Latin American films win at KASHISH 2021

The Chilean film Forgotten streets (by Nicol Ruiz) won the Argentine film for best narrative feature film Canela (by Cecilia del Valle) won Best Documentary, and young Brazilian trans actress Maria Eduardo Mia won Best Performance in a Leading Role (for her role in Advent of Maria) at the 12th edition of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia’s largest LGBTQI film festival. The prizes were announced at a glamorous online closing and award ceremony on September 5thNS, which also featured appearances by LGBTQ + community members and allies such as pop star Shalmali and dancer and choreographer Sandip Soparrkar.

“Latin American films are exquisite because they have a certain aesthetic of filmmaking that is raw and tangible, and that conveys complex emotions with a unique simplicity. We are thrilled and congratulate all the winners on three continents, most of whom have stood up to all odds and faced many challenges to tell these beautiful stories. We are very pleased that the jury has selected stories that differ not only in their ethnicity, but also in the LGBTQIA + communities they represent, ”said Sridhar Rangayan, founder of the festival.

The winners in the Indian categories are Are we already there? by Bhanu Ballal & Kashyap Swaroop for Best Indian Narrative Shorts and Radhika Prasidhha won the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker for their film Begum Parvathi. Kirnay Bhatts received special mentions from the jury Keep hitting in the Indian Narrative Shorts and Swati Jaiswals category Nothing but a human in the documentary category.

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Other winners include Cypriot film The man with the answers (by Stelios Kammitsis) for the best narrative script, the Macedonian film line (by Andrej Volkashin) for Best International Narrative Short, the Portugal / USA film On the trail of utopia (by (Nick Tyson & Catarina de Sousa) for best documentary and Israeli film On a path (by Lihi Lubetkin) for the best student short film. British film was one of the jury’s special mentions Rebel dykes (by Harri Shanahan & Siân A. Williams) in the documentary category, the Pakistani film Street dogs come out at night (by Humza Bangash) in the International Narrative Shorts category and the French film today (by Francis Chillet) in the Student Shorts category.

“I am very lucky because our stories could speak to you from the other side of the world. It fills me with hope to know that based on love and compassion we can bond and talk about freedom with kindness. I would like to thank the jury and the audience and share a big hug from Chile, ”said Nicol Riuz, director of the winning film Forgotten streets, a heartwarming film about two elderly women who fall in love in the tiny Chilean countryside.

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“I want to thank the judges and my mother, who always trusts me, and all the other people who can trust me when I can’t trust myself. This is another step in my career and in my life and it will always stay in my heart, ”said Maria Eduarda Maia after winning the best actress for her role in a transgender youth Advent of Maria, directed by Vinicius Machado.

Kashyap Swaroop, director of Are we already there? said, “This is a small film with a big heart and what drives us to keep doing it is the love we receive from various film festivals and judges. We are so grateful to the jury for choosing our film. “The film’s co-director Bhanu Babbal added,” I really want to thank the jury and KASHISH for giving us this platform and opportunity. That motivates us a lot and strengthens our self-confidence. “

“I started with a very desperate and selfish reason, and that as an actor I wanted to play characters that would make me feel hopeful in the world around me. Even if we started with something so personal, the film is much bigger than that initial spark. I want to thank KASHISH 2021 for creating this amazing platform and the jury for awarding this prestigious award that supports debut filmmakers and encourages them to tell queer stories, ”said Radhika Prasidhha for winning the Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker.

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The high profile jury members who announced the winners were Ritesh Batra, Gauri Shinde, Satya Rai Nagpaul, Cary Sawhney & Selvaggia Velo (Narrative Jury); Bina Paul, Gargi Sen & Nandan Saxena (Documentary Film Jury); Dr. Anjali Monteiro, Ketki Pandit & Viveck Vaswani (Student Shorts Jury); Jerome Marrel (Poster Design Contest) and Roy Wadia (Riyad Wadia Award).

Jury members Robin Bhatt, Renuka Shahane, Urmi Juvekar and Neeraj Churi were also winners of the KASHISH QDrishti Film Grant 2021.

The festival partners were Morgan Stanley, IBM, General Mills, the Consulate General of Canada, the Québec Government Office in Mumbai, AtEase, the Swedish Consulate General, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium in Mumbai, the Israeli Embassy and the Danish Cultural Institute.

The award partners were Lotus Visual Productions, KFPatil Charitable Trust, Anticlock Films, Wadia Movietone, Whistling Woods International, Abhay Kulkani and Jerome Marrel.

KASHISH 2021 showed 221 LGBTQIA + films from 53 countries, 55 of which were in competition. The festival that opened on August 19thNS with a glamorous opening ceremony with Renil Abraham and Sohinimoksha that ended on September 5thNS with the award function with Shalmali’s performance. A special feature of the closing ceremony was a festival team song ‘Let’s All Unlock With Pride’.

Information on the entire festival can be found at

List of winners:

  1. Best narrative function – Forgotten streets, Director: Nicol Ruiz (Chile)
  2. Best Documentary – Canela, Director: Cecilia del Valle (Argentina)
  3. Best Performance in a Leading Role – Maria Eduardo Mia, for the film Advent of Maria (Brazil)
  4. Best Screenplay – The man with the answers, written by Stelios Kammitsis (Cyprus, Greece, Italy)
  5. Best Indian Short Narrative Film – Are we already there? Directed by Bhanu Ballal & Kashyap Swaroop
  6. Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker – Radhika Prasidhha for the film Begum Parvathi
  7. Best international short story film – line Director: Andrej Volkashin (Macedonia)
  8. Best Documentary – On the trail of utopia Director: Nick Tyson & Catarina de Sousa (Portugal / USA)
  9. Best Student Short Film – On a path by Lihi Lubetkin (Israel)

List of special mentions made by the jury

  1. Documentary – Rebel dykes Directed by Harri Shanahan & Siân A. Williams (Great Britain)
  2. Documentary – Nothing but a human Director: Swati Jaiswal (India)
  3. Indian short story – Keep hitting Director: Kirnay Bhatt (India)
  4. International short stories – Street dogs come out at night Director: Humza Bangash (Pakistan)
  5. Student shorts – today Director: Francis Chillet (France)

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