//Feature Films

A Woman is A Woman

Friday: 27/3 @ 6:15 p.m. - Venue: HOPE Lahore (for info email: hope.positive.expectations@gmail.com)

Directed by: Maisy Goosy Suen  |  Country: China  |  Year: 2019  | Duration: 93 min  |  Language: Cantonese with English Subtitles

 

For 10 years, Sung Chi Yu kept a secret from her husband Chi-Hung and step-daughter Lai Kei that she is a transwoman. Everything seems to fall apart in her married life when this secret is blown. Meanwhile, Lai Kei has a crush on her male classmate Chiu Ling Fung, who too is hiding his own secret and battles with his gender identity. He dares not to reveal this to his conservative parents who want him to act like a perfect man. In his teenage years, he finds himself exploring the notion of love and identity with the help of an imaginary ideal feminine image named Rose.

“A Woman is a Woman” is a family drama about a battle that both Sung Chi and Chiu Ling has taken against societal prejudices to find real happiness within themselves. 

 

José

Sunday: 22/3 @ 2:00 p.m. - Venue: Olomopolo, Lahore

Directed by: Li Cheng  |  Country: Guatemala  |  Year: 2019  |  Duration: 86 min  |  Language: Spanish with English Subtitles

 

Young José lives with his mother in Guatemala City in a typical lower-class existence in one of the world’s most dangerous, religious, and impoverished countries. She never married, and José is her youngest and favorite child. Her life is her church and selling sandwiches at a bus stop. José spends his days on cramped buses, fighting traffic as he runs food to waiting drivers. Aloof and resigned to things as they are, he fills his free moments playing on his phone and arranging random hook-ups on street corners with dating apps. When he meets Luis, a migrant from the rural Caribbean coast, they pursue an unexpected relationship and José is thrust into passion and pain and self-reflection that was previously unimaginable.

 

The Garden Left Behind

Saturday: 28/3 @ 7:00 p.m. - Venue: T2F, Karachi

Directed by: Flavio Alves |  Country: USA, Brazil |  Year: 2019  |  Duration: 88 min  |  Language: English and Spanish with English Subtitles

 

Driving a cab through the lonely streets of New York, Tina struggles to provide for herself and her grandmother. Being undocumented makes work difficult to come by, and to add more stress, Tina has decided to begin transitioning. While her doting Abuela endeavors to understand, Tina finds warm support in a group of trans activists that take her under their wing. Tina waits impatiently for her doctor to sign off on her transition so she can begin taking hormones, eager to join her trans sisters. But mounting medical costs, her rocky relationship with the man she’s been seeing, and her legal immigration status all become daunting obstacles to Tina’s pursuit of happiness.

The filmmaker Flavio Alves crafts a compassionate but unsentimental portrait of a trans* immigrant in the streets of New York played by the first-time actress Carlie Guevara who gives a captivating and raw performance as Tina.

 

Fireflies

Saturday: 21/3 @ 6:00 p.m. - Venue: Sub Rang Society (for info email: karachi@aksfestival.com)

Directed by: Prakash Deka |  Country: India | Year: 2019  |  Duration: 92 min  |  Language: Assamese with English Subtitles

 

Jahnu lives in a remote village by the banks of the river Brahmaputra in Assam of rural India. The villagers mock him for the femininity that he proudly wears on his body. Jahnu dreams of getting an operation and becoming a woman. Jahnu’s sister ‘Jumu’, who has decided to never come out as a queer woman to protect her parent’s reputation in the village, worries that Jahnu might also have to live a painful life like her, although both the siblings have never spoken about their struggles aloud. Jahnu and Jumu’s elder brother ‘Baba’ is extremely unhappy about his gender nonconformist siblings who he thinks have made their family notorious in the village. Jahnu’s life takes a drastic turn when his romantic relationship with Palash catches the attention of the villagers. With Palash refusing to acknowledge the relationship, Jahnu has to decide if he would continue living a life hiding or let himself walk forth with his truth.

 

Kattumaram

Sunday: 29/3 @ 6:00 p.m. - Venue: HOPE, Lahore (for info email: hope.positive.expectations@gmail.com)

Directed by: Swarnavel Eswaran |  Country: India | Year: 2018  |  Duration: 73 min  |  Language: Tamil  with English Subtitles

 

In a small village ravaged by a tsunami, Singaram works as a fisherman to care for his orphaned niece and nephew. Despite her uncle’s tireless bids to find a groom for her, Anandhi rejects all efforts to get her married off, instead of focusing on her work as a schoolteacher. When a new photography instructor named Kavita arrives at the school, Anandhi finds an instant connection with her. As their friendship begins to blossom into something more, Anandhi must face her feelings and the consequences they will bring in this conservative society. Kattumaram is a heartfelt look at the strength of community in rural India, showcasing the importance of tradition along with the need for evolution.

This film is presented by Kashish, Mumbai International Queer Film Festival