Explore festival: https://www.ciqff.org

The eighth edition of Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival is being held  online over two weekends – Dec 5-6 and 12-13 of December 2020. Reel Desires features films, shorts and documentaries showcasing sexuality and gender diversity issues.  This year’s line-up consists of 25 films from 12 countries, selected via a community-led review process. 

The principal organizers of CIQFF 2020 are Orinam and Goethe-Institut, working in partnership with Nirangal, Chennai Queer Café (CQC), SAATHII, and East-West Center for Counselling and Training.

Highlights among shorts include the award-winning After That Party by Lucas Drummond, the poetic Bodies of Desire by Varsha Panikar; and the world premiere of Sab Rab de Bande, a documentary on queer Sikhs by Sukhdeep Singh.  Among the feature-length offerings are Boxed by Sameeksha and Kiss The Moon by Khalid Gill.

On Sunday, December 6, 2020, there will be a play ‘Siriippu than varuthu’ in Tamil with English closed captions. Directed by A. Mangai, the play and subsequent Q&A connects liberation movements such as Black Lives Matter with social justice movements in India, including the movement for queer/trans liberation.  On Saturday, Dec 12, 2020, there will be a panel discussion LGBTIQA+ Community Activism: Priorities post-Navtej and COVID-19 featuring activists and community organizers from across India.

As LGBTIQA+ collectives in India work to expand inclusion and reduce discrimination on the ground, we also work to engender change in hearts and minds, a task substantially more challenging than legal reform. One way we do this is by participating in and producing cultures that reflect both the universality and specificity of our experiences. 

Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival 2020, curated under this name since 2013, is the latest in a series of over 15 queer-themed film festivals held in Chennai to date, beginning in November 2004. In the wake of India’s COVID-19 pandemic, the film festival and associated events are being held entirely online.  Login details will be posted at ciqff.org The event is free and open to individuals above 18.