KASHISH straddles Hollywood and Amchi Mumbai
Marathi stars Alka Kubal and Milind Gawli at Kashish
Hollywood gay filmmaker Rob Williams gets a taste of the Mumbai audience
Marathi tinsel world descended on the Kashish stage on Friday May 25, 2012 day three of the 3rd Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film festival for the World premiere of the movie Aamhi Ka Tisre (We The Outsiders).
Noted actor Alka Kubal, who produced the movie said the genesis of the film was a book reading that she attended last year. “The book which was based on the life of transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi immediately sparked in me a desire to make a movie. I felt that people need to be made aware of difficulties and hardships transgenders face in the society. Even if we have managed to change the mentality of 10 people through this film, our project is a success.’’
Well known Marathi actor Milind Gawli, who plays Laxmi Narayan Tripathi on screen said that the film was a challenge for him as an artiste. “I immediately said yes when the script was brought to me. Our aim was not only to combat the image of transgenders in society and the discrimination that they face, but also to present a true picture. Now people have started taking me seriously as an actor,’’ said Milind Gawli.
Director Ramesh More said that he had grown up in the slums of Mahim and had lived close to a community of eunuchs. “The trangender community’s involvement in this project was high,’’ said More.
Hollywood gay filmmaker Rob Williams attended the screening of his movie Long-Term Relationship earlier in the day. “Long-Term relationship is a good old-fashioned romantic movie and was my first film. It was very odd to watch the movie after so many years. To watch it with an audience in Mumbai was a very emotional experience and more overwhelming than I had expected,’’ said Rob Williams.
Speaking about his films, Rob said, “My movies almost always have happy endings with love and romance since that is a universal emotion which everyone relates to, gay or non-gay. I want to portray that two men can fall in love and have a ‘happily ever after’.’’ Rob also spoke about his next underproduction movie Men Next Door. It is about a 40-year-old man who finds himself dating two men together. One is 30 and the other one is 50 which later in the movie he realises are father and son,’’ said Rob.
If Indian movies are the topic of discussion, can Bollywood be far behind. Kashish screened the French movie Looking for Gay Bollywood. “All the coming out in Bollywood happens in English which I think is unfair since that way they are only addressing the educated English speaking class which is not the majority. So they are not focusing on a major section of society,’’ said filmmaker Nasha Gagnebin.
Friday at Kashish also belonged to the queer retail outfit Queer Ink. Authors read selected stories from Queer Ink’s forthcoming anthology of stories Out.
At Alliance Francaise it was the screening of controversial Australian music video The Handyman that was received with much enthusiasm. Film maker Romney Jones who travelled from Down Under to be at the festival said she was overwhelmed by the response to her work.
Anusorn Soisa who flew down from Thailand for the screening of his film The Present Perfect said he was happy that his work was being appreciated.
Rob Wlliams who travelled to Alliance for the screening of his popular movie Make The Yuletide Gay said that there may be a sequel in the works. “Even if I make gay and lesbian movies for the rest of my life I am fine with it. I love it when people mail me and say that because of your movie we were able to come out to our parents.