Co-curated with Tej Patta (aka Tejal Shah)
A program of queer voices from India, featuring a a live neo-benshi performance, and a range of queer and experimental shorts culled from the last decade.
• Chingari Chumma (Anuj Vaidya & Tejal Shah, USA/India, 8.5 mins, 2000) In this spoof on Bollywood cinema, the artists take a hackneyed and too-often used plot point from Hindi cinema and turn it into a queer fantasy – to outrageous effect!
• Make Ups (Jehangir Jani, India, 8 mins, 2005) Three Mumbai-ites, an ageing actress (a still-lustrous Zeenat Aman), a call girl on her way to an appointment and a gay man cruising at the railway station are united through the simple but transformative act of putting on make up.
• The Bath (Sachin Kundalkar, India, 16 mins, 2005) A poignant film that trails a male prostitute in the megacity of Bombay. He sleeps by day and walks the streets by night, and has an unexpected encounter with a trick who helps mend a little piece of his broken soul.
• Call It Slut (Nishtha Jain, India, 14 mins, 2006) A miniature portrait of a wickedly outrageous and compassionate transgender woman who fearlessly takes on patriarchal attitudes and pokes fun at middle class morality.
• There is a Spider Living Between Us (Tejal Shah, India, 7 mins, 2006) Using still frame animation and photo collage, this experimental short considers desire – the yearning for two, to become one.
• Aur Pachhim: Transvestites in Space (Anuj Vaidya, India/USA, 11 mins, 2010) In this queer, high-camp, science fiction, fantasy, neo-benshi reworking of the ‘patriotic’ Manoj Kumar classic Purab aur Pachhim, a pod of sterilized male transvestites is sent off to the moon to shop and smoke, in order save the ailing economy of Earth.
• 365 Without 377 (Adele Tuli, Italy, 10 mins, 2011)
One of the legacies of British colonial rule in India was section 377, which criminalized homosexuality. Almost 150 years after it became part of India’s penal code, section 377 was repealed and India’s LGBT community rejoiced. 365 without 377 documents the one year anniversary of the repeal, and follows three members of India’s queer community as they celebrate this victory.
Wallfly, Goa, India, June 2014
Art Center School of Design, Pasadena, CA, August 2014