KOLKATA: After a two year break, LGBTQI+ international film festival — Dialogues — returned to Kolkata on Thursday for its 16th edition. The festival was supposed to be concluded on Sunday but it was extended for three more days.
Collaborated between Goethe-Institut Kolkata (Max Mueller Bhavan) and social organisations Sapho for Equality and Pratyay Gender Trust, the festival, held at Indira Cinema in Bhowanipore, screened 42 films, including a series of short films from this year’s Kurzfilm Festival, Germany, following a curation by Berlin-based film critic, Toby Ashraf.
Max Mueller Bhavan director, Astrid Wege, said, “Dialogues is a space for open dialogue and respectful exchange, where different perspectives and views are heard. As a partner of the festival, the Goethe-Institut Kolkata stands for cultural diversity and the freedom of self-determination. We are pleased to contribute with exciting films and speakers from Germany. And we are delighted that after two years online, the festival could take place in a real cinema again.” Having participated in Dialogues since 2007, co-founder of Pratyay Gender Trust, Anindya Hajra, said, “The festival is meant not only for queer people but also for cinema lovers. It is a way for trans and queer people to claim the cinematic heritage of the city. Through these dialogues, we are making visible the allusion of queer culture that have largely been left under-represented.”
History professor, Nandita Banerjee, who was among the audience at the festival, said, “Such festivals celebrate an open space for conversations and expression. For conservative-minded people, it creates a space to normalize another point of view.”
Ujan Ganguly, who identifies as queer, said, “ I plan to attend the festival as it’s a fun way to meet like minded people who create a safe community space for celebrating diversity.”