‘Trans Kashmir’, a documentary film made by filmmaker S.A. Hanan and Surbhi Dewan, will get its UK premiere at the UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) – one of the longest running South Asian film festivals outside India.
The film extends sympathy to the difficulties faced by the marginalised trans community living in Kashmir, in particular the lack of work prospects of a once celebrated community. The audience is given an insight through the work done by the Sonzal Welfare Trust in advocating for the rights of sexual minorities in Kashmir following the lives of key individuals over a time period spanning the Covid pandemic.
Dewan, a Delhi-based writer-director shared her excitement on the film’s UK premiere and digital release plans: “We are thrilled to have our film's UK premiere at UKAFF 2023. The festival consistently showcases the best of South Asian cinema and has a strong, loyal audience base.
“Personally, I am very pleased to have this be my fourth film at UKAFF in the last five years. We are also looking forward to our film's digital release in the UK, with Bohemia Media, soon after UKAFF.”
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Due to shutdowns and Covid restrictions in Kashmir, many aspects that were originally planned were not an eventual part of the film, nevertheless the filmmakers have made a film that tugs at the heartstrings and draws the audience in to the helpless circumstances of a community that want nothing more than basic human rights, UKAFF said in a statement. The festival curators noted that the filmmakers have documented a story that needed to be told and one that needs to be seen worldwide.
As part of the LGBTQIA+ strand of the 25th anniversary edition of UKAFF, ‘Trans Kashmir’ will screen at Rich Mix Cinema in London next month.
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The ‘Celebrating Our Stories’ theme of the festival’s silver jubilee year will present a curation of film stories centring on the British South Asian experience – redefining and reimagining one’s roots and dreams in a foreign land – and will celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of trans generational migrant stories.