Last year, the evocative – and silent – short film, Sisak, gained critical acclaim around the world for its simple, poignant love story between two men travelling on the same Mumbai local train everyday. Hailed as India’s first LQBTQ love story and one truly close to the director’s heart, the film recently won its 51st international award.
Director Faraz Arif Ansari is now working on his first feature film, Sabr – for which he needs your help in finding its protagonist: a transgender woman, in her late 50s to early 60s, who loves acting or is excited about trying it out.
Sabr is a universal tale of love, gender, family, identity, closure and acceptance as it traces the story of a transgender woman returning to her home after 30 years. “It is not a film that alienates, or sets apart an individual experience, but invites the audience in to experience the cultural, emotional and personal truths behind the experiences of the characters as they journey on, finding flight, falling down and finding the courage to fly again,” says Ansari. “From parent and child, from sibling to sibling, from friend to friend, and from self to self — Sabr is a meditative exploration of those relationships and the transactions of sacrifice, autonomy, happiness and acceptance that we make in each of those bonds.” The film will feature Shernaz Patel and Shweta Tripathi, and hopefully a special role by Amitabh Bachchan as well.
Mainstream Indian cinema rarely gives space to marginalized communities and often portrays them callously. Equitable representation in film can go a long way in changing how we view gender and sexuality in the country and Ansari wants to do justice to his characters as much as his commitment to changing how the industry operates. He has tried for months to find his leading lady – and we refuse to believe that there are absolutely no older transgender women to take the lead in this fantastic film. Please do spread the word and help us create a truly inclusive film industry.
If you or someone you know fits the bill and is interested in learning more, please contact [email protected] with the subject line #TransIsBeautiful.
Bollywood has a long history of transphobia and trans-erasure. Read our full interview with Faraz Arif Ansari on the lack of transgender representation in Indian cinema here.
Feature Image Courtesy: YourStory.com
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