Indian queer films to screen at 164 year old theater in London
Filmmaker and festival organizer Sridhar Rangayan is taking a collection of Indian LGBT themed films from KASHISH along with his own films to screen across several venues in UK which includes a theater where Lumière Brothers showed their film in 1896!
Rangayan’s ‘Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror)’ alongwith award winning short films from KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival like ‘Amen’, ‘Kusum (The Flower Bud)’, ‘Logging Out’ ‘Raat Baaki (Night is Young) will screen at the Old Cinema at 309 Regent Street. The event organized by the India Media Centre at the University of Westminster is an attempt at showcasing contemporary Indian gay, lesbian, transgender themed films worldwide to raise awareness and promote discussions. Rangayan will also screen a trailer of his under production documentary ‘Breaking Free’, a film about the atrocities perpetuated on the LGBT community by the police, law, state and family in India.
“I am tremendously excited to screen the films at one of Britain’s oldest theater. It is a rare honour and I am greatly looking forward to this event”, said Rangayan enthusiastically, “The journey of ‘Gulabi Aaina’ began in UK in 2003 and it is wonderful to return here after more than a decade to screen it again”.
“What else you want when your first film that too with zero budget is doing rounds of countries? I am so happy and excited to reach European audience. Looking forward for their response to Queer Indian films”, said Nakshatra, the young filmmaker
whose ‘Logging Out’ won the KASHISH Coffee Break Online Audience Award at
Rangayan will also be participating in a round-table discussion on ‘Curating Queer Film Culture’, a roundtable discussion organized by Global Queer Cinema, on the role of film culture in queer public life along with other festival programmers from London and New York. “I’m glad to share this platform with programmers from very established film festivals. KASHISH is young, but we have an unique story to tell”, said Rangayan, “Coming from a country where homosexuality was till recently criminalized and is still a social taboo, our festival has made great strides in mainstreaming queer visibility”. The panel discussion will be followed by screening of short films from KASHISH film festival.
“India is at the cross roads in its LGBT movement and some of these films here, reflect very much the struggle of coming to terms with one’s sexuality , gender role in the context of an Indian identity. I am happy that Kashish can give a platform to encourage this talent within India and showcase it to other parts of the world. We also hope that this improves participation and involvement of world cinema in Kashish-Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.”, said Pallav Patankar, co-festival director of KASHISH.
Rangayan’s other stopovers in UK are a screening of clips from his own films and discussion with students at University of Sussex and then at University of West London. “I want to talk about the new Queer India, which I think is moving from grappling with identities to expressing it through cultural outputs”
Quotes from Filmmakers and KASHISH organizers
“It’s normally difficult to screen short films on gender and sexuality to a large audience in India but with Kashish film festival, filmmakers like us have a new ray of hope. And now with our film ‘Amen’ being a part of the Queer India European Tour, we are ecstatic! Its both overwhelming and encouraging to the entire team as now our stories are ready to be shared with the world.” – Ranadeep Bhattacharya & Judhajit Bagchi, directors of film ‘Amen’, winner of KASHISH 2011 Best Indian Narrative Short.
“Thanks to Sridhar and KASHISH for making Indian films with LGBT themes visible to a larger global audiences. I’m thrilled about the fact that my film Raat Baaki (The Night Is Young) would be screened at a theater where Lumiere brothers screened their films.
It’s high time we tell the stories of our struggle to the world” – Pradipta Ray, director of film ‘The Night is Young (Raat Baaki)’, winner of KASHISH 2012 Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker.
“What else you want when your first film that too with zero budget is doing rounds of countries? I am So happy and excited to reach European audience. Looking forward for their response to Queer Indian films” – Nakshatra, director of film ‘Logging Out’, winner of KASHISH 2012 Coffee Break Online Audience Award
“Thrilled that Indian queer films are being celebrated and finding their spot in the sun!” – Miriam Chandy, director of film ‘In The Closet’, screened at KASHISH 2010
“India is at the cross roads in its LGBT movement and some of these films here, reflect very much the struggle of coming to terms with one’s sexuality , gender role in the context of an Indian identity. I am happy that Kashish can give a platform to encourage this talent within India and showcase it to other parts of the world. We also hope that this improves participation and involvement of world cinema in Kashish-Mumbai International Queer Film Festival” – Pallav Patankar, Festival Director, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
“Seeing Indian Queer Short films getting their long due center place on a global platform and reaching to audiences across continents is truly an encouraging event. As the Festival Programmer for KASHISH, it really gives me a boost and also to the Indian short filmmakers’ community to perform better and achieve more!” – Saagar Gupta, Festival Programmer, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival