Interviewed by: Prathiksha Shetty
South Asia’s biggest LGBTQ Film Festival, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, held a press conference to announce its ninth edition on 16th May, 2018 at Mumbai Press Club. KASHISH is an annual LGBTQ film screening event that showcases the best movies selected from around the world. The annual fest will open on May 23rd and end on May 27th in Mumbai. Festival director Sridhar Rangayan announced that India is the country in focus this year and that his movie titled ‘Evening Shadows’ will be closing film of the festival.
The Kunal Kapoor-starrer ‘Noblemen’, said to be an adaptation of the Shakespearean play ‘Merchant of Venice’, will have its Asian Premiere at the Mumbai festival. The film is an English language drama directed by debutante Vandana Kataria which tackles the issue of bullying set in a posh boarding school. When asked to throw light upon his character, the Rang De Basanti star said that he plays the part of professor who is admired by his students but has a bit of a mysterious past. “It’s more interesting and inclusive for all the children” informed Kapoor about the film. He further tells us about his experience while shooting the upcoming film.
Question: How was your experience working with your co-stars?
Kunal: Well, it was lovely, it was lovely. Vandana is a bundle of energy, she’s, you know, full of ideas; she’s always on her feet. What’s really good about Vandana is that she knows exactly what she wants and she’s a fighter, you know; she fights till she gets exactly what she wants. And the kids, it was great because I really haven’t worked in a film with a bunch of kids before. These are all people…kids from school and they were… in fact one of them, our lead actor who was appearing for his ninth grade or tenth grade, I think and he was studying throughout the film. He had his teacher there as well, he was studying throughout the shooting of the film. So, it was very very interesting, it was a… it was really different experience.
Question: Would you like to give any words of wisdom to people dealing with bullying or people in the LGBTQ community?
Kunal: Well, it’s a very very complex thing. I mean it’s a… just trying to sum it up in one line, I think is very difficult because it’s not just about the kids that are being bullied, it’s also about the people that are bullying them. I think–, you know, those are both, both those things that need to be addressed, you know, not only make your schools safer for the kids that are being bullied but you also have to…uh, dwell into the mindset of the kids that bully other kids. And to sum it up in one line would be really difficult.