While India faces its own growing pains on the road to LGBT equality, a selection of queer films are screening half a world away in London as part of a series produced by the University of Westminster’s India Media Centre.
In all seven films will be shown, including Sridhar Rangayan’s feature Gulabi Aaina (“The Pink Mirror”) and shorts from the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, including Kusum (The Flower Bud), Logging Out and Raat Baaki (Night is Young). Rangayan, who first released Aaina in 2006, also selected the screening lineup.
“India is at the cross roads in its LGBT movement and some of these films here reflect the struggle of coming to terms with one’s sexuality and gender role in the context of an Indian identity. We hope that this improves participation and involvement of world cinema in India as well,” says Pallav Patankar, co-director of the Kashish fest.
The hope is to showcase contemporary LGBT life in India, though ironically some of the films have been blocked in their native land by India’s puritanical censors. Gulabi Aaina, which sees a pair of drag queens battle a gay teen for the attention of a handsome hunk, is still banned in India.
The series screens through November 30. After that, the films move on to Ireland, Poland and then Sweden.