With the legal and social environment in India still being challenging for the LGBT community, who continues to remain in the shadows, there is very little resources available for making films on LGBT issues. That’s why award winning filmmaker and activist Sridhar Rangayan has turned to crowdfunding to support his next film ‘Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam)’ about parental acceptance of children.
“We have been wanting to make this film for past 7 years, and knocked many doors. But we could not find anyone who wants to invest in a honest and truthful gay film. So we decided to partly self-fund the film and raise part of money through crowdfunding,” said Rangayan, “We are receiving a very positive response, and it is heartwarming.”
Speaking about the campaign, Anshulika Dubey, COO of Wishberry, which is one of India’s leading crowdfunding platform, said, “We loved the story of the film as it showcases the plight of the mother when faced with an unconventional situation. Very few stories of the LGBT community are shown through the eyes of the parents and that’s what is different about this film. We hope to succeed like all other such projects have on Wishberry.”
‘Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam)’ crowdfunding campaign is already creating a good buzz on social media with parents and activists sharing videos about need for this film. With a crowdfunding target of Rs.10 lacs, the campaign has already raised around Rs.4.5 lacs from 51 backers across the world. The campaign offers very interesting rewards to backers. Apart from invitation to a special preview of the film, the producers are also offering an acting workshop with renowned actor Mona Ambegaonkar who plays the lead in the film, as well as a coffee chat with director Sridhar Rangayan to know about how to crowdfund a film.
But most importantly 10% of the money raised through this campaign will be used to facilitate formation of a parent support group in Mumbai, on the lines of the PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) groups in USA.
Considering that ‘Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam)’ is not just a film, but a movement that promises greater acceptance of LGBT community, equal rights activist Harish Iyer and gay rights activist Pallav Patankar have joined hands with Rangayan to raise the funds because they believe this film can make a difference.
“This is not just a gay themed film… it is a film about our stories, our pains, our struggles, our triumphs. So we should partner with it to make this happen. It is not an appeal from the filmmaker alone, it is an opportunity for us to partner in ushering the change we wish to see through the medium of cinema,” said Iyer.
“The uneasiness in discussing issues around sexuality creates walls between parents and children and disturbs their relationships. It’s extremely important for the LGBT community to build these bonds and to strengthen them. I feel that films such as ‘Evening Shadows’ will pave the way to address these uneasy conversations and strengthen the LGBT discourse in India,” said Patankar.
Set in a small town in India, ‘Evening Shadows (Surmaee Shaam)’ is not only the journey of young gay photojournalist Kartik coming out to his conservative family, but also the journey of his traditional mother Vasudha to come to terms with her son’s life, and through the process also be empowered as a woman within a patriarchal society.
“It is a film that needs to be made now, to reach out the message to a mass audience how important family bonds are for gay and lesbian youth too, as much as anyone else. The film is about love and acceptance and we hope lots of people come together to make this film happen,” said Rangayan.
You can donate to the crowdfunding campaign here
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