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Pet Sins July 2008

South Asian Queer Cinema

South Asian film with gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender themes

Darmiyaan (1997, India)

An aging actress comes to terms with her hijra child. (Hijras are a traditional third gender in India. They have been termed eunuchs or hermaphrodites.)

Darmiyaan on screenindia.com
Darmiyan on planetbollywood.com

Fire (1998, India)
A Deepa Mehta film about two sisters-in-law, both unhappily married, who fall in love with each other.

Deepa Mehta's Fire creates controversy and protests in India (SAWNET list of Fire-related news)
In the Line of 'Fire': Art, Artist and Gender

Flying with One Wing (2002, Sri Lanka)

Tani Tatuwen Piyabanna (Flying with One Wing) is the tale of a FTM mechanic married to a woman. Manju has to deal with the advances of a gay colleague who is convinced he is a biological male. On a more sinister note, the mechanic has to fend off the attentions of a chauvinistic, unethical doctor who is fascinated by the mechanic's gender-crossing.

Flying with One Wing at San Francisco 2003 International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Flying with One Wing at Third I Film Festival

Gulabi Aaina (2002, India)
The award-winning Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror) tells the story of a Bollywood drag queen.

Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror) official site
Gulabi Aaina on Films For Freedom India

Manjuben, Truck Driver (2002, India)

A documentary about Manju, a businesswoman who owns a trucking business. As a truck driver, Manju has chosen to dress and live as a man.

Manjuben, Truck Driver on Infochange Film Forum
Manjuben Truck Driver on Journeyman Pictures

A Mermaid called Aida (1996, India)

A documentary about Aida Banaji, Bombay's famous TG.

A Mermaid called Aida review on Transgender-net
A Mermaid called Aida review on gay.com

My Brother Nikhil (2005, India)

A Hindi film about gay HIV+ schoolboy who finds support in his sister's unconditional love.

My Brother Nikhil Official Site
My Brother Nikhil review on indiafm.com

Sancharram (2004, India)
Sancharram (The Journey) is a Malayali film about the doomed love affair between two childhood friends. The plot was inspired by the true life tragedy of two female students in India.

Sancharram - The Journey official site
Sancharram review on clublez.com

Shabnam Mousi (2005, India)

Shabnam Mousi (or Shabnam Mausi) is Hindi film based on the real life story of a eunuch who won the Legislative Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

Shabnam Mousi review on IndiaFM.com
Shabnam Mousi review on indiaglitz.com

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive.

South Asian Queer Film Festivals

Larzish Film Festival, Bombay, India

Larzish (an Urdu word meaning 'tremors of a revolution') was the name given to the film festival first held in Bombay, India in 2003.

Welcome to Larzish
India Film Festival Examines Homophobia (Associated Press, October 19, 2003)
India opens first gay film festival on Taipei Times

QFilmistan, San Francisco, USA

QFilmistan, first held in 2001 in San Francisco, was billed as the first South Asian LGBT film festival in North America.

QFilmistan 2003
Qfilmistan Queers the Third Eye and Asks Why (AsianWeek.com: A&E)

Nigaah, Chicago, USA

Nigaah is an Urdu word meaning 'perspective. Nigaah - a festival of south asian queer film - was presented by the South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC( in Chicago in 2005.

Nigaah home page

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive. Feel free to send more links.