Pinki Pramanik looms large over the LGBT film festival

Despite, not being present physically, athlete Pinki Pramanik kept on whining at the inaugural day of DIALOGUES, the 6th annual Kolkata Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) film & video festival here on Friday evening.

The ardour conveyed that, the day this society becomes au fait with the people categorised as number “6”, more than a million people belonging to the queer community, like Pinki, who are struggling for their real gender identity, would be relieved from being called a chhakka (the sixer) on the streets, in clubs and at homes.

“The most exciting part of cricket is hitting a six, everyone loves a sixer. No matter where we go, we always find a cheering audience. Once the world understands the significance of number 6, probably life can be different for people like Pinki,” Anindya Hajra of Pratyay Gender Trust (PGT), one of the organisers of the festival told a 300-plus audience that included Tollywood actress June Maliah, designer Nil of designer-duo Dev r Nil among others. Maliah said that it was high time we bridge the gap between the appreciative “sixer” in a cricketing term and a derogatory “sixer” in the queer term.

“Anyone from our family could be from this community. Once we understand that probably then we will realise Pinki’s struggle,” Maliah said.

Organised by PGT and Sappho for Equality (SFE) in collaboration with GoetheInstitute/Max Mueller Haven and title-sponsored by Berlin Film Festival, dialogues brings to audiences 42 LGBT themed films and documentaries from across the world, including India, Australia, Thailand, Germany, Israel and others.

“It was difficult to find films with LGBT themes and characters, when we started with the festival in 2007. But with so many bold and fascinating works, we are actually celebrating a festival this year,” Malobika of SFE said.


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