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I'm crying cuz I love you

We’ve turned ten! And we didn’t make it so far on our own. One of the several perks of being a volunteer-run, community- funded event has been that friends from the community and of the community have come in, rolled up their sleeves, hitched up their hemlines and taken charge over the many years.

From the first public film festival called ‘Bangalored’, held with our signature spread of mattresses at the Attakkalari Studios and helmed by the good folks of Pedestrian Pictures, Swabhava’s Vinay Chandran (who remains the longest- running festival director), Sangama, and the funding prowess of Bangalore’s former party starter Abhishek Agarwal, to the smaller festivals organised at a screening room in the Sona Towers, to its present avatar as the Bangalore Queer Film Festival – this festival has become its own beauty, its own beast. Over this decade-long journey, we’ve been held and nurtured by support groups like Good As You, We’re Here And Queer and All Sorts of Queers; individuals like Karthik Vaidyanathan, Nanju Reddy and Siddharth Narrain (who were part of the organising team in the early editions) and organisations like the Alliance Française de Bangalore and Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan.

A question that everyone involved with the festival asks at its end: How did we make this happen again? And while we’ve come up with lots of lies to drive out these doubts, in truth: we have no real idea. Nearly five months before the date of the festival, someone (it has never ever been the same person) sends out a message: When are we doing our first meeting for next year’s BQFF? And from then on, it is just a matter of moving our lives and work schedules around to make it happen – because it will happen either way. This festival is a drama queen that needs her audience. And we’re all just her makeup and wigs department.

But even before this questions bleeps onto our phone screens from other members of the organising team, it is you – our audience – who always ask: BQFF is happening right? (Sometimes just a week after one has gone by.) And I think it is the need to always answer in the affirmative that keeps this festival going. The festival has always been bigger than the people who run it (and it will always be), it has been about you and you alone – our audience. So, we’d like to say – we love you! Thanks for coming each and every year, for being patient with our shortcomings, for encouraging our flights of fancy and for allowing us to show you films. We’ve been super thrilled to have you with us. And want to see more of you in the years to come.

Now enjoy the programme we’ve put together for you at the tenth edition of the Bangalore Queer Film Festival over the next four days! Happy viewing, lovelies, cuties and hensems! And hey, eat a slice of cake for us!

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