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Voice of Unheard

Kolkata to promote film’s about same-sex relationship in schools, one among them is about escorts ..!

Nov 9, 2021

About 8 short films based on same-sex relationships will be screened in schools of Kolkata to promote ‘inclusive education’, reported The Times of India

The said films have been directed by four people, namely, Salim Shekh, Manish Chowdhury, Saptarshi Ray and Avijit Marjit. Shekh had directed 3 short films, namely, ‘Dwitiyo Purush’, ‘Dekha’ and ‘Dakkhina’ while Chowdhury had shot ‘Dhora Pore Gechi Aami‘, ‘Dutto‘ and ‘Deya Neya‘. Saptarshi Ray directed the film ‘Durbin‘ and Avijit Marjit had directed ‘DumbBell.’ All four directors are reportedly students of a UNICEF and Adobe-supported studio named Prasayam Visual Basics. The 8 films were shortlisted for Prayasam’s Bad and Beautiful World Festival and will be screened at schools once they reopen.

According to Salim Shekh, his film ‘Dekha‘ explores the meeting between a homosexual (gay) son and his estranged father. His other film, Dakkhina is based on the dignity of a male escort. Shekh, who is 23 years old, stated, “Some of my friends who are male escorts have insisted that self-respect is very important for them. By making this film, I wanted to break the myth that society has about their self-esteem for their life’s choices.” Manish Chowdhury’s Deya Naya is based on the relationship between a man and a food delivery boy and the challenges posed due to class differences.

“In just over 15 minutes, I have tried to explore how socio-economic hurdles pose as greater problems for thriving of such relationships,” he said. Saptarshi Ray’s Durbin is about the confession of a journalist to his live-in-partner about the crisis he is faced with after his father’s demise and learning about his secrets. He claimed, “Actors went back after listening to the storyline. That’s why it is all the more important to screen these short films so that these inhibitions are done away with.”

While speaking about the matter, Prasyam’s Director Prasanta Roy stated, “The main objective of the screenings is to promote inclusive education so that LGBTQ youth do not feel isolated or unwanted.” The Times of India reported that the short films portray fictionalised stories highlighting same-sex relationships and explore topics such as identity crisis, child abuse, companionship and more. The films will be premiered next month on December 3 at Kalanjali Art Space.

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