BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival Online for Free

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Stories of peer pressure, love, marriage, schools, siblings, friendship, passion, protest, cycling, and activism wrapped in to five beautiful short films made by a group of gay, lesbian and trans filmmakers. Now online for free. For the first time ever, in partnership with the British Council’s fiveFilms4freedom project, five short films from BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival are available to watch online, for free, worldwide. Click here to watch and click here to read more.

On a related note, there are a set of films being brought down to the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai by three curators from Germany. They will present works addressing various kinds of conflict around issues of nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, family history and migration. They look into which cinematic languages are appropriate to show case stories of conflict and how cinema might shape our understanding of conflict. Everybody is welcome and entry is free. Here is the poster – (Event on Facebook)

identity and conflict einvite

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Whose land is it?

Kaelvi Kadhai (part of Iniyavai Indru) is an eight minute Tamil series with animation and narration anchored by Malavika PC, written and directed by Samyuktha PC for a Tamil cultural television channel called Puthuyugam TV in 2013. The animation was done by Trotsky Marudu’s team of animators. This particular episode furthers our conversation on land use, land ownership and land rights.The purpose of producing this show was to explore everyday concepts as stories and discover the individual’s relationship with the same.

Please watch, share and write to us on your experiences and observations with land use patterns around the world. For instance, what kind of a role does the State have in relation to land? What legislations are present or afloat to protect or grab land? What kind of power is in the hand of the people from the land? Add questions, thoughts, images and anything else. Comment below or send us the longer replies to chaikadai@gmail.com

Tamil, 8 mins 30 s

Tale of a Fish – an Anti-nuclear mime

Performed by Susanta Das at The Hive, Bandra, Mumbai on the 26th of October 2014. 47 mins 06s. via Satyen K. Bordoloi

“This is the tale of a little fish. It is a tale of power and politics, modernity and tradition, technology and nature. Through the eyes of the fish we get to see the different actors in this tale – the fisherman, the politician, the police and the protestors, and the nuclear power plant itself.” What happens to the little fish?

We are South of India

via Enna Da Rascalas

Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, English (with subtitles). Just 4 minutes 18 seconds

In eighth standard geography classes, we were made to practice drawing rivers, mountains, and colour all the states on blank physical and political maps of India. Suddenly one day, we had to learn to draw Chattisgarh and Jharkand because they weren’t printed yet. (Reminder: I must learn to draw Telengana)

My naivety of understanding this map of the country I was born in to and therefore belong to, has taken a lot of reading, travel and conversations to fade away. I used to think Madrasi was a compliment and words like Mallu, Golti were non-offensive. I was after all born in a Madras that became Chennai. I didn’t realize until my Malayali friends, Telugu friends, Kannadiga friends, and friends from the rest of Tamil Nadu were also called Madrasi. I felt they were robbing my identity. Well, I thought a lot of stupid things like this about Kashmir, Bihar, the North-east of India and the rest of the map. We are usually taught such naivety and are encouraged to maintain it. It’s like how so much of the world believes Africa’s a country.

I don’t know if more south Indians watch this song and laugh, or if actually people up north are watching this video and understanding We are the South of India… not Madrasis all padoses… I hope more of the latter is happening. Nevertheless, this is a kick-ass song created by the Stray Factory monkeys of Chennai, that must travel far and wide.

Enjoy, share, and subscribe to them here.

sam pc.

When She #ASKSTOPEE

via Video Daddy

Hindi/English (with subtitles). Just 3 minutes

Hi girls,

I once had a teacher who forced all the girls in my class to sit down and pee by the roadside, as it unhealthy to hold it in our bladders. Most of us were shy and found the teacher to be crazy that day. Actually she is a genius.

Eighteen years later, I still get angry when a male-friend zips down and pees next to a transformer or tree, not even asking me for courtesy-sake while I dance around on my toes and refuse to think about anything close to water or peeeee.

Do we need toilets? Do we need the right to pee? Do we need some kind of mutual understanding that all bladders are meant to hold urine and are meant to release it sooner or later?

Holding it in longer and longer, only weakens my bladder and sphincter. With all the tubing systems, and anyway the trickling way they pee, I do think men can quite easily hold it in much longer than women. Anyway, watch the video… and share…. and yes #ASKTOPEE and if no one allows you, anyway do it. Otherwise you are going to lose your favourite pair of undies and pants and some parts of your bladder.

Also related to your right to bleed

sam pc

Paper Flowers

“Clapping gives us strength.” – Latha

Tamil (with English subtitles) 24 mins 46 s

How can one move from treating the third gender as a spectacle and object of curiousity for the camera and instead attempt to capture fellow human beings’ lives, aspirations and dreams?

After the landmark Supreme Court ruling recognizing the third gender status of all transgenders in the country, Rajiv Krishnan (the cinematographer of Paper Flowers) uploaded this film on Youtube as a celebration and salute.

In 1998, Hijra Guru Meena and Deepa Krishnan, were invited to a trans-gender conference organised by a theatre group in Austria. Unfortunately, Meena couldn’t get her passport. And so friends got together, and made a film to represent her in the conference. The result is an intimate and yet quick window in to family of individuals on a journey for their rightful dignity and respect.

Please watch, screen or share.

Our Family

“People should realize who an Aravani is. People should know that we too have a life. They should learn to respect our feelings. Society should also accept us. If we’re accepted, everything is fine.”
– Seetha, a dancer

Tamil (with English subtitles), 55 mins 20 s

Maybe you remember Urvashi Butalia ask whether an organ, some hormones, a choice or an obligation makes one a mother. Let’s ask, what makes a family?

The School of Media and Cultural Studies in Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai have their very own Youtube channel, where every week they release a film from their archives. Our Family (2007) directed by Anjali Monteiro and K P Jayashankar, weaves together the story of a family of three generations of trans-genders, Aasha, Seetha and Dhana, with excerpts of  Nirvanam, a one person performance, by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. Watch, share and subscribe to the SMCS channel.