The two-part event started with the screening of the short film Time Out – a story of two brothers, who find their relationship tested after one of them is accidentally revealed to be gay. A feature film based on this short movie was released recently across the country. This was followed by a panel discussion on coming out and acceptance of the LGBT community in every area of life. Our high-powered panel included Radhika Piramal, MD of VIP Industries Ltd., Padma Iyer (whose decision to place a matrimonial listing for her gay son Harrish Iyer in a city newspaper started heated conversations about same-sex marriage in India) and Joe Zachariah (who led the India LGBT Employee Resource Group in his previous firm, Goldman Sachs and is actively involved in bringing in more LGBT inclusive policies in his current firm). The conversation was moderated by Farah Nathani-Menzies, head of Diversity Inclusion at Godrej Industries Ltd.
In the second part of the evening we screened the extraordinary documentary Breaking Free followed by a Q&A with the director of the film, Sridhar Rangayan. Seven years in the making, Breaking Free chronicles the brutality the LGBT community has suffered and continues to suffer from various factions in society. Through personal accounts from victims, activists and lawyers, the film traces both the rise of the LGBT movement and the effect of section 377 on the LGBT community. Sridhar Rangayan is a pioneering LGBT filmmaker and activist in India and the founder of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – South Asia’s biggest queer film fest.
Abhra Das who attended the event, refelects on the conversations that took place in a blogpost for the Lab where he talks about LGBT inclusion in Hindi Cinema. (Read the blog here)