'People of Colour' to take centre stage at International Queer Film Festival 2019

DEPICTING LIFE: Four films from The USA, Canada, Kenya and India will spotlight struggles of LGBTQ community

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'People of Colour' to take centre stage at International Queer Film Festival 2019
Still from film Tongues Untied, directed by Marlon Riggs

LGBTQ 'People Of Colour' will take the centre stage at KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2019. Four films from the USA, Canada, Kenya and India will spotlight the struggles of black and POC (people of colour) in LGBTQ communities at South Asia's biggest Queer Film Festival to be held in Mumbai next week.

"The centrepiece films occupy a special place in KASHISH programming as it spotlights some of the key issues these films address apart from the fact that they are mind blowing good films! The two narrative centrepiece films Nagarkirtan and Rafiki highlight the struggles of LGBTQ persons in India and Kenya, especially transgender and lesbian women. These films have won huge acclaim and awards for their cinematic expression and sensitive portrayal. While the centrepiece documentary Our Dance Of Revolution highlights the oft-marginalized black and people of colour communities within the LGBTQ movement in Canada, the 1989 film Tongues Untied (digitally restored) documents the participation of black LGBTQ persons in the earliest days of struggle in the USA", said Sridhar Rangayan, festival director.

Film Rafiki is directed by Wanuri Kahiu. The movie is about Kenyan girls Kena and Ziki who, despite the political rivalry between their families, resist and remain, close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

Film Nagarkirtan, which is directed by Kaushik Ganguly which is a story of Porimal, a trans woman, who runs away from home and joins a ghetto of eunuchs as Puti and sings at traffic signals to earn money.

Our Dance Of Revolution, directed by Phillip Pike, in an untold history of Toronto's Black queer community spans four decades of passionate activist rebellion. Refusing to be silenced and raging with love, the featured trailblazers demanded a city where they could all live their truths free from the threat of violence. In the spaces they found for loud laughter and sweaty block parties, they also found themselves.

Tongues Untied, which is directed by Marlon Riggs, is about Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act.

"KASHISH, being the biggest South Asian LGBTQ film festivals, wants to put the black & people of colour issues centerstage", added Rangayan.

KASHISH 2019 festival theme 'Over The Rainbow' not only commemorates the reading down of Sec 377 and decriminalisation of same-sex relationships in India, but also defines the challenges in store for the LGBTQ community's journey towards empowerment and social acceptance.

Bringing together films from all over the world as well as panel discussions and performances, the festival will showcase the shared struggles and victories, and offer a window to existing and future possibilities. Let's together journey over the rainbow to discover the land of equality & dignity.

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