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Mediacon 2018: Breaking trans stereotypes

Shedding new light on the oppressions faced by the third gender in the film industries though documentaries at Medicon 2018.


“Cinemas are controlling every field from our ministers to our conscious to the way we love and the way we move. The film on transgender generally sees the directors mocking the protagonist behind the scene, which is really hurting. The very normal perspective of looking at a transgender as person itself is missing from the industry of filmmakers. Directors have no idea about the extent of sexual violence transgender face in their everyday life.”, said Leena Manimekalai, poet and filmmaker, during a panel conversation Against Documentary on Dalits and trangenders and their negative portrayal in cinema, moderated by Ms.Vijeta Kumar, writer and assistant professor, department of English at SJC.

Leena Manimekalai’s film is it too much to ask?features Living Smile Vidya and Angel Glady, who always face rejection; have to find themselves a house to live. Glady and Smile face rejection because of their gender and their eating habits. In one of the encounters, Smiley has a conversation with a landlord during which she explains that she isn’t single by choice and would love to settle down with the right person if she had a chance.

“I would urge you to question your comfort zone and have friends who are trans, Dalits and I think with that a lot of stereotype that you see on screen will be shattered”said Gee Imaan Semmalar, trans activist and theatre artist.

“When I made my first film, I didn’t know how to handle a camera, even now it’s the same but I can make better films than anyone else suffering from the same, as I think that content is more important than aesthetics of a documentary, because the content creates politics.” said Mr Somnath Waghmare, Filmmaker and PhD scholar. “Cinema politics has its roots in religion but this isn’t spoken about often because sensible people are limited in the cinematic market.” He concluded.


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