The strike of the National Union of Mineworkers, lead by Arthur Scargill has been referred to by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as one of the most bitter industrial dispute in British History. And Pride, Stephen Beresford’s 2014 drama is set smack in the middle of it. It tells of a story of an unlikely friendship forged between a group of gay and lesbian activists and the inhabitants of Onllwyn, a mining village in Wales.

Pride, is one of the movies that will be screened at Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival 2015, to be held from 24-26 July at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in the Nungambakkam neighbourhood.

The three-day-long festival, which will see screenings of feature films, short films and documentaries, revolving around issues of sexuality and gender diversity is being organized by the Goethe-Institut in association with Orinam, a local collective that provides support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in the city.

Over 95 submissions were received this year, and the final line-up includes 23 films from eight countries, with India and Germany topping the list.

Moses Tulasi, one of the filmmakers who will be showcasing his film Walking the Walk, a documentary that follows the participants of Hyderabad’s Queer Pride March earlier this year, says, “In the winter of 2014, I took a sabbatical from work and traveled to India, tracing my roots back to my home state, in search of a socially relevant subject for my first documentary film. I was inspired to give a platform to socio-politically charged queer rights movement in the city of Hyderabad, set against the backdrop of recently successful social movement which led to formation of a brand new state in India, Telangana. This is how the film Walking the Walk, was made."

Other entrants include films like Nachtelle, Purple Skies and Papilio Buddha, in addition to live performances such as Queering Dance and Colour of Trans and panel discussions on free speech and creative expressions.

This is the latest in the series of queer festivals that have been held in the city; other have been held in the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Sami, a city-based queer woman who has attended a festival in 2013 says, “Through such Queer film festivals we bring together stories from so many different cultures and spaces, across generations in some cases, with stories of coming out, of pain and heartbreak, of rock solid affirmation, of euphoria, of questioning and performance," she says.

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