LGBTQIA+ five film festival

Guwahati/Tezpur: A special screening of five selected movies celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community will be screened at Tezpur University on Friday, as a part of British Council’s 7th edition of ‘Five Films For Freedom’.

In Assam, British Council has partnered with Anaajoree, a non-profit organisation based out of Guwahati, and Poetry Couture, to organize screenings in Guwahati and Tezpur. Anaajoree has collaborated with the Department of Cultural Studies in Tezpur to host a screening at the University, followed by a discussion with faculty members.

Hailed as the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ digital campaign, the short films screened at the festival will look at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance.

In India, British Council has partnered with The Queer Muslim Project, South Asia’s largest virtual network of queer, Muslim and allied individuals, to celebrate and amplify LGBTIQ+ stories, voices and people.

This year, movies will be screened from India, Spain, Sweden, USA and the UK. The selected films are : Bodies of Desire (India), Land of the Free (Sweden), Pure (USA), Trans Happiness is Real ( UK) and Victoria (Spain).

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Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts India, British Council, said, “The Five Films For Freedom campaign continues to gather a wider audience and deeper engagement with people across the world. We are glad that we have partners with whom we share our purpose of achieving greater inclusion and solidarity for the LGBTIQ+ community.”

Rafiul Alom Rahman, Founder & Director of The Queer Muslim Project adds, “We have put a lot of thought into the curation for this year, and have an exciting range of community screenings and creative engagements planned across India, which we hope will encourage discussions on queer issues and experiences in the world of cinema and art.”

Five Film For Freedom programme 2021:

Bodies of Desire (India/Dir. Varsha Panikar & Saad Nawab/3 mins), directed by Varsha Panikar and multi-award-winner Saad Nawab, uses Indian poet Panikar’s work as the basis for a visual, poetic film capturing four sets of lovers in a sensual celebration of genderless love and desire.

Land of the Free (Sweden/Dir. Dawid Ullgren/10 mins) – Ullgren’s tense Swedish drama follows the fictional David and friends as they celebrate his birthday with a nightly swim at the beach. The good mood swiftly changes after two straight couples walk by and laugh – was the laughter directed at them, or something else? Who owns the truth of exactly what happened?

Pure (USA/Dir. Natalie Jasmine Harris/12 mins) is the fictional debutfrom2020 Directors Guild of America Student Film Award winner Natalie Jasmine Harris, centring on a young Black girl grappling with her queer identity and ideas of ‘purity’. The film is written, produced and directed by Harris – a filmmaker passionate about the intersection between filmmaking and social justice.

Trans Happiness is Real (UK/Dir. Quinton Baker/8 mins)– a moving documentary from first-time filmmaker Quinton Baker – sees transgender activists take to the streets of Oxford, England to fight anti-trans sentiments using the power of graffiti and street art.

Victoria (Spain/Dir. Daniel Toledo/7 mins) follows a bittersweet reunion between a trans woman and her ex, sparking tension and long-buried resentment. Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Daniel Toledo, Victoria also features acclaimed trans actress, writer and director Abril Zamora (The Life Ahead, The Mess You Leave Behind).

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