Curator NotE - IFFC 2019
When Arun from Tamizh Studio reached out to me to curate the queer section of the Independent Film Festival of Chennai (IFFC) 2019 I was hesitant. I have been part of film festival curation teams earlier; but they were queer film festivals. My experiences in working with non-queer spaces has not been pleasant. It was usually a tokenism of having a queer person being a part of the group. Most of the times these spaces are not accessible for queer persons. So the first question that came to my mind was, should I be part of something which wouldn’t extend to a demography I wanted to reach?
I had a critical view about the choice of queer film in IFFC 2018. In fact I have critical view about any non-queer space that decides on behalf of queer persons. At a time where being LGBTQ ally is seen as ‘progressive’, every literature and art space include a queer themed work in their ensemble. But the larger question to me is; whom are they doing this for?
Growing up seeing any space with even a tinge of queer code in it filled me with joy. When I learnt about film festivals screening queer themed films; I thought it was a big step. I felt included. It helped me as an individual and assured that I wasn’t alone. But in a larger political discourse these pockets of queer images fail to create any conversation and does no help to the queer discourse in our country.
After the assurance that I would be in total control of the curation and the discussion pertaining to this section, I agreed to curate Queer Lens of IFFC 2019. This also posed me an opportunity to create space in a non-queer event for queer voices. My ideal view is that any space should by default encompass queer voices right from the inception stage to the decision-making. Maybe this is a step towards that queer space which is not just inclusive but also where queer persons feel belonged.
In the short time that was given to me to curate, I hope to start a conversation that is meaningful and focused which would take IFFC to next level of inclusivity.
See you all at IFFC 2019 on 8th, 9th and 10th Feb 2019.
~ Moulee, Curator, Queer Lens — Independent Film Festival of Chennai 2019