By Ishaan Gambhir, Sept 30, 2014, DU Beat
Using the medium of film, Gender Studies Group attempted to sensitize the youth of Delhi University by organising its first Lesbian Film Festival on 26-27 September at Lecture Hall, Faculty of Social Sciences.
Gender Studies Group is an independent, University-wide student group “committed to reading, writing and thinking about gender”. It conducts reading groups and organises events around questions of gender every month.
Among the films projected was Deepa Mehta’s Fire, which was met with a lot of outrage and controversy in India in its public release year of 1998. The film revolves around the life of a woman who falls in love with her sister-in-law.
The film festival drew an audience of over a 100 students on both the days. “Women who love women are ‘invisibilised’ and erased. Same sex culture is dominated by gay men. Women are not given space to be on their own in the culture, to breathe in their own space. So, we want to create that space and focus on how to create that space,” said Aapurv Jain of Gender Studies Group. While the organisers consider the festival majorly successful, they also recall unsavoury remarks made both online and at the festival, especially related to the name of the festival.
Among other films showcased at the festival were Umbartha by Jabbar Patel and Debalina’s Ebang Bewarish and More Than a Friend. The movies were followed by a panel discussion on lesbian representation in cinema.
Image Credits: Gurbir Singh Sidhu