Mumbai, Apr 30 (IBNS) After tasting success in 2012, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2013 - India's biggest LGBT film fest - is once again turning to the social media phenomenon of crowd funding to raise finances.
Aimed at keeping the festival free and accessible to audiences, organisers say crowd funding also gives audience a feeling of ownership.
``Crowd funding is not just a means to raise money, but also to connect to a diverse range of people and seek their engagement with the festival,'' says Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director.
In 2012, when KASHISH took the help of social media to raise funds, it was the first time in India that such an attempt was made to crowd fund a film festival.
``Last year when we started the crowd funding, we were unsure if people would contribute money to support a film festival, but the response was tremendous. People not only in India but from across the world came forward to contribute. They were also very happy to receive the incentives we sent across, like DVDs and T-shirts,'' says Rangayan.
KASHISH has signed up with internet portal Wishberry.in to provide a payment gateway for the crowd funding venture.
``KASHISH is a not-for-profit LGBT initiative and only through corporate support and generous contribution from individuals, that we can make it an annual sustainable event. We are asking for a small support to continue bringing contemporary queer films from around the world for a big screen experience. And hope everyone contributes to this movement ´towards change´,'' says Rangayan.
Crowd-funding is an emerging trend across the world where an individual or an organisation pitches an idea/ venture that requires funding and sources the funds by reaching out through social media. India has already been part of the trend - with funds being raised through crowd finding for a variety of causes from social initiatives to Bollywood films
KASHISH 2013 will be held from May 22-26 at Cinemax Versova, Andheri West and from May 23-25 at Alliance Francaise de Bombay, Marine Lines.
KASHISH is not only a festival that spotlights LGBTQ cinema, but has also become a landmark festival in Mumbai's cultural event calendar.
The festival theme this year is `Towards Change'.
The festival will make a special effort to program films and have panel discussions that not only deal with LGBT themes, but also those that relate to families and friends of LGBT people.
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the first and only gay and lesbian film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theatre and the only queer festival to receive clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The festival is organized by Solaris Pictures.