68 Pages

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68 Pages
Directed by Sridhar Rangayan
Written by Sridhar Rangayan, Vivek Anand
Starring Moulli Ganguly
Joy Sengupta
Jayati Bhatia
Zafar Karachiwala
Uday Sonawane
Distributed by Solaris Pictures
Release date(s) 9 December 2007
International Film Festival of Kerala
Running time 92 min.
Country India
Language Hindi

68 Pages is a 2007 Indian film about an HIV/AIDS counselor and five of her counselees who are from marginalized communities. The film is directed by Sridhar Rangayan and produced by Humsafar Trust in association with Solaris Pictures. It had its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Kerala and then has screened at several international film festivals. It won the Silver Remi award at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival 2008, USA.[1] The film was also screened in the Pink Ribbon Express, a National AIDS Control Organisation initiative.

The film weaves together five empathetic Mumbai-based short stories revolving around people living with AIDS 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.

Overview[edit]

A transsexual bar dancer, a sex worker, a gay couple — characters often ignored by Bollywood — take center stage to tell their stories of pain and trauma, of happiness and hope. Coming from a country like India that is still in denial, 68 Pages exposes the shallowness of society to reveal how it stigmatizes and shuns those who have HIV or even those who just want to be what they are. This film deals with the issues of stigma and discrimination faced by people affected by HIV/AIDS from marginalized groups.

The film was produced with support from Department for International Development (DFID), UK. It was made as an advocacy effort to support the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in National AIDS Control Programme, Phase III. In Phase III it was decided that the female sex workers, intravenous drug users, homosexuals and transgender will be considered core groups and HIV projects will start up at a rapid scale in the next five years with these groups.

In the next five years of NACP-III, this film is scheduled to screen all over the country to people who affect the lives of people with HIV and general populations in an attempt to bring a change in the attitude of the people towards people living with HIV.

The film has also been mandatory resource material for all counselor training programmes in India by NACO.

Plot[edit]

A counselor’s ethics demand that she maintain confidentiality, be objective and not get emotional. But for a sensitive young woman like Mansi it is difficult to remain unaffected. Her true feelings are reflected in 68 pages of her personal diary.

Through these pages we see the stories of Paayal, a commercial sex worker; Nishit, an intravenous drug user; Kiran, a gay man; and Umrao, a transsexual bar dancer — stories of being marginalized and discriminated before and after becoming getting 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.

Cast[edit]

Festivals[edit]

  • International Film Festival of Kerala, India (December 2007)[2]
  • Pune International Film Festival, India (January 2008)[3]
  • Montage International, Kerala, India (February 2008)[4]
  • Worldfest, Houston, USA (April 2008)–Winner: Silver Remi Award [1]
  • Bollywood & Beyond, Germany (July 2008)[5][6]
  • Nigah Queerfest, New Delhi, India [7]
  • Q! Film Festival, Indonesia [8]
  • Tasveer–Seattle Independent Film Festival (September 2008) [9]
  • A Million Different Loves, Poland (October 2008)
  • Siddharth Gautam Film Festival, Bhubaneshwar, India (December 2008)
  • Translations - Seattle Transgender Film Festival, USA (May 2009)[10]

Team[edit]

  • Sridhar Rangayan is a Bombay-based director/writer whose films present hard-hitting social issues and critique with warmth, compassion, and humour. His award-winning films The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally, and 68 Pages are at the forefront of India’s emergent queer cinema movement — ground-breaking in a country where homosexuality is illegal and socially unacceptable. In 2006, he was awarded the South Asian & Foreign Achievers Award which honours 50 achievers from around the world who have made an outstanding contribution in the global mainstream media. When not busy making films, Sridhar is an active member in several LGBT and HIV/AIDS community organizations in India.
  • The Humsafar Trust, producer: The Humsafar Trust works with sexual minorities providing counselling, HIV testing and treatment facilities. Its Center for Excellence (CEFE) emphasizes research, capacity building of communities and media advocacy. The advocacy unit of Humsafar works on creating awareness and sensitization on issues of sexuality and HIV/AIDS through street plays, IEC materials and films. It has recently produced “Bridges of Hope,” a 28-minute educational film on issues of homosexuality and transgender for health care providers and State AIDS Control Societies in India.
  • Solaris Pictures, associate producer/distributor: Solaris Pictures is perhaps the only Indian film production company that has consistently been making films on issues such as homosexuality and gay rights, films that engage the audience and initiate dialogues on issues dealing with health and sexuality, human rights, and the gay and transgender communities. Previous productions include The Pink Mirror, which has won two Best Film awards and was screened at over 72 festivals; and 68 Pages, which won the Silver Remi award at the 2008 WorldFest Houston. Solaris Pictures has pushed the envelope — as producer and as distributor — and in partnering with grassroots NGOs and CBOs in India, and international collaborators from around the world.

References[edit]

External links[edit]