The ninth edition of the Bengaluru Queer Film Festival is all set to kick off on March 9. The three-day film festival, which is going to be held at the Max Mueller Bhavan in Bengaluru, will feature 88 films from 30 countries.
There are lots of films – both short and feature length – to look forward to. “We have tried to choose films that push the boundaries of what queerness is,” says Nitya Vasudevan, BQFF co-director. “There are films from different regions of the world, independent films, Indian films, those that feature experimental filmmaking, archival accounts and more. Something for every audience,” she adds.
Among the major feature-length films are Malini Jeevarathnam’s Tamil documentary Ladies and Gentlewomen. The film has been selected for screening at seven international film festivals and has won the Best Documentary award at three.
There’s also Suresh Narayanan’s Irattajeevitham, a film about two friends, Sainu and Amina, who were attracted to each other. However, “Inside Amina is a man yearning for release. As they slip into adolescence, this reality becomes a stark and unbearable one and one day Amina disappears from home,” says the description of the film.
Among the international films, there’s Malila: The Farewell Flower, a Thai film by Anucha Boonyawatana. It revolves around Pitch and Shane, once lovers, who are trying to revive their romance “by fabricating a traditional Thai ornament made of leaves and flowers and symbolizing love and virtue.”
Portrait of Jason, an American film directed by Shirley Clarke, features highlights of a 12-hour interview with Aaron Payne, alias, Jason Holliday, who talks about what it was like to be gay and black in the US in the 1960s.
More Than T, an American documentary, provides insights into the lives of seven transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. It is directed by award-winning feature film, documentary film, music video, web series and television director and writer, Silas Howard.
There are several Indian films such as Turup and If You Dare Desire too.
Films from across the world, including Philippines, Iran, Iraq, France, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Peru, Belgium, and Ukraine, to name a few, will also be featured.
This is the second time BQFF is collaborating with curator Thomas Waugh to bring a 90-minute program called I confess, which has autobiographical shorts from the Canadian Queer Film Archive. “The program of “confessional” works by lesbian, gay, bi, trans* and queer makers reflects the artistic as well as geographical, cultural, linguistic, generational and sexual diversity of Canadian queer media makers,” says a media release.
The ninth edition of BQFF will also feature packages from Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival and LGBT shorts from the UK through a British Council international touring programme in association with BFI Flare.
“This is not just a platform for queer films, but also for queer artists from all walks of life to come together,” Nitya says.
The entry to the festival is free. You can donate here.