The British Council, in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival, along with The Queer Muslim Project, Anaajoree and Poetry Couture showcased LGBTQ+ themed short films, Five Films For Freedom, at the Anaajoree office in Guwahati recently.
The film screening featured works by emerging filmmakers from across the world. Through a global network in more than 100 countries, the British Council encouraged people to watch the films in solidarity with LGBTQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited, and the event aimed to highlight the fact that Love is a Human Right. The hashtag #FiveFilms4Freedom was used around the world to promote the films.
The event brought to light that there is much advocacy to be done and much awareness to be raised about LGBTQI+ rights. The short films titled Pure, Bodies of Desire, Victoria, Trans Happiness is Real, and Land of Free was screened. The films addresses aspects like queer identity, homophobia, transgender activism, intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance, and exploring the boundaries of love.
A panel discussion followed the Five Films For Freedom Screening. The panelists were Dr.Bitopi Dutta (Assistant Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS),Guwahati, and a former IRC scholar DCU Ireland), Kiran Keshavamurthy (Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Guwahati), Milin Dutta (Social Activist and Founder, Anaajoree), Mayuri Deka( writer and queer rights activist), and Rituparna (queer feminist activist and educationist). The event was moderated and co-curated by poet Madhu Raghavendra.
The panelists shared their views on the short films, along with their experiences of queer activism and advocacy in the North East India region. The panel discussion was followed by performances by artists like Tripi Mona and others.
Many poets, filmmakers, and members of the queer community attended the event. Artists like Arghadeep Barua and Abhishruti Bezbaruah were also present at the event. The programme will be relayed live through Facebook on Anaajoree’s page. Five Films for Freesom will be showcased next at Department of Cultural Studies, Tezpur University at 3.30pm March 26, followed by an open discussion.