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Dutch film 'Just Friends' is Opening Film at KASHISH MIQFF 2019, will close with Malayalam film 'Njan Marykutty'

Dutch film 'Just Friends' is Opening Film at KASHISH MIQFF 2019, will close with Malayalam film 'Njan Marykutty'

by The Daily Eye News Desk May 22 2019, 5:47 pm Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 41 secs

160 films from 43 countries will be screened at South Asia's biggest LGBTQ film festival from

June 12-16, 2019 in Mumbai

'Just Friends' a romantic comedy from Netherlands will be the opening film at the 10th edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Film Festival to be held from June 12 - June 16, 2019. Acclaimed Malayalam film, 'Njan Marykutty' (I Am Marykutty), starring award-winning actor Jayasurya and directed by Ranjith Sankar will be the closing film. South Asia's biggest LGBTQ film festival will be held at two of Mumbai's iconic theatres - Liberty Carnival Cinema and Metro Inox. The opening film will be screened on June 12 and the closing film on June 16 - both at Liberty.

“The opening and closing films reflect the KASHISH 2019 theme ‘Over the Rainbow' aptly. Just Friends is about how important it is for families to come together to accept their gay children. Njan MaryKutty is also about a family’s struggle to accept their transgender child, but more so about society’s perception of LGBTQ persons. These two films, that book-end the 160 films from 43 countries screening at the festival, marks the journey of acceptance that individuals, families and society has to make, so that every human being can find love and live with dignity”, said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director.

Just Friends has been called a 'modern tale of queer love' by critics and is a romantic comedy about a Dutch young man falling in love with a Syrian refugee. The film won the Audience Award at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Njan Marykutty stars leading Malayalam actor Jayasurya as a transsexual person fighting stigma in a society to live a life of respect and dignity. The film won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for Jayasurya. 

“I had one goal while making Njan Marykutty. Years from now if any Indian family realise there is a Marykutty in their homes, this film should give them the motivation to let him /her live the life he /she wants. Njan Marykutty being selected as the closing film at KASHISH is a positive step towards this. Let the movie live on. Let the idea prosper!" said Ranjith Sankar. 

Malyalam Closing Film MIQFF 2019 Njan Marykutty

Register for KASHISH 2019 at:

KASHISH is presently raising funds through crowdfunding on Wishberry to organise the festival. KASHISH 2019 is crowdfunding on:

KASHISH 2019 Theme

KASHISH 2019 festival theme ‘Over The Rainbow’ not only commemorates the reading down of Sec 377 and decriminalization of same-sex relationships in India, but also defines the challenges in store for the LGBTQ community’s journey towards empowerment and social acceptance. Bringing together films from all over the world as well as panel discussions and performances, the festival will showcase the shared struggles and victories, and offer a window to existing and future possibilities. Let’s together journey over the rainbow to discover the land of equality & dignity. 

About KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

Voted as one of the Top 5 LGBT Film Festival in the World, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia's biggest queer film festival and the only LGBT film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre. Founded in 2010, KASHISH is held over 5 days at three venues. It is the first Indian LGBT festival to be held with approval by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Government of India. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is presented by KASHISH Arts Foundation and organized by Solaris Pictures. Besides the annual film festival its other initiatives are KASHISH Forward - India’s first travelling campus LGBTQ film festival, KASHISH Global – that facilitates screening of Indian LGBTQ films across the world, Best of KASHISH film screenings and KASHISH Chalchitra Utsav – a festival of LGBTQ films in regional languages.

About the Films

JUST FRIENDS (Original Title: Gewoon Vrienden)
80 min / 2018 / Netherlands / Director: Ellen Smit

On the 10th anniversary of his dad’s death, Joris still tries to come to terms with his father’s absence when he meets the free-spirited medical student Yad, who returns back home to his family after living on his own. Although very different, there is an instant spark between the two and they want to be more than “just friends”, but both have issues with their mothers that threaten to jeopardize their relationship.

NJAN MARYKUTTY (English Title: I'm Marykutty)
126 min / 2018 / India / Malayalam / Director: Ranjith Sankar
Mathukutty, a transexual wants to get out of the pressure of being a man, which mentally he wasn’t, finally deciding to undergo surgery and become a woman. He/She becomes Marykutty and his problems start when she comes back to her native place. Though her family disowns Marykutty, it is the parish priest, who gives her all the confidence. She is determined to become a sub Inspector and joins a coaching institute to prepare for the exam. In between, she earns considerable appreciation in that area, as a Radio Jockey in the FM channel run by the church but will she be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a sub inspector?

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

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