Queer Voices from Mumbai

Jeff Roy

Queer Voices from Mumbai

19 July 2013 5 PM

In the Fall of 2012, while on a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, American filmmaker and PhD student Jeff Roy came to Mumbai to film a documentary on music, dance, and performance art expressions from within the city's LGBTQ and Hijra communities. Combining interviews and performances from established and emerging performers in contemporary and folk traditions, the films that Roy will share with us show how the fundamental practice of music and dance helps to empower and strengthen individual LGBTQ voices as they navigate tradition and modernity in Mumbai's urban landscape.


Throughout the year, Roy posted short videos on the Fulbright-mtvU website to engage his participants and audience throughout the process of making this film (http://www.fulbright.mtvU.com/jroy). Roy's presentation for Godrej India Culture Lab strung together these videos, along with additional observations and anecdotes, in the first public presentation of his documentary in Mumbai. 

About the Filmmaker 

Jeff Roy is a documentary filmmaker, musician, and Fulbright-mtvU Fellow based in Los Angeles and Mumbai. Roy holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UCLA and is currently working towards a PhD in the same field. A professional Western and Indian classical violinist, Roy has performed with a number of internationally renowned musicians, including Ustad Imrat Khan, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Dave Brubeck, and Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil. He also composes music for film and live performances. 

Roy recently found his voice in film direction and production. His first film, Rites of Passage (also known as Mohammed to Maya), follows the gender transition of an male-to-female transsexual woman from Tamil Nadu. Last year, the film screened at over 50 international film festivals and has won numerous awards including, more recently, the Special Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.