Actress Cate Blanchett's 2015 film Carol opened the seventh Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival. The five-day extravaganza will showcase old and new LGBT films.
Carol, also starring Rooney Mara, is a poignant story of a love affair between a young aspiring photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce. The theme of the fest this year is 7 Shades of Love.
The fest was inaugurated by Hollywood actor Ian McKellen and actress Sonam Kapoor. Sir Ian was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony.
About his experience in Mumbai, Sir Ian said: "It was five years ago when my best friend asked me to come to India because his husband is Indian. We came with an ex-boyfriend of mine from New Zealand and we went to Rajasthan. We looked for gay population everywhere. We couldn't find you because you were hiding in Mumbai."
Over 182 films from 53 countries will be screened at the festival. The three venues for the fest are Liberty cinema, Alliance de Francaise and Max Mueller Bhavan.
This edition, the 'country in focus' is Brazil with the festival screening 11 films from the country. The competition section will showcase 41 films that will be judged by an eminent international jury panel, which comprises National Award-winning actress Rajeshwari Sachdev, television actor Manav Gohil, filmmaker Parvathi Balagopalan, theatre director Kaizaad Kotwal and Andrea Kuhn.
American film Those People will close the festival.
Anupam Kher's acting academy, Actor Prepares, will sponsor cash prize for the three top competition categories- Rs 30,000 for best narrative feature film, Rs 20,000 for best Indian narrative short film and Rs 20,000 for best performance in a lead role.