His hand quivers as he slides make-up and jewellery across his dressing table and into a basket. The old man in front of the mirror, Joe, is saying goodbye to Jana, the drag queen he used to be, because he is too old and too tired to live a life mired in duality any more. These poignant sequences are from a short film, Mirror, Mirror, made in 2007 by Australian film-maker John Winter.
A still fromMr&Mrs Singh.
Mirror, Mirror is one of the many powerful shorts being shown at the Bangalore Queer Film Festival (BQFF) from 26-28 February. The second edition of the queer film festival will screen 50 films from 11 countries, including Egypt and Iran, with feature films, documentaries and experimental films as part of a diverse line-up. Hosted by Good As You (GAY), the Swabhava Trust, and We’re Here and Queer (WHaQ!), the BQFF hopes to bring quality queer cinema to the city, offering varied perspectives of the queer community, and attempting to steer clear of stereotypical queer representations in popular cinema.
A still from DIANA.
PVR Cinemas, in collaboration with BQFF, will premiere the much-awaited film A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode and Julianne Moore, in India. Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, the film set in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, tells the story of 52-year-old British college professor George Falconer (Firth), who struggles to find meaning in life after the death of his long-time partner Jim (Goode).
The critically acclaimed short from the UK called Diana, directed by Aleem Khan in 2009 will be screened too. This is the story of Mohit, an Indian pre-op transsexual who has been rejected by his parents back home and works in London as a prostitute. An emotional short about the two princesses he knows, Diana and himself, the film was screened at the 23rd London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in March 2009 and has won several awards, including the Jury Award for the Best Short Film at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in October.
Among the films by Indian film-makers is a short called Family in Frame by Neelu Bhuman, who now lives in the US. It is a simple yet revealing look at her family’s response to her bisexuality. Mr and Mrs Singh, made by Punam (US, 2009), is a parody of Mr and Mrs Smith, in which both husband and wife discover each other’s sexuality through the course of a marriage they entered into to appease their families.
A still from Mirror Mirror.
The BQFF—as Vinay Chandran, one of the festival organizers says—“is as much a place for advocacy and awareness as it is for cinema.”
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