[Sarai Newsletter] 'FRIENDS OF SIDDHARTHA' FILM FESTIVAL

The Sarai Pogramme dak at sarai.net
Mon Feb 10 16:10:38 IST 2003


'FRIENDS OF SIDDHARTHA' LESBIAN & GAY
ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL

celebrates 10 years with an evening of short films & discussion

A TRIBUTE TO SIDDHARTHA GAUTAM

on Sunday, February 16, 2003, 3 pm to 8 pm

at SARAI, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 
110054.


The Friends of Siddhartha is an informal group that comes together each year 
to organise a day of films on Lesbian & Gay Sexuality. This event is held in 
the memory of Siddhartha Gautam who died of cancer in 1992.

Siddhartha was a lawyer and well-known human rights activist. He was intensely 
involved in challenging discrimination against sexual minorities and people 
with HIV/AIDS and was instrumental in bringing out a path-breaking report 
called 'Less than Gay' on the status of homosexuality in India just before he 
died. The festival has been held since 1993. With this event, we seek to 
continue Siddhartha's engagement with these issues, and through it, pay our 
tribute to the vision and spirit of Siddhartha.  Over the years the event has 
provided a safe space for people to dialogue on issues relating to lesbian, 
gay and other alternate sexualities, and also provided a forum for members of 
the community.

Schedule

3.00 pm: Introduction to the Festival

3.05 pm: 'A Letter from Home', David Kalal & Gita Reddy, 1996, USA. Written & 
Performed by Shaffiq Essajee, 12 mins
A humourous and touching piece where Essajee brings out his relationship with 
his mother and draws a sketch of her life, desires and anguish as he reads 
out a letter she writes to him, her gay son, when he leaves for the US.

3.20 pm: 'For Straights Only', Vismita Gupta Smith, 2001, USA & India, 22 mins
"All that is good in the Indian culture is for straights only", says the 
filmmaker who makes this film after she finds out that her brother is gay. 
The film traces what it was like for him and others like him to grow up 
gay/lesbian in the 'perfect' Indian and Asian family, and brings out their 
struggles of coming out to and be accepted in their families. 

3.40 pm: 'Julpari', Swati & Leith Murgai 1996, USA, 21.36 mins
 "Drag is not about life, but being larger than life", says Faraz Ahmed or 
Julpari, the protagonist of this film about drag queens in New York City. The 
film presents members of SALGA, South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of NYC 
as they talk about how they live their lives and what it means for them to be 
a part of a larger community. Interspersed with fun dance sequences to Hindi 
film songs.

4.00 pm: 'Tom, Dick & Haresh', Mathew Parsons, India, 13.30 mins
A group of men who have sex with men (MSMs) in Chennai talk about the men they 
love and how their lives are affected as a result of their life styles and 
AIDS. Some of them are field workers in the Community Action Network working 
for AIDS prevention.

4.15 pm: 'Apoornathakal' (The Incomplete), Bala Murali, India, 2001, 23 mins
 Apoornathakal is the story of a young man trying to come to terms with the 
death of his childhood friend - a friend with whom he shared intense love. It 
is the memory of moments spent together, of shared conversations and hints of 
intrigue surrounding the death that continue to haunt the living. 
Apoornathakal is based on a true story.

(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmaker and followed by 
a discussion with him.)

5.00 pm: Break

5.20 pm: 'Tedhi Lakeer - The Broken Line', Amrit Sharma, Aparna Sanyal, 
Arunima Shankar, 2003, India, 27 mins
Made as part of a final project under the Masters programme at MCRC. The young 
filmmakers seek to tell the stories of two ordinary non-English speaking gay 
men living in conservative middle class India in a hope to 'shatter the 
'FRIENDS OF SIDDHARTHA' LESBIAN & GAY
ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL

celebrates 10 years with an evening of short films & discussion

A TRIBUTE TO SIDDHARTHA GAUTAM

on Sunday, February 16, 2003, 3 pm to 8 pm

at SARAI, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 
110054.


The Friends of Siddhartha is an informal group that comes together each year 
to organise a day of films on Lesbian & Gay Sexuality. This event is held in 
the memory of Siddhartha Gautam who died of cancer in 1992.

Siddhartha was a lawyer and well-known human rights activist. He was intensely 
involved in challenging discrimination against sexual minorities and people 
with HIV/AIDS and was instrumental in bringing out a path-breaking report 
called 'Less than Gay' on the status of homosexuality in India just before he 
died. The festival has been held since 1993. With this event, we seek to 
continue Siddhartha's engagement with these issues, and through it, pay our 
tribute to the vision and spirit of Siddhartha.  Over the years the event has 
provided a safe space for people to dialogue on issues relating to lesbian, 
gay and other alternate sexualities, and also provided a forum for members of 
the community.

Schedule

3.00 pm: Introduction to the Festival

3.05 pm: 'A Letter from Home', David Kalal & Gita Reddy, 1996, USA. Written & 
Performed by Shaffiq Essajee, 12 mins
A humourous and touching piece where Essajee brings out his relationship with 
his mother and draws a sketch of her life, desires and anguish as he reads 
out a letter she writes to him, her gay son, when he leaves for the US.

3.20 pm: 'For Straights Only', Vismita Gupta Smith, 2001, USA & India, 22 mins
"All that is good in the Indian culture is for straights only", says the 
filmmaker who makes this film after she finds out that her brother is gay. 
The film traces what it was like for him and others like him to grow up 
gay/lesbian in the 'perfect' Indian and Asian family, and brings out their 
struggles of coming out to and be accepted in their families. 

3.40 pm: 'Julpari', Swati & Leith Murgai 1996, USA, 21.36 mins
 "Drag is not about life, but being larger than life", says Faraz Ahmed or 
Julpari, the protagonist of this film about drag queens in New York City. The 
film presents members of SALGA, South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of NYC 
as they talk about how they live their lives and what it means for them to be 
a part of a larger community. Interspersed with fun dance sequences to Hindi 
film songs.

4.00 pm: 'Tom, Dick & Haresh', Mathew Parsons, India, 13.30 mins
A group of men who have sex with men (MSMs) in Chennai talk about the men they 
love and how their lives are affected as a result of their life styles and 
AIDS. Some of them are field workers in the Community Action Network working 
for AIDS prevention.

4.15 pm: 'Apoornathakal' (The Incomplete), Bala Murali, India, 2001, 23 mins
 Apoornathakal is the story of a young man trying to come to terms with the 
death of his childhood friend - a friend with whom he shared intense love. It 
is the memory of moments spent together, of shared conversations and hints of 
intrigue surrounding the death that continue to haunt the living. 
Apoornathakal is based on a true story.

(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmaker and followed by 
a discussion with him.)

5.00 pm: Break

5.20 pm: 'Tedhi Lakeer - The Broken Line', Amrit Sharma, Aparna Sanyal, 
Arunima Shankar, 2003, India, 27 mins
Made as part of a final project under the Masters programme at MCRC. The young 
filmmakers seek to tell the stories of two ordinary non-English speaking gay 
men living in conservative middle class India in a hope to 'shatter the 
Indian perception of homosexuality as a western import'.
(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmakers and followed 
by a discussion with them.)

6.10 pm: 'Lakme Takes Flight', by Sheila James & Melina Young, Canada, 13 mins
Explores the fantasy of a woman, Lakme, as she takes a flight with a saucy, 
young flight attendant and pilot.  

6.25 pm: 'Beauty Parlour', Mehreen Jabbar, India, 2000, 18 mins
4 faces, 4 masks: 4 short sketches of the lives and loves of 3 women and a 
eunuch as they talk about their desires traced through their visits to the 
beauty parlour and other everyday events. 

6.45 pm: 'Unmapping Desire', Sheila James, Canada, 1999, 7 mins
A short poetic piece for a lover, using the body to map desire, relationships 
and borders that separate nations and loves.

6.55 pm: 'Sum Total - A Matrimonial' & 'Barefeet', 'S', USA, 8 mins
2 short films. In the first one the filmmaker talks about what goes into 
making of herself as a strong lesbian woman 'not fit for marriage'. The 
second is a nostalgic piece about leaving and returning home, a place that 
brings up many contradictions and emotions for her.

7.05: 'Kashish', Meenakshi Rai & Vinay Rai, 2003, India, 30 mins
2 women explore their attraction to each other.
(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmakers and followed 
by a discussion with them.)

--------------------------------------
The programme is subject to last-minute changes.

Entry: There are no tickets or passes, but Friends of Siddhartha welcomes 
contributions to help cover costs. Suggested contribution: Rs 50/- for 
students Rs 100/- for others.

For further information contact:
Anuja (for Friends of Siddhartha) at 26238466 (o), 9811213316 (Mobile)
Ranita (for Sarai) at 23960040, 23951190

Indian perception of homosexuality as a western import'.
(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmakers and followed 
by a discussion with them.)

6.10 pm: 'Lakme Takes Flight', by Sheila James & Melina Young, Canada, 13 mins
Explores the fantasy of a woman, Lakme, as she takes a flight with a saucy, 
young flight attendant and pilot.  

6.25 pm: 'Beauty Parlour', Mehreen Jabbar, India, 2000, 18 mins
4 faces, 4 masks: 4 short sketches of the lives and loves of 3 women and a 
eunuch as they talk about their desires traced through their visits to the 
beauty parlour and other everyday events. 

6.45 pm: 'Unmapping Desire', Sheila James, Canada, 1999, 7 mins
A short poetic piece for a lover, using the body to map desire, relationships 
and borders that separate nations and loves.

6.55 pm: 'Sum Total - A Matrimonial' & 'Barefeet', 'S', USA, 8 mins
2 short films. In the first one the filmmaker talks about what goes into 
making of herself as a strong lesbian woman 'not fit for marriage'. The 
second is a nostalgic piece about leaving and returning home, a place that 
brings up many contradictions and emotions for her.

7.05: 'Kashish', Meenakshi Rai & Vinay Rai, 2003, India, 30 mins
2 women explore their attraction to each other.
(The film will be preceded by an introduction by the filmmakers and followed 
by a discussion with them.)

--------------------------------------
The programme is subject to last-minute changes.

Entry: There are no tickets or passes, but Friends of Siddhartha welcomes 
contributions to help cover costs. Suggested contribution: Rs 50/- for 
students Rs 100/- for others.

For further information contact:
Anuja (for Friends of Siddhartha) at 26238466 (o), 9811213316 (Mobile)
Ranita (for Sarai) at 23960040, 23951190






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