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Southern India gears up for first transgender film festival

Southern India gears up for first transgender film festival

Shooting a movie (Photo: Transgender Film Festival)

India’s southern city of Madurai is hosting its first transgender film festival later this month.

The Madurai Transgender Film Festival will take place on October 26 and 27.

The festival has so far received more than 30 entrants, according to festival founder Priya Babu. Even so, organizers have extended the submission deadline to October 22.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the best documentaries, the best director, the best cinematographer, theme, actor, actress and music, Priya Babu told the Times of India.

‘Many aspirants have sought appointments with transgenders and are making efforts to portray the lives of those who have made a life for themselves to inspire others’ she said.

The 32 movies already submitted include documentaries and fiction movies and come from as far away as Mumbai and Punjab. The event will take place at the American College in Madurai.

Discrimination from birth

Even though India’s Supreme Court recently ruled that a law making gay sex illegal was not constitutional, transgender people are still very much at risk.

LGB Indians are now pushing for equality in marriage and adoption rights. But, transgender Indians are denied basic rights from birth, said Kritika Singh, board member of Transgender India.

Transgender Indians need access to education, healthcare, and support services.

‘Nothing has changed for Transgender people nothing has increased for them since they were most vulnerable always’, Singh told Gay Star News last month.

Even though the government has directed to make laws, it has failed. ‘Still transgender Indians are not free’.

A bill to protect the rights of transgender persons is languishing in parliament. The dismantling of Section 377 will not protect transgender Indians from violence at work or in relationships.

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