Manipuri-English film promoting gender-neutral fashion to be screened in Mumbai

Award-winning Manipuri filmmaker Priyakanta Laishram‘s 2018 English-Manipuri film ‘Who Said Boys Can’t Wear Makeup’ will be screened at the Radisson Mumbai on October 15, 2023, as part of an event organised by retail fashion brand Lifestyle to promote gender-neutral fashion and environment-friendly clothing.

The film, based on misconceptions and prejudices that are imposed on men who wear cosmetics and gender-neutral clothing, was also one of the first Indian films and the first film from Northeast India to address the subject of men’s makeup and gender-neutral clothing.

Starring prominent public figures from all over India, including Inder Bajwa, Nimrit Kaur Ahluwalia, Bala Hijam, Peden Ongmu Namgyal, Thounaojam Strela Luwang, Rajkumari Linthoisana, John Oinam, Sangreela Maisnam, and Teresa Paonam, alongside Priyakanta Laishram, the film also had its premiere at St. Regis, Mumbai, on April 7, 2018.

“Knowing that the film will be rescreened in Mumbai makes me feel good. It feels like everything is going full circle because Bangalore and Mumbai were the shoot locations for a significant portion of the movie. When it comes to ‘Who Said Boys Can’t Wear Make-Up’, Mumbai holds a special place in my heart,” Priyakanta stated.

According to Priyakanta Laishram, the film’s premiere and all the promotional events were held in Mumbai in 2018, which sparked a sense of nostalgia.

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He continued, “This project was a big challenge for me. I had to deal with a lot of criticism, trolls, and negativity. Men’s makeup and gender-neutral fashion were topics that were either rarely or never discussed in India at the time. People believed I was crazy. But I firmly believed in myself that this movie could inspire change and give a million people who support diversity and equality a voice. Today, I can see a lot of male beauty bloggers and how the fashion and beauty industries have become more diverse.”

The cinematography of the film is done by Sachit Gurung and Bryan Marshall, and the music is composed by Isaac Ray.

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