Moushumi Chatterjee also inaugurated an art exhibition “Celebrating the lost art of Bollywood billboards with a queer twist’’.
Sai Paranjpye said that she was part of the festival for the second consecutive year– in 2011 she headed the jury – and was impressed with the strides that the festival had taken in the last three years.
The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of Beginners starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. Plummer won the 2012 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners in which he essays the role of an elderly man who comes out of the closet.
The jury for the festival comprises actor-director Renuka Shahane and Parvin Dabas, theatre actor Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, television actress Mona Ambegaonkar, and film critic Mayank Shekhar.
This year the festival received 300 entries from around the world out of which 120 films from 30 countries have been short-listed. Around 25 % of the films that will be screened are from India, including four regional feature films.
Over the period of next four days, Kashish will showcase films on issues and rights related to the LGBT community and their families. Apart from film screenings, the festival will also feature panel discussions with filmmakers. US filmmaker Rob Williams, who has made popular gay romantic comedies and dramas is traveling to India to present his films at the festival. A special package of sensitive, dramatic and touching features and shorts on HIV/AIDS will be introduced under ‘Red Ribbon Films’ package.