Tuesday 22 April 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 330

Queer Film Fest 


KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is a platform to mainstream queer visibility, through advocacy and entertainment, using the medium of cinema and arts to offer a better understanding of queer thoughts, desires and expressions. 
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender persons in India have remained underground and invisible due to a colonial law Section 377 of IPC. After reading down of this law on July 2nd 2009, which effectively decriminalized homosexuality, there has been an environment of more openness to have discussions around LGBT issues. On December 11th 2013, the Supreme Court reversed the Delhi High Court verdict, thereby re criminalizing homosexuality.

This decision of the Indian Supreme Court is indeed a big setback to the nascent queer rights movement in the country. The verdict makes lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender persons vulnerable to not just penal action of imprisonment but also extortion, blackmail and social stigma. Started in 2010 as the first ever LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) film festival in India to be held in a mainstream theater and to receive clearance from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Over the past 4 very successful editions of the festival, it has emerged to be South Asia's biggest queer film festival, an important event in Mumbai's cultural calendar and also recently voted as one of World’s Top 5 Coolest LGBT Film Festival.
 Bhawana Somaaya/@bhawanasomaaya

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