Kerala has been walking the talk when it comes to inclusion and welfare of LGBTQI+ community. Over the past few years, an increasing number of visual media artists and filmmakers have explored ways in which LGBTQI+ persons negotiate and resist patriarchy and heteronormativity in India through their craft. At the same time, a small number of queer people have started to make films on their lives, which is the inspiration behind organising Q-loid, a one-day Queer Short Film and Documentary Festival.
The queer film festival intends to rethink modes of visual portrayals of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Kshema, one of the organisers of the festival, begins by stating that society has come a long way in being accommodative of queer persons. “The divide has come down and the line has become really blurred. People understand that everyone is just human and it is a choice that people have.”
The first edition of the film festival, scheduled to begin on July 13, is organised by Queerala supported by the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) and Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) India, with Kerala Museum as the venue partner.
Kshema says, “Queerala has always been a space where people could just belong regardless of your sexual identity or gender or what people call you. When WCC is supporting us along with PSBT and we have filmmakers who are screening their films in the queer context, I think it is important that movements come together to create a movement. WCC and Queerala are movements and when they come together, it calls for so much strength. This could also be an inspiration for more coalitions and collaborations.” Nine films will be screened at this festival, to be held in Kerala for the first time. Meanwhile, the organisers are getting enquiries about conducting the festival in other cities in Kerala, too.
The films to be screened include Ladies and Gentle Women (Documentary) by Malini Jeevarathinam, Nján Sánjo (I’m Sánjo - Documentary) by Jijo Kuriakose, May (Short Film) by Harold Antony, The Last Letter (Short Film) by Vishal Jejurkar, Oruvanukku Oruthi (A Woman for a Man - Short Film) by Vimal Santiagu, A Safe Person to Talk to (Documentary) by Navdeep Sharma, Breathe (Documentary) by Anushka Shivdasani and Madhuri Mohindar, Ennodoppam (Documentary) by Abhijith P. and Please Mind the Gap (Documentary) by Mitali Trivedi and Gagandeep Singh.
Apart from the film screenings, there will be ‘Meet the Director’ sessions and panel discussions titled ‘Redefining Masculinities’. The venue is Kerala Museum in Kochi....