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Film Festival on Gender Sexuality Draws Crowds

Sensitive issues, poignant emotions and subjects that are not often discussed like cross-dressing, homosexuality and the human body were the mainstay of the international film festival on gender and sexuality, which attracted quite a crowd on its first day Saturday.

Brought together by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), Prasar Bharati Corporation, the Mac Arthur Foundation and UNESCO, the four-day festival at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), will screen 44 award-winning films from across the world.

"I looked up the itinary of IHC a few days back and saw the festival slated for today. Me and my friends decided to check it out and we are not disappointed. We have decided to camp here for the next four days!" Akhila, a student, said after three movies were screened.

"They are sensible, talk of real issues and real people. These movies are simply great with some great cinematography. I wish there were more festivals like these in the capital," said Hemant, a photographer.

Talking of issues, "About the body", a 55-minute film from Israel dealt with the lives of four young women over a period of three months after they were severely injured in different terrorist attacks.

While their physical wounds start healing, the scars remain, both physical as well as mental. "My crinkled skin scares people. I feel different from the rest now and very lonely," said one of the characters.

But the end was more positive with the girls finally coming around with help from their family and a dance therapist.

"Tomboys! Feisty Girls and Spirited Women", a 28-minutes film from the US, was lighter and made the audience laugh. The film traces and celebrates the lives of four women who have steered away from the conventional path and have chosen to live the way they want to.

A firefighter, an activist, a boxer and a student, all the four women have never enjoyed the compa ny of women as much as they have loved jumping around with little boys when they were young and watching a game of base ball with their buddies when they grew older.

"Let them be...if a girl does not want to do something, don't force her. Let her grow the way she wants to, that's how she will be different," they say at the end of the film.

Bringing out many more issues and talking about them in the open, the festival is a sure treat for cine lovers.


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