British Council to Organize LGBTI Film Festival

Kathmandu (Pahichan) October 25 – The British Council on Wednesday announced the screening of short films from British Film Institute’s Flare, London’s LGBT Film Festival.

Federation of Sexual and Gender minorities Nepal (FSGMN) organizing a press conference in Kathmandu, BC informed in details about the festival.  Photo Kathmandu, British Council, and Blue Diamond Society (BDS) are jointly presenting a series of screenings of those short films. And the event is collateral of the ongoing third edition of Photo Kathmandu.

The movies being screened have different thematic focuses such as gender, patriarchy, power, sexuality and identity.

The screening program includes drama and documentary, poetry, and dance, which explore and celebrate a range of LGBT experiences. They are, essentially, about finding out and standing up for who you are, the organizers said.

The public screening is dated on November 4 at the British Council at Lainchaur, Kathmandu. Apart from the public screening, the shorts movies are to be screened in three academic institutions of the capital.

Art Manager of Council Nishal Oli informed that LGBTI film festival is taking place for the first time in Nepal. He said 9 films that were screened in UK will be screened in Nepal. Those films will be screened in three colleges of Kathmandu valley targeting teachers and students.

Niranjan Kunwar of Photo Kathmandu said it helps to change the negative mindset towards LGBTI that is prevalent in society. “Overnight change is not possible and it is not guarantee that we can bring change it is just our efforts,” said Kunwar. The photo exhibition of LGBTI will take place on Friday.

Various short films are to be shown during the festival, including ‘We Love Moses’, ‘I am a Woman’, ‘Crush’, ‘Strings’, ‘Take Your Partners’, ‘Balcony’, ‘Jamie’, ‘Where We Are Now’ and ‘Chance’.  ‘Swikar’ is about the acceptance of a gay person in Nepali family Anuj Pitar. The short films are mostly about finding out and exploring one’s identity.

Speaking at the press meet, Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender rights activist, said that in general, Nepali movies often make joke of the LGBTIQ community. “Though most of the people are aware of the LGBTIQ issues, the films here in Nepal still take our community as a joke. The LGBTIQ people are included but they are mostly given a funny role. As a result of that fact, the society still takes the LGBTIQ people very lightly,” she added.

Mohit Rauniyar, coordinator of the screenings around different academic institutions of Kathmandu, said: “We screened at Ullens School and the students gave the testimonials about the movie collection. If our further screening makes the students and other people raise a question about identity and sexuality, it will be our biggest achievement.”