India’s biggest international queer film festival is asking ‘everyone’ to help design its official poster, amid an ongoing court case to repeal gay sex, and give an expression to the LGBT community.
The winning design will be featured as hoardings, print and online advertisements, catalogue cover, banners, cinema slides and delegate cards for KASHISH 2012. The awards include an award plaque, a copy of the poster, an official T-shirt and a guest pass for all the events from 23 to 27 May in Mumbai.
‘Considering the current legal, social and political climate in India, it is all the more important for us to underline the fact that being LGBT is not just about sex, but also about various sensibilities and aspirations that comprise our identities,” said festival director and film maker Sridhar Rangayan. ‘The poster contest is a way to channelize this expression.’
Religious groups told the Supreme Court on Wednesday (29 February) that gay sex is ‘immoral’, against ‘religion’ and ‘majoritarian sexual morality’, claiming it would lead to a ‘horrendous’ situation.
The court, meanwhile, asked the government Thursday (1 March) for further details about the LGBT community, including its number and the size of those infected with HIV, according to Deccaan Chronicle.
Following much confusion, the government will soon file an affidavit on the directions of the Court informing it about the stand taken by the Union Cabinet on decriminalization of gay sex, reported The Times of India.
Activists believe more should be done to create a respectful and inclusive environment, where LGBT rights are not just grudgingly tolerated.
‘There needs to be more civil-society action on the part of the community, and I think there has to be a greater acceptance on the part of society at large, said Suneeta Singh, CEO of Amaltas, a New Delhi–based development-research organization. ‘Change will come, but only through great persistence and perseverance.’
With ‘For Everyone’ as the theme this year, the third edition of the country’s only mainstream queer film festival aims to serve not just the queer community, but also their families and friends.
The KASHISH festival screened 124 films from 23 countries with about 6225 audience footfalls last year. The deadline for submitting posters will be 15 March.