In addition to film screenings, the three-day festival also has an exciting line-up of performances by distinguished artists and activists.

Reel Desires Chennai International Queer Film Festival back with sixth editionFacebook/CIQFF
Features Culture Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 12:52

Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival (CIQFF) is back with its sixth edition beginning this Friday, July 27. In addition to film screenings, the three-day festival also has an exciting line-up of performances by distinguished artists and activists.

The inaugural day will see artist and activist Kalki Subramaniam hosting poetry-film screenings and poetry reading. Saturday’s line-up includes a panel discussion on ‘Intersections and Solidarities’, featuring speakers from various social justice movements and corporate diversity-inclusion initiatives. Writer and activist A Revathi will present her acclaimed solo play ‘Vellai Mozhi’, based on her book of the same name, on the last day.

The principal organisers of CIQFF 2018 are Orinam and Goethe-Institut, working in partnership with Nirangal, Chennai Queer Café (CQC), SAATHII, and East-West Center for Counselling and Training. This festival’s highlight is the queer film package from the Berlinale Spotlight, featuring films from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Argentina and Brazil.

This year, the festival organisers have curated 32 films from 17 countries through a community-led review process. Felix, a volunteer at Orinam, shares that out of the 120 films submitted, the reviewers went through an elaborate selection process over a period of three months.

“We were not looking just for queer-themed films but films that addressed intersectional aspects like feminism, patriarchy, etc.”

This year the festival will also showcase three feature films – Irattajeevitham (Malayalam), Ein Weg (German) and My Son is Gay (Tamil).

“Regional content is definitely changing and there are more filmmakers who are making queer films in India today. The change is surely encouraging,” says Felix.

Of the 32 films that will be screened, 10 are by Indian filmmakers, shares Felix. “These films were not looked at favourably just because they are Indian films. We had a strict selection procedure,” he adds.

Some must-watch films at the festival

A Thousand Years of Love | Myat Noe (Burmese)

Wai and Ingyinn, two young girls, meet and are attracted to each other immediately. But Ingyinn is confused and is also engaged to a man. Wai, an emotionally fragile person, must also put her feelings in check.

Older Than What? (English)

Twelve LGBTQ seniors respond to 10 questions about aging and share stories about how they made history.

Anthadhi (Malayalam)

Two women in love, balancing each other’s nature, in a never-ending vortex of ends and beginnings.

Iyal (Tamil)

This film is about a heterosexual man’s emotions after he encounters a gay relationship for the first time.

To be held at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in Chennai, the festival’s timings are between 6.00 and 9.00 pm on Friday and between 3.00 and 9.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more details, please visit their Facebook page.

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