MAMI Mumbai International Film Festival 2011
presented by IIFW
in association with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
Queering India: Gay & Lesbian portrayals in New Indian Cinema
Monday 17th Oct, 2-3 pm at Cinemax Versova
Gone are the days when a gay man was always a limp-wristed comic character who was ridiculed, shunned or beaten up. Even mainstream actors are not afraid to play out gay, lesbian, transgender character or situation. But do these characters have depth and detailing, or are they merely for a sensational spin? Where does censor become an impediment in depicting something meaningful and serious? Do they have an audience at all?
Onir – Filmmaker, Writer, Producer of internationally acclaimed, multiple award winning films ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and ‘I Am’ that dealt with gay themes with honesty and sensitivity. They have given a new voice and power to queer issues in mainstream cinema. Onir believes in pushing the envelope and tackling critical social issues through cinema.
Rajit Kapur – National Award winning theatre and film actor. He is well-known for his award-winning portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 film, The Making of the Mahatma. However what is not well-known is his fine portrayal of a gay man in a short film ‘Bath’ and the lead role of a homosexual poet in the yet to be released film ‘Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish’.
Sridhar Rangayan – Filmmaker who has made award winning hit films like ‘Gulabi Aaina’, ‘Yours Emotionally’ and ’68 Pages’ that offer sensitive and positive portrayals of gay and transgender people. He is also the Festival Director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival which brings international queer films to India and provides a mainstream platform for Indian queer films.
Tarun Mansukhani – Writer and director of the super-hit film ‘Dostana’, that catapulted the word ‘gay’ into the mainstream and made it sound suave and sexy with Abhishek Bachan and John Abraham playing a ‘gay couple’! While the film was primarily a comedy, couple of sensitive scenes with Priyanka Chopra and Kirron Kher made the film close to the hearts of many gay men and women. Tarun has assisted Karan Johar in films like ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. He is now working on an animation film ‘Koochie Koochie Hota Hain’ and scripting ‘Dostana 2′.
Rajeev Masand – Rajeev is perhaps the only entertainment journalist in the country to have had 2 eponymous film shows – Masand Ki Pasand (on Star News) and Rajeev Masand Ki Pasand, currently on IBN7. What has characterised Rajeev’s career throughout is his honesty and rigid standards of excellence. The only standard that matters when he looks at a film is his own. He has not only been a critical commentator on the films, but more than a keen observer of the changing trends in Indian cinema.