In a first, Allahabad Queer Film Fest on September 21-22 - Hindustan Times
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In a first, Allahabad Queer Film Fest on September 21-22

Hindustan Times, Prayagraj | By, Prayagraj
Sep 18, 2019 09:18 AM IST

The festival will be organised under the banner of the ‘Resistive Alliance for Queer Solidarity’ (RAQS) and the Humsafar Trust.

A year after the Supreme Court read down provisions of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalised consensual same-sex relations, members of the LGBTQ community say they still find themselves fighting prejudices and facing ridicule at the hands of insensitive people.

A poster of the Allahabad Queer Film Fest to be organised in Prayagraj on September 21-22.
A poster of the Allahabad Queer Film Fest to be organised in Prayagraj on September 21-22.

Now, in a step aimed at busting myths about the community and increasing their acceptance in society, a group of youngsters in the Sangam city are organising the two-day ‘Allahabad Queer Film Fest’, beginning on September 21.

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The festival -- the first in the deeply religious and, according to many, conservative city -- will be organised under the banner of the ‘Resistive Alliance for Queer Solidarity’ (RAQS) and the Humsafar Trust, a Mumbai-based social organisation that works to promote rights of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community.

“The fest being organised by RAQS and sponsored by Humsafar Trust will screen films on issues faced by the community across the country,” said Pratik Srivastav, a lawyer at the Allahabad high court and a core member of the RAQS.

“The screenings will take place at the auditorium of the Allahabad Medical Association (AMA). Some films / videos that will be shown are: ‘All About Love’, ‘Avahan’, ‘Red Wali Dress’ and ‘Lesbian Anthem’. The last is a music video by Chennai-based actor-filmmaker-activist Malini Jeevarathnam,” he told HT.

Dharmesh Chaubey, another member of the festival’s organising committee, said, “The fest will be open to all. We plan to screen 10 films, including short films and documentaries, from 12 noon to 6 pm on both days. As we want the message to reach everyone, the screenings will mainly be in Hindi.”

The organising team also includes Toshi Pandey, member of NGO ‘India Fellow’, Vivek Ranjan Singh, Allahabad University research scholar and others.

Pratik said that the RAQS was an Allahabad-based youth initiative that started in February 2017. “It is working on issues related to gender, sexuality and mental health. We focus on young queer people,” he said.

“The Humsafar Trust, founded in April 1994 by journalist Ashok Row Kavi, aims to reach out to the LGBTQ community in Mumbai and other areas,” he said

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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