For the fifth year in a row, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival will be raising funds to hold the eighth edition of South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ film festival through crowdfunding. The global campaign to raise funds was launched on India’s leading crowdfunding portal – Wishberry. India’s only mainstream LGBTQ film festival will be held in Mumbai from May 24-May 28, 2017. The festival venues are the city’s iconic art deco theatre Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise in South Mumbai.

KASHISH was the first LGBT event to successfully raise money through crowdfunding in 2012. “KASHISH has relied crowdfunding to not only raise funds to organise the festival but also create awareness about the need to support such initiatives,” said festival director Sridhar Rangayan. “Though the crowdfunding is a gap funding, it is an integral part of what KASHSH is, as it offers a bridge for everyone, who love and believe in the important work that KASHISH does, to be a part of it and support it. Crowdfunding connects the festival and its well wishers in India and globally. We need the financial support, but most importantly we need the love,” said Rangayan. “The success of KASHISH’s crowdfunding campaign over the last five years is also a reflection of the immense faith people put in us that we can organise a world-class festival that Mumbai and India can be proud of,” added Rangayan.

The crowdfunding link is:

The target for this year is to raise Rs 3 lakhs, which will partly fund the festival expenses including theatre and equipment rentals. To further deepen its engagement and provide a platform for Indian filmmakers who make films on LGBT themes, KASHISH 2017 crowdfunding campaign will also use part of the funds raised for a scholarship for selected filmmakers from outside Mumbai to come to the film festival and interact with the audience, film making fraternity and showcase their films. For those who contribute there are incentives like Tshirts, passes for the exclusive opening night Red Carpet party and Dress Circle seats.

For KASHISH the crowd funding campaign is crucial. “There are no public grants for film festivals in India, and top brands have yet come forward to support an LGBTQ initiative. We are fortunate to have some corporate and consular support, but the festival every year is barely able to sustain,” said Rangayan.

The theme of the festival this year is ‘Diverse, One’. The theme of KASHISH 2017 explores the diversity of the LGBTQ community. The diverse shades of the rainbow remind us that as people we are all different and we are all unique.

Since the campaign began last week, it has received enthusiastic support. Some of the regular contributors had this to say of KASHISH’s previous crowdfunding campaigns. “My experience at the event had been incredibly valuable. So I felt the least I could do was support them. I also had no doubts that the funds would be utilised well. I doubt they break even,” said Mumbai-based Jerry Johnson. “I support KASHISH because this is the largest film festival in India that is supporting LGBT themed movies and causes. As part of LGBT community, I do not see much representation of our lives in mainstream films and society which is actually a shame considering Indian culture is seen as one of inclusiveness and tolerance. So, events like KASHISH, where LGBT lives are shown with pride and a safe space is created for community-  I am all for it. Real change in opening people’s minds will start through dialogue and I believe KASHISH is playing that critical role,” said Sameer Samudra, who is based in the US.