Gender roles, stereotypes, and sexual orientation are issues that have slowly but steadily been gaining importance in the public space. Hoping to give the discussion a push in the Delhi University (DU) campus, the gender forums of several colleges have come together to host a film festival.
“We wanted to do something where people can form a community to come together and discuss various gender and sexuality issues,” says Anjali Chauhan, senior coordinator of Parivartan, the gender forum of Kirori Mal College. She adds, “Every college has picked a theme as per which they have decided which movie to screen. Our theme is moral policing around sexuality so we screened Aligarh.”
The six-day-long festival, an initiative by Parivartan, will also screen movies such as Fandry, That Girl in Yellow Boots, The Little Mermaid among others. Utpal Gore, of Astitva — the gender forum of Ramjas College shares that the idea was to cover the various branches of gender issues. He says, “Gender is a very pervasive concept. If one says women are oppressed, then another can say that Dalit women are more oppressed than others so we’ve included things such as intersectionality as well,” adding, “It is for this reason that we will showcase Carol, as it is the only film with a lesbian protagonist.”
The film festival is an open to all event. Chauhan says, “Anyone can come and watch the movies, not just students. Keeping it limited just to college students would have beaten the purpose as we want to get more and more people talking about these concerns.”
The need for a film festival on gender issues is reiterated by students in other colleges as well. Paras Gupta (name changed), a third year student from Ramjas College, says that it is a welcome change that students in the varsity are taking up gender issues.
He adds, “I am a non-conformist dresser and this becomes a problem for me, especially during election days. There are these burly men in the campus, the air is full of testosterone and someone like me is looked at in a funny way. We need more discussions like these to open up people’s minds.”