Delhi University kicks off its first lesbian film festival

By HEENA KAUSAR PUBLISHED: 21:47 GMT, 26 September 2014

The first-ever lesbian film festival organised at Delhi University kicked off on Friday with around 100 people in attendance.

The two-day event has been organised by DU’s Gender Studies Group, an independent and non-funded student group “committed to reading, writing and thinking about gender.” 

With the novel film fest, the group is trying to raise awareness regarding women’s sexuality and marginalisation of lesbians.

Among the movies to be screened is the Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi-starrer Fire

Among the movies to be screened is the Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi-starrer Fire

“We are holding a film festival and calling it a lesbian film festival because of the marginalisation of lesbians in our culture. Women who love women are erased. Same sex culture is dominated by gay men. Women are not given space to be on their own. So, we want to create that space and focus on how to create that space,” one of the organisers said.

The film festival will showcase, among other films, Deepa Mehta’s Fire starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das.

The movies will be shown at the department of political science in the university and the organisers have kept the entry free and open to all.

“We have focused on Indian films because lesbian space is particularly neglected here. We have a range of films from an earlier representation of lesbians in art film Umbartha in 1983 to Fire in 1998, which created a great controversy and inaugurated a lesbian movement in Delhi in the form of CALERI (campaign for lesbian rights),” the organiser said.

The films lined up at the event include Debalina Majumder’s Ebang Bewarish (…And the Unclaimed) and And You Thought You Knew Me by activist Pramada Menon.

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