Members of the sold-out audience at the seventh edition of the semi-annual Queer Bits Film Festival on Saturday, June 17 selected a silent film depicting same-sex love affairs in India, where homosexual activity is illegal, as their favorite of the 11 films screened in the festival.
SISAK is India’s first silent LGBTQ love story and this short film tributes all of the LGBTQ relationships that must fall silent. After hearing of his film's success at Queer Bits, Faraz said, “with my film, I have been trying to open a much needed dialogue and give voice to the Queer Community back home that [has] been denied the basic human right to love … With SISAK, I hope, people see that there is nothing wrong in two people loving each-other. So what if they happen to be of the same-sex? Look at the world around us. We don't need any more hate. We need acceptance. We need love. A lot of love and love is the only way to save the day or whatever is left of it."
The film is currently circulating film festivals all over the world; it has been accepted at 27 festivals and has won Best Short Film at FilmOut (San Diego), Wicked Queer (Boston), and now Queer Bits! Director Faraz Arif Ansari has also just announced the India premiere of Sisak in Delhi next month.
This spring’s set list also included individual narratives ranging from the realities of dating a lesbian stripper, facing expulsion as a bi-gender musician.
The full lineup of films was:
Audience members had an opportunity to engage with three of the Queer Bits Directors, Angie Panganiban (A PARABLE OF WAITING), Sydney O’Haire (DRESSED) and Michael Cicetti (5A-5B), during a Q&A lead by Company Member Dan Pal.
ABOUT QUEER BITS FILM FESTIVAL
The first screening and incarnation of Queer Bits occurred in November 2012 at Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre. The enthusiasm for that and a subsequent festival in November 2013 led PFP to continue the festival as an on-going event, twice a year. The Queer Bits Film Festival is typically a sold-out 90-minute program of short narrative, animated, foreign language, student, and documentary films. In April 2016, Queer Bits AltReels was presented which included slightly longer films which were more experimental in form and storytelling.
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