13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival – LGBTQ Shorts
$10 General Admission
A collection of short films that explore the transgender experience in various South Asian contexts.
Thedal (The Search)
(Monachan R, India, 2017, 18 min, in Tamil)
Sudha, a transgender woman, has felt the sting of rejection her whole life, including from her own mother. All alone and trying to find her place in the world, Sudha struggles, falls, and picks herself back up. As her mother begins to understand Sudha’s perspective, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and love – and face the ugly prejudices against transgender people together.
Director’s Bio: Monachan R has been making films since he was 18 year old. He took a Graphics and Animation Course from the Centre of Science and Technology For Rural Development in Kerala in 2008 and completed a 3D Graphics & Animation program from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham at the University of Kerala in 2010. Two years later he began his career as an animator at Ideaheavens. He completed his B.A. in Visual Design, specializing in film, at the Don Bosco College of Art and Design in Chennai in 2017. Thedal was one of the films he made during his final year as a visual arts student. Shortly after graduation, Monachan won the prize for Best Photography Portfolio on Behance Chennai.
(Gopal Shivakoti, Nepal, 2018, 13 mins, in Nepali)
Pinky Gurung is busy campaigning door to door. A trans woman, she is also a candidate under the Proportional Representation (PR) category from one of the political parties. Gurung is of the view that there is a need for representation of transgender people in the new parliament to raise the voices of gender and sexual minorities.
Director’s Bio: Gopal Shivakoti has been working in films and digital media since 2004. He is primarily a visual editor but also does 2D animation, motion-graphics, and filmmaking. He has been a key resource person at “Young-Cuts! the Filmmaking Workshop” in Kathmandu since 2013. His hobbies include ethnology and documentary filmmaking.
(Maaria Sayed, India, 2016, 14 min, in Hindi & Urdu)
Chudala is an intimate exploration of a father-daughter relationship in a rapidly developing India. Based on a mythological story of a woman who turns into a man to gain respect from her family, the film tells the story of Rukhsana, a lower-middle-class Muslim girl, who returns to her house as a man, Rehan, and is haunted by the memories of life as a woman.
Director’s Bio: Born in 1989, Maaria Sayed graduated with a degree in literature in India before she moving to London, where received her Masters in Filmmaking. With a background in painting and theatrical performance, turned to cinema to combine her interests. She has lived in Mumbai, Singapore, London, and Milan, but is most connected to stories about spiritual enlightenment experienced by women in a very specific Indian setting. She was selected among the top 24 filmmakers of Asia to be a part of the Busan Asian Film Academy 2016, where she co-directed the short film Cichlid. Her film was screened at the Busan International FIlm Festival 2016, where she was awarded an Outstanding Performance scholarship. Her experimental feature documentary Wai Guo Ren, filmed in Singapore, is currently in post-production, and she is developing a feature film project in India. Her production company, Draw4Films, seeks to create more world cinema.
The Kinnaras of the Dark World
(Anas Muhassin, India, 2018, 5 min, in Kannada)
The Kinnaras of the Dark World (The Transgenders of the Dark World) is a visual representation of a poem by Bengaluru-based trans activist RJ and performer Shilok Mukkati. The film and the poem explores Shilok’s angst as she battles indifference and ridicule at home and from society at large.
Director’s Bio: Anas Muhassin is a 24-year-old filmmaker from Kerala. He has been working in the film industry for the last 4 years and has been steadily building his portfolio. The Kinnaras of the Dark World is his directorial debut.
(V Ramanathan, India, 2017, 17 min, in Tamil)
Krithika and Shireen are friends who strive for societal recognition of their preferred and lived genders. Shireen drives a taxi to support herself and Krithika is focused on her ambition to become a police officer. Shireen’s theatrical ambitions fail as theatre groups see her physical attributes as male and refuse to cast her in female roles. Krithika fights to be able to take part in the police selection trials in the female category. She is admitted to the trials, but her success in the competition is dampened by her realization that truly being recognized woman by society is still a distant dream.
Director’s Bio: After working for 15 years in the field of finance, an inner creative urge pushed V Ramanathan to pursue a course in filmmaking. This move enabled him to tell stories, gave his life new meaning, and broadened his horizons by exposing him to subjects like sociology, history, alternate development models, and anthropology.