~ KASHISH MIQFF 2016 winner heads to The Iris Prize Festival, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize ~

Marathi short film Daaravtha (The Threshold) directed by Nishant Roy Bombarde will compete for The Iris Prize – Cardiff’s International gay and lesbian short film prize – to be held from October 12 to 16, 2016. Often referred to as the Gay Oscars, Iris Prize is the largest LGBT short film prize in the world, with the winner receiving £30,000 to make their next short film in the United Kingdom. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, which is one of the partner festivals of the Iris Prize Festival, nominated Daaravtha as India’s entry for the prize. Daaravtha had won the Best Indian Short Film prize at the seventh edition of KASHISH MIQFF – South Asia’s biggest LGBT film festival held in May 2016.

Daaravtha - Pandolin.com

Still from Daaravtha

“I am really grateful to KASHISH for providing the film with such a great platform like Iris. I think this is a brilliant initiative by Iris to get few films nominated instead of direct selection since in some countries like India films related LGBT issues are still in their nascent stage and might not make a cut to an otherwise very competitively curated festival. I am actually going to Cardiff with an open mind. I am going to watch a lot of films, talk to as many filmmakers as I can, meet as many industry professionals and have a lot of fun! If meanwhile I could get some accolade for India that would be icing on the cake!” said Nishant Roy Bombarde. Daaravtha, had earlier this year won the National Award for Best Short Film, and will compete with 34 other shortlisted films for the prestigious Iris award.

KASHISH MIQFF Festival Director Sridhar Rangayan said that Daaravtha continues the trend of the growing queer film movement in India. “One of the aims of KASHISH is to provide a platform for Indian LGBTQ films to be showcased around the world. The nomination of our festival’s winner at Iris Prize raises huge expectations as the winner at Iris gets to make his/her next film with the cash award and resources offered by Iris. Moreover Iris is a really cool festival and offers a great experience to the filmmaker,” said Rangayan, who was a jury member at Iris Prize in 2013.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director of the Iris Prize Festival said that its partnership with KASHISH was important. “The Iris Prize continues to be the world’s largest LGBT short film prize supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. Known by many as the gay short film Oscars, the Iris Prize relies on a global network of film festivals located in 17 countries to act as our eyes and ears. This is why KASHISH is an important partner for Iris, making sure we are aware of the immense LGBT film making talent in India and surrounding region. We are also delighted that KASHISH is also able to share the Best of Iris by screening annually an Iris Prize showcase in Mumbai,” said Rowland.