|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2012)|
|Born||2 April 1962
Mandya, Karnataka, India
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, film producer|
|Parent(s)||M. R. Thirunarayan, Yadu Narayan|
Sridhar Rangayan (also spelt Sridhar Rangaihn or Sridhar Rangayyan; born 2 April 1962) is an Indian filmmaker who has made films with special focus on queer subjects. His queer films, The Pink Mirror and Yours Emotionally, have been considered groundbreaking because of their realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the largely closeted Indian gay community. His film The Pink Mirror remains banned in India by the Indian Censor Board because of its homosexual content.
Rangayan was born in Mandya, Karnataka. As a gay activist, he has been one of the front-rank leaders in the LGBT movement in India and has contributed immensely towards the growth of awareness about sexual minorities in India.
He is a Founder Member and Trustee of The Humsafar Trust, the first gay NGO in India, along with Ashok Row Kavi. He served on its board till January 2013. He also designed and edited India's first gay magazine Bombay Dost between 1999–2003.
In 2006, he was awarded the South Asian Achievers Award for his contribution to global mainstream media by Triangle Media Group (TMG), UK.
In 2010, he has served on the Jury for the Teddy Awards at the 60th Berlinale (Berlin, Germany), Jury for Matter of Act awards at the Movies That Matter film festival (The Hague, Netherlands) and also as Jury for SATO-48 (USA) competition.
He has been part of the eminent international jury of Outfest 2012, Los Angeles and Iris Prize 2013, UK
He is the Festival Director of Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival that was held in Mumbai, India from 22–25 April 2010 showcasing more than 110 queer films from 25 countries at two venues. For the first time ever, a queer film festival was held at a mainstream multiplex venue PVR Cinemas.
He has been elected as Regional Director (region 19) of Interpride which is a network of more than 160 Gay Pride organisations from more than 35 countries in 162 cities, dedicated to LGBT Pride parades and other events.
He is also the Festival Director of Flashpoint Human Rights Film Festival that was held in Mumbai, India from 8–10 December 2010 at Alliance française de Bombay and screened 8 documentary films on human rights issues along with panel discussions on several topics like human trafficking and the law, violence against women and religious intolerance.
Early life and career
Sridhar Rangayan is a graduate of National Institute of Technology Karnataka and has a Post-graduate in Design from Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, specialising in Visual Communication. Sridhar Rangayan worked with the National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped as Mass Media Officer and then for a while as a textile designer for an export firm, designing tapestries and carpets.
In 1994 he attended a short course in film appreciation at the FTII, Pune. Thereafter he apprenticed with Indian directors like Sai Paranjpye on the film Papeeha and TV serial Hum Panchi Ek Chal Ke and Dev Benegal on his feature English, August. He wrote the screenplay and dialogues for Kalpana Lajmi's serial The Awakening (Doordarshan) and was the Associate Director for the serial Dawn (Star Plus). Both these were produced by Bhupen Hazarika, the Assamese music director and singer.
From 1999 to 2002, Rangayan scripted and directed several television series like Rishtey and Gubbare for (Zee TV), Kagaar for (Sahara TV) and Krisshna Arjun, Kahani Jurrm Ki for (Star Plus). His serial Pyar Ki Kashti Mein for Star One (2004) was the first Indian serial to be entirely shot on a cuiseliner (SuperStar Virgo) and also in Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2001 he founded his production company Solaris Pictures along with his partner Saagar Gupta, a writer and art director. The company is perhaps the only production company in India to specialise in production of gay themed films. For his company, Rangayan scripted, produced and directed 'India's first film on drag queens' Gulabi Aaina which came 9 years after India's first gay film, Riyad Vinci Wadia's Bomgay. Gulabi Aaina has screened at more than 70 international film festivals and won several awards. This film, which is a sensitive portrayal of the marginalised community of Indian transsexuals, has become part of libraries and academic course work in US universities.
His first feature Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo (The Sensational Six) is produced by the Children's Film Society of India CFSI. It is a children's film that combines breezy fun-filled adventure with social values. It won the Bronze Remi Award at WorldFest, Houston and has been screened at several children's film festivals. The film is written by playwright and screenwriter Vijay Tendulkar based on a story by writer and MP Shakuntala Paranjpye.
Rangayan's next film Yours Emotionally, a co-production with a UK production company Wise Thoughts portrayed the angst of a gay British Asian falling in love with a bisexual Indian man in a small town. The film is considered to be a bold exploration of the Indian gay milieu with its stark and naked portrayal of homoerotic desires. Termed as an "intoxicating queer journey through India", the film also raises questions about racism and identity. The film has screened at several international film festivals including Tasveer – Seattle South Asian Film Festival and Prague Bollywood Film Festival.
His recent film 68 Pages about stigma and discrimination faced by HIV positive people has been funded by DFID, UK and co-produced by his company Solaris Pictures along with The Humsafar Trust. This film which premiered at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in December 2007 is about a HIV/AIDS counselor and how she instills hope and a will to live, among five HIV positive people from marginalised communities. A transsexual bar dancer, a gay couple, a sex worker and a drug user form the five narratives in this film. HIVOS has granted a fund to support screening of the film throughout India as part of its advocacy initiative. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has made the film mandatory for all counselor training programmes throughout India as part of their NACP III program.
Apart from filmmaking, Rangayan is also actively involved with human rights issues and the disability sector. He has made short film on cancer intervention and rehabilitation as well as several films on hearing impairment.
- 1994 English, August (assistant director)
- 1998 Krishna Arjun (TV series)
- 2003 Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo
- 2004 Pyaar Ki Kashti Mein (TV series)
- 2006 The Pink Mirror
- 2007 Yours Emotionally
- 2007 68 Pages (documentary film)
- 2008 "Bridges of Hope" (documentary short)
Rangayan and his films have won several awards, both Indian and international. They are as follows:
- Best Film on Social Issues Award at Ahmadabad International Film Festival 2009, India (for film 68 Pages)
- Silver Remi Award at WorldFest 2008, Houston (for film 68 Pages)
- South Asian Achievers Award 2006 by Triangle Media, UK
- Jury Award for Best Film at Fire Island Film Festival 2004, New York City (for "Gulabi Aaina")
- Bronze Remi Award at WorldFest 2004, Houston (for Yeh Hai Chakkad Bakkad Bumbe Bo – CFSI )
- Best Film of the Festival award at Question de Genre film festival 2003, Lille, France (for film "Gulabi Aaina)
- RAPA award for Best Comedy Episode, 1999 (for "Piya Ka Ghar" – Gubbare, Zee TV)
- RAPA award for Best Telefilm, 2000 (for "Khamoshiyaan" – Rishtey, Zee TV)
- "AIDS film storms small town in Karnataka". Merinews. 19 October 2008.
- Smith, Neil (6 May 2004). "UK premiere for Indian drag film". BBC News.
- "Call for Indian film censor to be more gay friendly". Smashits. Melon Farmers. 22 July 2009.
- "God Save The Queer". Gaylaxy. April 2010. p. 17.
- Tania Ameer Khan (June 2010). "A Flight For Freedom". Society Magazine. pp. 66–80.
- Sharma, Supreet (5 February 2010). "Indian filmmaker in Berlinale jury". TopNews.
- "2008 Winners" (PDF). WorldFest.
- "2004 Winners" (PDF). WorldFest. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Sridhar Rangayan at the Internet Movie Database
- The Asian News, "Emotions run high in gay film"
- Telegraph – Graphiti, "Breaking Free"