68 Pages DVDs released on Amazon September 30, 2008Posted by humsafar in 68 pages, counselor, film on HIV/AIDS, gay film transsexual film HIV?AIDS film 68 pages film, HIV/AIDS, humsafar trust, Humsafar Trust Gay India TG Transgender MSM Indian-gay,, sridhar rangayan, Uncategorized.
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68 Pages DVDs released on Amazon:
You can buy DVDs of 68 pages alongwith Bonus Features that includes 4 other queer short films on Amazon. Safe & secure transaction. Free shipping. Click here : http://astore.amazon.com/solarisp-20
In India, DVDs can be purchased in over 10 cities – Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mandya, Rajkot, Surat, Pune and Nagpur. Please check www.humsafar.org/68pages/dvd.htm for more details.
Telegraph Kolkata July 5, 2008Posted by humsafar in 68 pages, counsellor, counselor, film on HIV/AIDS, gay film transsexual film HIV?AIDS film 68 pages film, HIV/AIDS, humsafar trust, Humsafar Trust Gay India TG Transgender MSM Indian-gay,, sridhar rangayan.
Tags: gay film transsexual film HIV?AIDS film 68 pages film, kolkata, queer crash, telegraph
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Telegraph, Kolkata, July 1 2008
|Interconnected stories of sexual minorities, born in a city that doesn’t have time to connect|
The usual romances of Bollywood were turned on their head at a screening in Calcutta on Saturday — thanks in part to British funding. A new film, backed by the British Department for International Development (DFID), uses all the usual tropes of the Bollywood blockbuster: song, dance and close-up-spangled drama. But this time it is not a boy-meets-girl scenario. Here the lovers are transsexuals, bar dancers, prostitutes and a gay couple — and their tragedies are based on the real-life stories of those facing HIV in Mumbai.
68 Pages is directed by Sridhar Rangayan — who, I should declare, directed me in another gay film with British funding, Yours Emotionally!. But while Yours Emotionally! was in English and aimed primarily at an international film festival audience, 68 Pages is in Hindi and sloshing with plenty of Bolly thrills and spills. Sridhar has a different audience in mind.
“It is for a mainstream grassroots audience,” Sridhar tells me on the phone, after the Saturday screening. “We felt that we wanted to help change their way of looking at sexual minorities. DFID UK had a programme running in India which was doing advocacy work on HIV AIDS — and they wanted to do a film on the situation here.”
Looking at its assemblage of unusual characters — who are based on the stories of real-life friends of the Mumbai sexual health organisation, The Humsafar Trust — the film charts lives riddled with trauma, happiness and hope. It examines people who, stuck with HIV, are marginalised.
“This is a Bombay that we didn’t know of,” says Sridhar. “It’s the one we never stopped to think about it. It’s about interconnected stories of people in a city who don’t have time to connect.” He talks about the Oscar-winning movie Crash — the one which pipped Brokeback Mountain to take Best Film in tinsel town last year — even calling his film a “queer Crash”. His reasoning: it deals with HIV and sexuality where Crash dealt with race, through the lens of a city. “It is a Mumbai version of LA — we do not connect with the people around us,” Sridhar explains.
Did Calcutta connect? Speaking after the screening, perhaps unsurprisingly, Sridhar’s answer was yes. People had been crying and gasped through the film, he said. “Though the film is treated in a very melodramatic format, the characters are real. It could be about somebody right in the area you are living — a transsexual person that you never tried to understand.” The screening was part of Calcutta’s Rainbow Pride week, which culminated in a parade on Sunday.
While some gay rights activists may be cursing Britain for having ever brought the infamous section 377 to India, Shah Rukh Khan had nothing but praise for London this week. Visiting the British capital for social engagements, he found time to tell London reporter Anil Sinanan: “I say it as a joke to everyone that when the English left India, we were not going to let them go! It [London] is the greatest city in the world. It feels like an extension of middle-class Mumbai.” Home from home then? Maybe it’s the red buses that do it.
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By : Piyush Roy, Sunday , October 07, 2007
Mira Nair’s AIDS JAAGO—a combination of four short films on AIDS-related cases from India also showcasing directors like Santosh Sivan, Vishal Bharadwaj, Farhan Akhtar—may have been courting news for its premiere at the recently concluded Toronto Film Festival, closer home, another director Sridhar Rangayan’s third film, 68 Pages, is doing the same—albeit quietly.
His film weaves together five empathetic Mumbai-based short stories revolving around AIDS victims from some of the marginalised sections of society like a sex worker, a transsexual bar dancer and a gay couple. The common thread is hope.
Rangayan, who had earlier made two films revolving around the Indian homosexual community including the critically acclaimed Gulabi Aaina (India’s first film on drag queens that made it to the official selection of over 30 international film festivals) says: “Though we have been making proposals to various bodies for the last two years for an advocacy film on the issue of AIDS amongst MSMs (men having sex with men/ homosexuals) and transgenders it didn’t progress beyond the concept note till a UK agency, DFID, chipped in early this year to produce it in association with the Humsafar Trust.”
Vivek Anand, executive producer and co-writer of 68 Pages—he is also CEO of Humsafar Trust—says: “We made it as a support to the National AIDS Control Programme Phase 3, which in its third and latest phase aims to focus on issues amongst homosexuals, transgenders, sex-workers and intravenous drug users, all of who find representation in the film.”
While three million people are estimated to be HIV positive in India today, according to the NSS 2005 survey, 7.5 per cent among MSMs, 8.5 per cent among sex-workers and 49 per cent among transgenders are reported to have tested positive, adds Anand.
68 Pages is based on real life experiences of Vrushali Deshmukh, a former counsellor with the Humsafar Trust. “She worked with us from 1999 to the fall of 2004 and handled over 6,000 cases involving MSMs and transgenders in Mumbai,” says Anand, adding, “And like her onscreen character Mansi, she too did go to the Columbia University to do her Masters in Public Health.”
Rangayan, who has for the first time opted for well-known faces from TV and theatre like Mouli Ganguly, Jayati Bhatia, Zafar Karachiwala and Joy Sengupta, says, “Known faces help in pushing an advocacy issue forward. We initially toyed with the idea of casting Smriti Irani or Mona Singh in the counsellor’s role because they are perceived as compassionate and strong characters, but then realised that their onscreen images of Tulsi and Jassi were too overbearing. So we zeroed in on Mouli Ganguly.”
Anand reveals that the entire cast and crew of 68 Pages worked at half their market prices for the film that was wrapped up in 11 days in Mumbai. “We made it at one per cent the budget of Salaam-e-Ishq and 10 perc ent of Bheja Fry,” says Rangayan.
Rangayan hopes the pre-release goodwill will contribute to him being third time lucky with the Indian Censor Board. Though internationally feted, both his previous films still await a censor certificate for an India screening. “We applied thrice with the board in Delhi for releasing my last film Yours Emotionally! But forget okaying it with a cut or two, they rejected it.”
Hopefully 68 Pages will have it better.
Outline & Synopsis August 16, 2007Posted by humsafar in counsellor, counselor, gay couple, HIV/AIDS, humsafar trust, indian gay, Indian transsexual, sridhar rangayan, transsexual.
A searingly honest film about five lives marked by pain and bound by hope – in 68 Pages of a counselor’s diary. A transsexual bar dancer, a prostitute, a gay couple – characters often ignored by Bollywood take center stage to tell their stories of pain and trauma, of happiness and hope, of stories never dealt with sensitively.
A counselor’s ethics demand that she maintain confidentiality, be objective and not get emotional. But is it possible for a sensitive young woman like Mansi to remain unaffected? Her true feelings are reflected in the pages of her diary, in 68 Pages.
Through these pages we see the stories of Paayal, a sex worker; Nishit, an ID user; Kiran, a gay man and Umrao, a transsexual bar dancer – stories of being marginalized and discriminated before and after becoming HIV+. These stories have the capacity to touch, heal, change lives and hopefully bring about a better understanding of their fight to live with dignity.
The film is a tribute to the human spirit of optimism and survival.