THE CENTRE for Human Rights & Duties, Panjab University, will organise a film festival on gender and sexuality on Tuesday. This is part of 12 screenings across India being organised by Kashish Forward, which is the first-ever travelling campus LGBT film festival in India.
The festival will screen award-winning Indian and international short films and documentaries related to youth and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), all curated from the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.
“The films are very sensitive and informational, offering both an Indian and global view about the issue,” says festival director Sridhar Rangayan.
Rangayan maintains it is important to create awareness about issues faced by the LGBT community. “The problems faced by youth in terms of understanding their identity, the bullying they face by their peers, and the acceptance by family members — we are here to raise awareness about these issues through cinema,” says Rangayan, who will be talking about the issues and presenting the films.
The main objective of this film festival is to “create awareness, enable acceptance and inspire empowerment”. It’s an initiative supported by Movies That Matter (Netherlands).
Some of the Indian films to be screened are Tell Me A Story about four short stories on identity, A Love Such As This about acceptance by a mother of her gay son, Because about pride march, and I’dentity about transgender issues. I’dentity stars Gazal Dhaliwal from Patiala, who is a transgender writer and activist, and was also featured on Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate.
The film screening will be preceded by a talk by lawyer and activist Aditya Bandopadhyay who will speak about the legal situation in India with respect to Section 377.
“The gay community and the students of the Panjab University are indeed excited about it as such initiatives do bring awareness and acceptance for the queer community in our society. Film is a powerful tool to bring social awareness about fundamental rights of equality,” says Dhananjay Chauhan, president of city-based NGO Saksham Trust which is supporting the event.
The festival will be held from 9 am to 1 pm in the Seminar Hall, 3rd Floor, Emerging Areas Building, Panjab University. Entry is free and open to all.