In the run-up to South Asia and India's biggest and only mainstream queer film festival, Kashish, India's top fashion designer Padmashri Wendell Rodricks has picked the poster submitted by Hyderabad-based graphic designer Punith Mahesh as the winning design of the Kashish International Poster Competition. The international poster design had entries from across India — Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Goa and Shillong, to name a few — and several countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Estonia.
The poster will be the look of the fifth edition of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, scheduled to be held from May 21 to 25. The competition asked designers to creatively interpret this year's festival theme 'Dare To Dream'.
The only queer festival to be held in a mainstream theatre with clearance from the ministry of information and broadcasting, Kashish will be held at a suburban multiplex and at Alliance Française de Bombay.
Talking about the winning design, Rodricks said, "The stark graphics and the concept of exploring the mind makes this poster a winner. At a time when we need a change of mindset over section 377 and new concepts of expression in queer cinema, this poster makes for a refreshing think tank. The overall impact of the poster is unforgettable and easily identifiable. Congratulations to the winner." Rodricks has instituted a cash prize of Rs20,000 for the winner.
Mahesh said he was "shocked" and "overwhelmed" when he heard that he had been chosen the winner. "It feels great to win a prestigious national level award. This award will be a great boost to my future and hope there are many more to come. I profoundly thank Kashish and Wendell Rodricks for choosing my art as the winner," said Mahesh, adding that he lives by the quote 'I dream my design, and then I design my dream'. He also said that he perceives designs from scribbles and describes his style as "sort of modern, freehand and sketching".
Explaining his design, Mahesh said the butterflies represent the flight of human ideas, imagination and innovation, while the stars depict the infinite world out there for the ideas to soar.
"Exploring the theme 'Dare To Dream' in several unique ways, the diversity of designs was astounding. Coming from professional designers to students and young people from the LGBT community, it reflected every artist's interpretation of what it means to dream," said Rangayan, "We are really happy with the simple enigmatic design that Wendell Rodricks has chosen and it almost mirrors what is going on in our minds as we prepare for Kashish 2014."