"These films will also become a part of the mainstream.”
Two LGBT films have been nominated in the first-ever recognition of gender-sensitive scripts at the Screenwriters Association Awards (SWA) 2020.
The Indian guild of screenwriters and lyricists announced its special category, Best Gender Sensitive Script.
Out of 167 Indian films, five feature films were released on OTT platforms in 2019 which have been nominated for the category.
According to a press release by SWA, the Best Gender Sensitive Script aims to:
“Recognise inclusive and sensitive storytelling from the point of view of gender and highlight the role of cinema in reflecting the experience and perspective of different groups in society.”
The two LGBT films shortlisted are Evening Shadows (2018), written by Saagar Gupta and Sridhar Rangayan and 377 Ab Normal (2019), written by Faruk Kabir, Kushan Mustafa and Siddharth Mishra.
The other three films revolve around female-centric stories.
Evening Shadow depicts the story of a homosexual son who reveals his sexuality to his small-town mother. She struggles to accept her son’s sexuality.
Writer and director of Evening Shadows, Sridhar Rangayan, said:
“The very fact that SWA recognises the need for instituting a category like Best Gender Sensitive Script to give leverage to marginalised stories about women and LGBTQ characters within the mainstream space means a lot to us writers and filmmakers working on these themes.
“And the fact that our film Evening Shadows made the cut is a huge honour. We hope to keep the rainbow flag flying high!”
Writer and producer of Evening Shadows, Saagar Gupta reacted to the nomination saying:
“We are truly humbled to be nominated from the list of 167 films.”
“Winning the award will surely be a boost. But our work being acknowledged by such a prestigious body of writers is itself a great honour and a matter of pride for us, as for the writers and creators of ‘Evening Shadows’.”
377 Ab Normal follows years of social stigma faced by the LGBT community. The multi-plot narrative has been inspired by real-life events.
Speaking about the importance of the special category, jury member Apurva Asrani said:
“If one community is marginalised, whether it’s a religious community or the LGTBQ, it affects the society in general.
“We can’t operate without each other. When we embrace these stories and characters as ourselves and not see LGBTQ as the ‘other’, then these films will also become a part of the mainstream.”
The jury panel for the Best Gender Sensitive Script consists of Apurva Asrani, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Leena Yadav.