​Reel Desires, International Queer Film Festival, Held in Chennai

Held from July 29 to 31, the Reel Desires Chennai International Queer Film festival – 2016 was the next in the series of the festival held yearly. The film festival showcased short films, documentaries and performances on the theme of gender diversity and sexuality aiming to bring about awareness and acceptance of LGBTQI community. The festival had screening of Aligarh (2015 movie) as a primary attraction. Short films from German film festivals Berlinale and Dresdon along with You and I (2013 movie) were also screened.

A panel discussion titled ‘Ending Gender and Sexuality based Violence’ was held. Dance performances by members of the community were also held. The film festival was organized by Orinam . SAATHII, Nirangal, East-west center for counselling, RIOV and Goethe-Institut Chennai partnered with Orinam to organize the film festival. For the 2016 festival, Reel Desires partnered with the British Council and presented short films from fiveFilms4freedom, a global and digital LGBT film festival.

The festival started on 29th July at 6 pm with a welcome address and Bharatnatyam by Ponni and Anjali, who run a dance school for children in Vyasarpadi. The day ended with a documentary titled ‘Breaking Free’ by Sridhar Rangayan. The second day of the festival, 30th July was held from 3 pm to 9 pm and started with a classical dance performance by Taejha Singh, and ended with You and I, a German romantic comedy. The concluding day of the festival was held from 3 pm to 9 pm, and the festival ended with a screening of Aligarh.

Keshav Bimbraw