The 12th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s biggest LGBTQIA+ film festival, opened on August 19th virtually with the Teddy Award winner No Hard Feelings about Iranian refugees in Germany and will close on September 5th with the Australian film Unsound about a young deaf trans man’s romance with a musician.
“What a sheer joy to open and close KASHISH 2021 with two brilliant award-winning films centred on the youth. These films are not only layered and sensitive but also are an entertaining exploration of the landscape of LGBTQIA+ youth – their aspirations, their dreams. These two films will bookend a whole range of feature films, documentaries and short films that are playing as part of KASHISH 2021. These joyful youth films will certainly help Unlock With Pride. What is best is you can watch it from your own homes, not only in India, but across the world too”, said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director
Opening Film: No Hard Feelings
The opening film No Hard Feelings is about Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, who after caught shoplifting is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets the siblings Banafshe (Banafshe Hourmazdi) and Amon (Eidin Jalali), who have fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test.
The director brings his own personal experience of growing up as a second-generation Irani migrant, and also explores his own experiences as a gay man, lacking words to talk about his identity. In his work, Faraz re-inhabits this history and builds a visual archive of migration in Germany.
Closing Film: Unsound
The closing film Unsound is a beautiful heartwarming story of Noah (Reece Noi – Game Of Thrones) who returns disillusioned to his mother’s home in Sydney and meets Finn (deaf actress Yiana Pandelis -Legends ), a proud young, trans-man who works and runs a local centre and nightclub for his deaf community. But as the two become closer, and with no shared language to fall back on, they only risk hurting each other, as they learn to be true to themselves.
“It is so awesome to see that a hearing-impaired person has been cast to play the lead part of Finn. This is what diversity and inclusivity in casting are all about”, said Rangayan.
Speaking about Unsound, Suzy Wrong has said in a review on JOY 94.9 FM, “For me, a person of trans experience, I found it not only refreshing but also unimaginably inspiring to see something so sweet, yet authentic… Ultimately, this is about disadvantaged people getting opportunities and it was fantastic that they gave someone with a disability this opportunity.”
KASHISH 2021 will be held online from August 19th to September 5th over three weekends and will screen 221 films from 53 countries. There are full-festival passes and weekend passes to attend the festival both from within India and globally too. Registration within India can be done at instamojo.com/KASHISH_MIQFF/
Details of all film programs, schedule and how to register to attend can be found at the festival website mumbaiqueerfest.com
NO HARD FEELINGS
Dir: Faraz Shariat / 92 min / Germany
Parvis, the son of exiled Iranians, was caught shoplifting. He is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter where he meets the siblings Banafshe and Amon, who have fled Iran. As a romantic attraction between Parvis and Amon grows, the fragile relationship between the three is put to the test.
Dir: Ian Watson / 88 min / Australia
When gigging guitarist, Noah, finds himself disillusioned and transient, he quits the band of his 90’s pop icon mentor, and returns to his mother’s home in Sydney, Australia, seeking connection and rejuvenation. Clashing with his mother over old wounds, Noah seeks solace elsewhere, and soon finds himself swept up in the vibrant, passionate life and of a young, trans-man, Finn, who is a proud, Auslan-only speaker who works and runs a local centre and nightclub for his deaf community.
Together, the pair traverse new ground, sharing their languages – Noah’s music and Finn’s signs – with one another. They move carefully, as this is Finn’s first relationship while he is on the precipice of diving into his trans journey. Finn struggles to spread his wings and come into his own, as he suffocates beneath his father’s over-protection and the financial strife facing his club. Determined to reapply to his music and join a community, Noah offers to help aid the club any way he can. But as the two become closer, and with no shared language to fall back on, they only risk hurting each other, as they learn to be true to themselves.