, with a different system and different traditions. But here he finds love, courage and inspiration from Anu, an outspoken transgender activist who is fighting with the society for assertion of identity and rights. Anu and her followers challenge the society and system and seek recognition and respect for their existence within the social mainstream. Featuring a cast from Marathi film and theater, ‘We The Outsiders’ is a realistic portrayal of the third gender.
(2011) 109 min/ Feature/ INDIA/ Director: Ramesh Laxman More
Screening @: May 25, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 6.15 pm
FAMILY KHUSREYAN DI
A blockbuster comedy that KASHISH has dug out from Punjabi mainstream cinema! Moti Dogar, the local Robin Hood of a village is shot dead while saving his village from being sold to the village headman. Subedaar Tota Singh, a retired army man manages to keep Moti’s death a secret. Before the headman’s goons can forcibly get the entire village vacated, Tota Singh finds Moti’s look-alike. The only hitch is that the look-alike is a Hijra. Will this Hijra be ‘man enough’ to save the villagers. The film ticks all the boxes for a B movie – in-your-face comedy, song-and-dance sequences, and even a laughter track. But, this rib-tickling camp movie is not to be missed because its heart is in the right place. For once, this is a film that doesn’t cry about how society treats Hijras, but where Hijras are needed by the society!
The film plays as part of the `Indian Focus - Regional Films'.
(2009) 95 min/ Feature/ INDIA/ Director: B. D. Sharma
Screening @: May 27, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 3.15 pm
TALES OF THE WARIA
Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. It is also home to a community of transgender individuals known as Warias, biological men who live openly as women. TALES OF THE WARIA follows four characters from this little-known community as they search for romance and intimacy. At times comical and at times heartbreaking, the film uncovers a world that not only defies our expectations of gender and religion, but also reveals our endless capacity as human beings to search for love - whatever the consequences. This eye-opening multiple award documentary, shot in the scenic coastal region of South Sulawesi, takes us to nightclubs, salons, and into the characters’ homes and hearts, to offer glimpse of a life, culture and community that is rarely talked about and often misunderstood.
(2011) 56 min/ Documentary Feature/ USA/ Director: Kathy Huang
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 10.00 am
LET THE BUTTERFLIES FLY
Original Title: Chittegalu Haradali
Shilpa, a young castrated Hijra in Bengaluru faced severe police torture and abuse from the medical establishment. They forcibly made her a ‘man’ by re-grafting a male organ onto her body. The film portrays the real life plight of Shilpa and interweaves the infamous case of Banashakari police violence where Hijras and human rights activists were subjected to illegal detention and custodial torture in October 2008. As Shipa continues her quest for love and acceptance, the film raises an important question about why Hijras are denied their fundamental right to live with dignity and how long will their sufferings continue?
(2012) 74 min/ Documentary Feature/ INDIA/ Director: Gopal Menon
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Alliance Francaise, 1.30 pm
THE LOVE PATIENT
How far would you go to win back the love of your life? Perhaps send flowers, write poetry or even serenade that man of your dreams until he can take it no more? Paul, a hot but self-centered hunk and ad executive has other, more extreme ideas when sensitive hunk Brad drops him and begins dating another man. Not used to losing, and determined to regain his love, Paul decides to pretend to have a life-threatening illness in what he sees as a foolproof method in ensuring Brad’s return. But will the tangled web he weaves, get him in hot water rather than in to the arms of his hot man?
(2011) 95 min/ Narrative/ USA/ Director: Michael Simon
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 6.15 pm
EATING OUT: DRAMA CAMP
Zack and Casey’s fragile relationship runs into trouble when they meet gorgeous Benji at the summer drama camp. Soon, Benji and Zack are paired up to perform as the lead pair in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. Casey’s trusted friend Penny takes matters into her own hands by setting a poison oak trap for Benji so that Casey can step in as Benji’s understudy. But do things ever go as planned?
(2011) 90 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director: Q. Allan Brocka
Screening @: May 25, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 11.00 pm
Burnt Money Original Title: Plata Quemada (Queer Classics)
Based on Ricardo Piglia’s best seller of the same name set in Argentina of 1965, this true story follows the riotous relationship between Nene and Angel, who became lovers and ultimately ruthless bank robbers in a notoriously famous footnote in the annals of Argentinean crime history. Nicknamed as ‘the twins’ because of their inseparable relationship, Nene and Angel along with Cuervo rob a bank, and flee from Argentina across the border to Uruguay, after a large-scale hold-up that turns bloody. Angel is hurt and they must lie low until he recovers. With the cops closing in, the two lovers must confront their demons to survive.
(2000) 125 min/ Feature/ ARGENTINA, SPAIN, URUGUAY/ Director: Marcelo Piñeyro
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 11.00 pm
Queens! Destiny of Dance
A film about the love, laughter, jealously and tears of a close-knit Hijra family. Starring Seema Biswas in an iconic role as a Hijra guru, it also stars well-known south Indian actor Vineeth as a Hijra along with the Hijra activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi. The story is told through the eyes of a young hijra named Mukta - beautiful, the best dancer in the community, a natural leader whom all the other ‘girls’ look up to. This film aims to reveal a journey of life in human experience that is seldom understood The film plays as part of the `Indian Focus - Regional Films'.
(2011) 112 min/ Feature/ INDIA/ Director: David Atkins
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 11.00 am
Life doesn't seem to be going according to plan for hip hop choreographer Raj until he meets Jyoti, who suggests that he start a dance class for Indian women in US. While unsuccessful at first, Raj's class begins to grow with students like Laxmi, a housewife new to the country, an unenthused Puja and Vincent, a gay guy who wants to dance regardless of his father's objections. Starring Lillete Dubey, Sarita Joshi, Sachin Bhatt, Pooja Kumar & Mehul Shah.
(2009) 113 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director: Mehul Shah
Screening @: May 24, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 6.15 pm
Outed soap opera star Graham seeks refuge at an exclusive Palm Springs resort. But, quiet anonymity eludes him when marriage-equality activist Trey checks in to escape the fallout from his own bitter divorce. As an undeniable passion begins to sizzle, they force each other to confront their professional downfalls. The film screens as part of ‘Filmmaker Focus – Rob Williams’, who will also be attending the festival as a special guest.
(2010) 85 min/ Feature/ USA/ Director: Rob Williams
Screening @: May 26, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 1.30 pm
Weekend (Closing Film)
On a Friday night after hanging out with his straight mates, Russell - an introverted lifeguard - heads out to a nightclub, alone and on the pull. Just before leaving, he meets Glen an uninhibited art gallery employee.What’s expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something special. An extended morning-after sequence of existential repartee sparks the beginning of a poignant weekend romance that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives. Weekend is both an honest and unapologetic love story between two guys and a film about the universal struggle for an authentic life in all its forms. It is about the search for identity and the importance of making a passionate commitment to your life.
(2011) 97 min/ Feature/ UK/ Director: Andrew Haigh
Screening @: May 27, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 9.30 pm
A group of Australian same-sex ballroom dancers are passionate about their sport and are driven by a dream of competing at the world’s largest same-sex dance sport competition at the 2010 Gay Games in Germany. As they prepare for the biggest event of their lives, they must battle injury, personal drama and entrenched discrimination from the mainstream ballroom dancing community and the world in general.
(2012) 76 min/ Documentary Feature/ Australia Director: Nickolas Bird, Eleanor Sharpe
Screening @: May 25, 2012, Alliance Francaise, 1.30 pm
Loads of shorts packages that are exciting, intriguing and evocative. While the popular shorts packages like Girl Shorts (a mix of lesbian themed shorts), Rainbow Warriors (about queer people who have made a difference), Indian Masala Mix (exciting shorts by young Indian filmmakers) and Red Ribbon package (films on HIV/AIDS) return, there are several new packages like Urban Longings (about meetings and departings in a city), Unfair Games (homophobia in sports), Family Ties (about queer person and their families), We The Queers (celebrating queer persons who have made a difference), Hooked On You (rom-coms), Crossed Paths (dark short films) and Best of Iris (award winning short films from our partner festival Iris Prize, UK).
Screening @: Cinemax Versova and Alliance Francaise
Remember as a kid how you used to wait for Sunday mornings and your favourite cartoon show on TV. KASHISH tries to revive those sweet memories with a special package of nine animation films, arduously scouted fromaround the globe. A gay orange, two gay sperms, and Rick and Steve - these toons have a ‘pink’ heart that will tickle everyone.
Screening @: May 27, 2012, Cinemax Versova, 5.00 pm