Film Festival

Winners of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2016


We present the list of winners of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival that took place from May 25th – 29th in the city of Mumbai (India).

The award ceremony of the 7th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival took place on Sunday May 29th at the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty. How to Win At Checkers (Every Time) by Josh Kim took two awards by Best Narrative Feature Film and Best Performance in a Lead Role (by Ingkarat Damrongsakkul). The other big winner of the night was Daaravtha (The Threshold) by Nishant Roy Bombarde who took the Best Indian Narrative Short Film Award. The Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker Award when to Srikant Anathkrishnan and Vikrant Dhote for their film Any Other Day. The QDrishti Film Grant Award went to V. Ramanathan for his documentary short Normalcy. The Best International Narrative Short Film Award went to San Cristobal (Chile) by Omar Zuniga Hildago. Jean-Baptiste Erreca’s Pansy (France) was the winner of the Best Documentary Award. The Best Documentary Short Award went to Meera Darji’s TransIndia.

During the ceremony actress Celina Jaityl played tribute to Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi, LGBT activists from Bangladesh who were killed last month, she also commented: “Cinema has its impact on the society and its successive generations. A platform like KASHISH will continue to inspire our generation to stand up for what’s right, equality, for every human being who my heart wants to reach out to. It’s an honour to be here. I’ve grown as a human being just by being touched by you all”.

The Festival also give the KASHISH Rainbow Warrior Award to two academics Ruth Vanita and Sallem Kidwai. Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director, stated: “KASHISH has not only been a cinematic platform, but has transformed people’s lives. We believe in the power of KASHISH – that it has the potential to change mindsets and enable attitudinal shifts in the society. The KASHISH Rainbow Warrior Award aims to recognize outstanding efforts of individuals in India who have contributed to LGBT visibility and empowerment by instituting an award that perpetuates this history in people’s consciousness. Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai, were chosen for the award this year their outstanding achievement in researching and reclaiming same-sex love in Indian literature and texts, and for co-authoring the defining book ‘Same-Sex Love in India.”

The closing bight hosted by RJ Rohini Ramanathan, also had performances by former Mr Gay India and TV personality Sushant Sing, India’s first LGBT choir group Rainbow Voices Mumbai and the India’s first trangender dance troupe Dancing Queens.

Complete list of winners

Best Narrative Feature


How to win at checkers (Every time) by Josh Kim – Thailand, Indonesia, US | 2015 – 80 min.

After the loss of both parents, Oat faces an uncertain future when his older brother must submit to Thailand’s annual military draft lottery. Unable to convince his brother to do whatever he can to change his fate, Oat takes matters into his own hands resulting in unexpected consequences.

Best Indian Narrative Short Film


Daaravtha (The Threshold) by Nishant Roy Bombarde – India | 2015 – 30 min.

An adolescent Pankaj is discovering his sexuality. Torn between a patriarchal Indian upbringing full of gender-stereotypes and his natural urge to identify with the opposite gender, he finds an opportunity to express his desires within the bounds of cultural ethos.

Best Documentary Feature

Pansy! by Jean-Baptiste Erreca – France | 2015 – 68 min.

Pansy! is a documentary film about the fight against discrimination ; through Paul Harfleet’s artistic project, this movie promotes respect and tolerance. For 10 years, the artist has been travelling the world, meeting people and planting pansies at the site of homophobia. A single pansy to arise consciousness, to encourage reflection, to provoke discussion in the public place. A poetic plant for a symbolic commemorative gesture.

Best Documentary Short

Transindia by Meera Darji – India, UK | 2015 – 30 min.

TRANSINDIA is a moving documentary exploring the Transgender community also known as Hijras, in Ahmedabad, India. From being criminalised in 1871 to marginalised in the current society, Transindia takes you on a journey of their true lifestyles.

Best International Narrative Short

San Cristobal

San Cristobal by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo – Chile | 2015 – 29 min.

Lucas is visiting his sister on a remote island in southern Chile before moving abroad. An unlikely romance grows when he meets Antonio, a struggling young fisherman. The intimacy they share makes them navigate towards a new horizon and to a different stage of their adulthood.

Jury Special Mention

Trade Queen
Trade Queen by David Wagner – Germany | 2015 – 8 min.

Day by day, Mr. Jonas and Mr. Schmidt make their way from door to door across the country, selling pots to the general public. After work, both go their own way.

Technical Difficulties Of Intimacy

Technical Difficulties Of Intimacy by Joel Moffett – US | 2015 – 20 min.

Starring world-renowned queer icon Buck Angel, ‘Technical Difficulties of Intimacy’ is a groundbreaking new film about a man and a woman, who try to salvage their relationship by exploring new sexual horizons.

Best Performance in a Lead Role


Ingkarat Damrongsakkul for the film How to win at checkers (Every time) by Josh Kim

Jury Special Mention

Antonio Altamirano
Antonio Altamirano (actor on the left of the photo) for his role in San Cristobal by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo

Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker

Any Other Day
Srikant Anathkrishnan and Vikrant Dhote for their film Any Other Day – India | 2015 – 12 min.

It’s just another day in Kabir and Arnav’s life. But in the name of safety, two police officers take it upon themselves to create a spectacle of the young men’s private and intimate relationship.

Jury Special Mention

That’s My Boy

Akhil Sathyan for the documentary That’s My Boy – India | 2015 – 25 min.

That’s My Boy takes us through the life of Sonu, who strongly disagrees to believe that his gender is the biological one. Sonu was born a girl but he always knew that his physical body and mental identity were at odds with each other.

QDrishti Film Grant

V. Ramanathan for the film Normalcy – India | 2015 – 16 min.

This film is about a normal life of a transgender person as a home maker, wife and student.

KAHISH Rainbow Warrior Award


Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai


AFF would like to remember the readers that the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is part of our partnership program (See all partners). We want to thank them for their support. We wish you had a nice festival this year. All the best for the next editions.

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