Powerful cinema strikes a chord

Queer fest

Being queer in the City hasn’t just become easier after the decriminalisation of Article 377 of the Constitution, it also  got more exciting.

The City has opened up to queer events, parties and an LGBT film festival too. In its second edition, The ‘Bangalore Queer Film Festival’ (BQFF) saw movie buffs thronging Alliance Francaise.

The venue was livelier than it has been for many other events. There were discussions, debates and much socialising on the outside. Inside the venue, there was a serious effort to bring the LGBT community to the mainstream and to expose other communities to queer films.

The films in themselves were curated to not just sensitise the City to LGBT issues but to strike a chord with people through heartwarming narratives. It was three days of powerful cinema for a reason. Thanks to the response it received last year, BQFF became bigger and more serious this time. Organised by LGBT support groups ‘Good As You’, ‘Swabhava’, ‘We’re Here and Queer’ (WHaQ!) and queer media collective ‘Pirat Dykes’, the film festival was a three-day success, to say the least.

What made this year’s BQFF more special was the entry of a large number of Indian films and more so Bangalore films. One of the highlights of the festival this year was a City-based film, ‘All About Our Famila’ that tells the story of a transgender, Famila, from her castration to her suicide. The film explores the many relationships she shared, with her guru, with her mentor and her lover. The 120-minute long feature struck a chord with the audience with much ease saw a full house on the day of its opening.

Other prominent films included a German one called ‘Men to Kiss’, the story of a gay couple whose relationship begins to get troubled once a guest in the house arrives.

The Indian films included Riyad Vinci Wadia’s ‘Bomgay’, Ragava Lawrence’s ‘Kanchana’ and Sandeep Malani’s ‘Jojo Darling’. Altogether 59 films from 16 countries made up the festival.

Besides the films alone, there were other attractions at the BQFF. A photo-exhibition with the works of Delhi-based Akshay Mahajan, Bangladesh-based Gazi Nafis Ahmed and City-based Andrea Fernandes brought out strong messages through the lens.

There was also a poetry-reading session, a one-woman play titled ‘Yoga Cannibal’, a dance performance etc on the closing day.  

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