A progressive society is one where biases don’t exist. The Delhi International Queer Theatre & Film Festival (DIQTFF) , organized by Love Matters & Harmless Hugs a one of its kind event for the LGBT community was recently held in the capital. The film festival comprised power -packed theatre performances and movies from across the globe. The concept is to communicate, educate and transpire the existence of the LGBTQI Community in India.
Many upcoming and established filmmakers, actors and theatre enthusiasts participated in the event and accredited celebrities like Kalki Koachlin and Kunal Kapoor joined the cause by sharing video messages to show their support.
Piyush Mishra was the chief guest. An award-winning actor, lyricist and also singer, Mishra has worn many hats, but speaking for and with the LGBT was a first for him. The festival had an exciting line up this year—day 1 kicked off with ‘Underneath the makeup, it’s me “– a film by Chris Fudge which follows the life of a transgender teen, Amber, and her transformation into her true self, I Step On Air by Oxana Chi and Layla Zami are a German-French queer couple who present their story through performing arts, Ismat Chughtai’s famous short story Lihaaf or The Quilt by the Asmita Theatre Group, etc.
Day two had– Thats My Boy, a 24 -minute Malayam documentry film, a Spanish film Amorfo by Jose Brocco, Meeta ki Kahani,a Vijay Tendulkar play based on lesbian relationships and Lihaas by Saitan Theatre Group.
Speaking about the event, Vithika Yadav, (country head – Love Matters India / RNW Media) said, “Love has no gender. We, at Love Matters stand tall in support of LGBT rights and for decriminalisation of homosexual sex. LGBT rights is a core area of our work and through events such as this film festival we aim to call out to the community at large to come together in support of equality for all and raise their concern against homophobia. It’s time we love people for who they are and let them love who they want.!”
Kalki thanked Harmless Hugs and Love matters for organizing the festival again this year, saying it is high time that people came out and talked about the LGBT community. “Theatre and cinema has time and again stereotyped Gay characters and there are hardly any lesbian or bisexual characters being potrayed.”
She added by saying, “ The response to Margerita With A Straw was very encouraging for me to see in our country, I really found that people were moved by the film , understood the film and it went across generations, not only to young , educated or rebellious people. I hope that there are plenty more movies and plays on this subject. The more there are the more awareness will be created and the more society will understand the norms of the LGBT community”.
Standing firmly for the cause, Kunal Kapoor said, It is a movement that everybody should support because at the end of the day it is about equality. Any opposition to the rights of the LGBT community is the opposition to humanity as it is fundamental rights to choose whom you want to love. Sooner or later whoever is opposing this will have to come around, its only a matter of time as you can’t deny someone a basic human right. Art and cinema are really powerful mediums because it has the ability to reach out to so many people, it is important to raise issues that are plaguing our society”.
He further said festivals like this are really important, not enough stories have been told about the LGBT community which needs to be told to create awareness. It is wonderful that more and more cinema is being created around the LGBT community.
He also talked about the stereotype that has been created around gay characters, his personal experience when he was offered a gay character in a film. He also applauded the sensitivity with which films like Kapoor & Sons and Aligarh have handled the topic.