India’sÂ firstÂ LGBT oral history project launches onÂ JanuaryÂ 22nd at Tata Institute of Social Sciences alongwith screening of award winning films from KASHISH queer film festival
Queer films in college
A selection of the best Indian queer short films from KASHISHÂ will be held at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.Â
TheÂ 2nd KASHISHÂ MumbaiÂ International Queer Film Festival, which was held in the city in May 2011 screened 124 films from 23 countries, out of which there were 27 Indian films on gay, lesbian, transgender themes.
“We have picked the eight best Indian films that played at KASHISH to travel to festivals all over the world. It has already screened in USA, UK, Romania, Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia, Italy and now we are very happy to screen it in India during the Pride Week”, said festival director Sridhar Rangayan “It is important for youngsters to know more about gender andÂ sexualityÂ so that the discrimination against LGBT persons which has been around centuries, at least stops with this generation”.Â
FilmsÂ to be screened include ‘Amen’ which won the Best Indian Short and ‘Kusum (Flower Bud)’ which won the Riyad Wadia award for Best Emerging Indian Filmmaker at KASHISH 2011.
The first ever Indian LGBT oral history project to be launched during pride week
For the first time in India, 20 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons in four cities open up in a candid manner to offer an inside view into their lives, views and accomplishments in PROJECT BOLO, meaning â€˜Project Speak Upâ€™. These in-depth video interviews walk us through their lives – their growing up years, sexual explorations, coming out to family/friends/media, their romances and relationships, their fearless career paths and their pioneering accomplishments.
Screening of a short film with clips from these interviews as well as a panel discussion featuring some of the interviewees will be held during the pride week. DVDs of the interviews will also be released at the event.Â “We need these voices to ring, loud and clear, across every platform to reach out to the social mainstream – to say we exist and that we lead productive lives. There is a general notion that gay, lesbian and transgender persons are only interested in sex, fashion, partying and drugs.Â PeopleÂ can’t imagine that they can also be successful doctors, lawyers, writers,Â filmmakers, historians, professors, businesswomen and corporate executives! Project Bolo will change that person and underline the fact that LGBT persons too are ‘useful’ members ofÂ theÂ society!”,Â says Sridhar Rangayan, who has conceived and directed the project. Project Bolo is produced by The Humsafar Trust in association with Solaris Pictures and supported by UNDP.
Project Bolo video will also be shown onÂ JanuaryÂ 23rd at The Humsafar Trust as well as onÂ JanuaryÂ 23rd at a resto-pub in Bandra. The screenings will be followed by discussion with the Bolo interviewees.Â DVDs of these videos will also be available at the events.
About Pride March on Januray 28th, Sridhar Rangayan recounts an conversation
I was talking about the upcoming pride march to an acquaintance.Â
He commented with a snigger, “There are now too many of such people, because ofÂ peopleÂ like you” .Â
I told himÂ “I don’t convert people to become homosexuals. I only make them comfortable with themselves”
“Then why do you need to march onÂ theÂ streets to be comfortable?”
“Because we have been made invisible for centuries by the legal, religious, moral and social strictures. It is now time to stand up, march and say ‘we exist’ with pride”, I told him.
All The Pride events is organized by the Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), which comprises of a group of young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who have come together collectively to host several events all over Mumbai city during the week Jan 21-28, that includes film screenings, dance performances, open mic, rock concert and an amazing race too that lead upto the Pride March on January 28th.