THE BANGALORE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL 2010
The year 2010 saw the Bangalore Queer Film Fest enter another league, both in terms of organising efforts and the kinds of films it tried to bring to the city, and in terms of the audiences that showed up to be a part of the event. Organised by Good As You, We're Here and Queer, Swabhava and Pirat Dykes, the festival included 52 feature, short and documentary films over three days (February 26-28).
PVR Pictures premiered Tom Ford’s Oscar–nominated movie A Single Man (starring Colin Firth and Juilanne Moore) at the festival, the film made its nationwide debut on February 26 at the BQFF and was widely praised by the audience. Other festival favourites included Shamim Sharief’s The World Unseen, Maher Sabry’s All My Life, Patricia Rozema’s early film I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing (1987), and the documentary Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement by Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir, a movie that moved the audience to tears.
Alongside the screenings were two panel discussions, one on the right to love after the reading down of Section 377 by the Delhi High Court, the other featuring a collection of personal and historical presentations by queer women. Performance pieces included songs subverting popular film numbers, folk dance, poetry and other reading from original as well as existing queer text.
A photo exhibition that explored the theme of Queer Family, Togetherness and Intimacy with photographers such as Samantha Box, Sunil Gupta, Diana Esclas, Akshay Mahajan and others curated by the South-East Asian photo commune BlindBoys.org was inaugurated on the opening day of the festival.
What was remarkable about BQFF 2010 was the unprecendented growth in the audience that attended the festival, especially the three closing film screenings. This is what has led us to try again this year, to organise an event that is not just inclusive, but also challenging and engaging for those who choose to come to it.