Hollywood actor Ian McKellen will inaugurate the seventh edition of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.
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Over 182 films from 53 countries will be screened at the festival, which will be held here from May 25 to May 29.
McKellen will be the chief guest at the festival's opening ceremony, to be held on May 25 at Liberty Cinema. The ceremony is open to all registered delegates of the festival.
"For too many years, gay characters appeared in films only as comic relief, as often as not meeting a sticky end, as if that’s all they deserved. Increasingly, in India too, the film industry has matured, treating gay people with the same seriousness as straight characters," McKellen said in a statement.
McKellen is an English actor, who has taken many Shakespearean roles. He is globally known for his parts in Hollywood movies like Gandalf in "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit Trilogy" and Magneto in the "X-Men" movies.
The actor says he is looking forward to discover more about Bollywood's filmmakers.
"I look forward at Kashish to discovering more about Bollywood’s filmmakers who reject fantasy for the truth about gay people," McKellen added.
McKellen is scheduled to visit India as part of "Shakespeare Lives on Film", on the occasion of the Bard's 400th death anniversary. The visit is organised by British Council and GREAT Britain Campaign.
"Sir Ian McKellen is an institution by himself, he is a big inspiration for the LGBTQ community throughout the world - through his films, through his theatre work and through his very own life," said the festival director Sridhar Rangayan.
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