Youth-focused LGBTQIA+ films to open & close KASHISH 2021

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The 12th edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will open on 19 August virtually with the Teddy award-winning German film No Hard Feelings (2020) and close on 5 September with the Australian film Unsound (2020).

“What a sheer joy to open and close Kashish 2021 with two brilliant award-winning films centred on youth,” festival director Sridhar Rangayan said. “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,” he continued. “These joyful youth films will help ‘Unlock With Pride’. What is best is you can watch it from your own homes, not only in India, but across the world.”

No Hard Feelings is about Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour), the son of exiled Iranians, who is sentenced to community service at a refugee shelter after being caught shoplifting. At the shelter, 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 of the three is put to the test.

Director Faraz Shariat brings to bear his own experience of growing up as a second-generation Iranian migrant and also explores his experiences as a gay man, lacking words to talk about his identity. In his work, the filmmaker re-inhabits this history and builds a visual archive of migration in Germany.

Unsound is the story of Noah (Reece Noi, best known for the television series Game Of Thrones) who returns to his mother’s home in Sydney, disillusioned. There he meets Finn (deaf actress Yiana Pandelis, of the TV series 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, with no shared language to fall back on, they only risk hurting each other, as they learn to be true to themselves.

Kashish 2021 will be held online from 19 August to 5 September over three weekends. In all, the festival 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 https://www.instamojo.com/KASHISH_MIQFF/