Introduced by filmmaker Avijit Mukul Kishore
“Expressions Un/Spoken,” the short-film program for Houston’s 2018 FotoFest Biennial INDIA, features representations of love, gender, and sexuality, made over a 40-year period. With distinctive voices, and in a variety of genres, the four films reflect the restrictions or freedom offered by their context and production environment—such as state documentary, independent film, and mainstream Bollywood.
(Fiction, 1996, 12 minutes)
Directed by Riyad Vinci Wadia, Wadia Movietone
Six vignettes depict the underground and complex nature of the gay identity in urban India. Part Bollywood and part French writer Jean Genet, BomGay combines the acidic verse of poet R. Raj Rao and the insightful imagery of Riyad Vinci Wadia to reveal the emerging gay community in the post-liberalized India of the 1990s.
Call It Slut
(Documentary, 2006, 14 minutes)
Directed by Nishtha Jain, Raintree Films
This short film offers a miniature portrait of Lakshmi, a wickedly outrageous and compassionate transgender woman who is a prominent public figure in India’s queer-rights movement. The film is a tender and stylized look at Lakshimi taking on society and sneering at notions of middle-class morality.
(Fiction, 2005, 17 min.)
By Sachin Kundalkar, Samabhavna Society
This film is a quiet tale of a young and attractive gay male prostitute, set in Bombay and one tender encounter that changes something in him.
This Bit of That India
(Documentary, 1972, 20 minutes)
Directed by S.N.S. Sastry, Films Division India
This highly subversive film by masterful filmmaker S.N.S. Sastry is ostensibly a propaganda documentary about higher-education facilities for foreign students in the premier institutions of India. This Bit of That India turns the brief state documentary on its head to become one about the incertitudes of a 25-year-old nation. With youth as a metaphor, the film uses humor to pose questions about desire and freedom.
About the Speaker
Avijit Mukul Kishore is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Mumbai. He specializes in documentary and interdisciplinary moving image practices, often collaborating with visual artists on video art projects. He is involved in cinema pedagogy as a lecturer, and curates film programs for prominent national cultural institutions. His films as director include Snapshots from a Family Album, Vertical City, To Let the World In, Electric Shadows and Nostalgia for the Future, and as cinematographer: Kumar Talkies, Kali Salwaar, John and Jane, Seven Islands and a Metro, Bidesia in Bambai, I am Micro and An Old Dog’s Diary.