Indian Gay DVDs

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Review in India New England magazine, Boston

Homosexuality in India, UK explored in film
Rangayan deals with gay complexities in India, UK
By Umang Kumar

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — “Yours Emotionally,” a gay-themed movie set in small town India had its Boston premiere at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Jun 30. Parmesh Shahani, a research scholar in the comparative media studies department at MIT, organized the screening attended by about 50 people.

The story revolves around Ravi, played by Premjit and Paul, played by Jack Lamport, two friends from Leicester in the United Kingdom, who travel to India to attend some gay to-dos in some small towns: first in Gujarat and then in Shimoga, Karnataka.

During a party they attend, Ravi meets a local man called Mani, played by Prateek Gandhi, to whom he takes a liking. Ravi and Paul also come across an older gay couple who act as their hosts in Shimoga and give them glimpses into their lives and the social issues they faced in the expression of their love for each other.

Sridhar Rangayan, the director and co-scriptwriter of the movie who lives in Mumbai, was at hand for the question and answer session that followed the screening. “There are very few queer Indian movies other than the well known ones like ‘Fire’ and ‘Sancharan,’ the latter a recent Malayalam movie,” he said. Through this movie, he said, he wanted to highlight some of the gay issues that exist in India and in the United Kingdom.

Rangayan also said that he wanted to show the reality of gay living in small-town India where such activities tend to be very secretive and far less understood than in the metropolitan areas.
He said that this movie had been shot over just eight days and it had taken about six months to complete production. He was grateful to several members of some of the gay community in India who agreed to be on screen for various scenes of the movie. He also explained how the movie was made on a very tight budget. The character of Paul for instance, played by Jack Lamport, had his flight to India for shooting purposes financed by his mother.

The movie has had a very limited exposure in India but has seen good response in the United States where it was screened in New York and San Francisco before the Boston premiere.
As part of the question and answer session, some people wondered if Rangayan had considered releasing his movies via the Internet, to which he responded by saying that video-on-demand is certainly a promising option for smaller filmmakers.

Answering another question, he felt that the younger generation is more accepting of gay issues. Rangayan also said that the movie tries to show a cultural contrast between its chief characters, one a British-Asian, the other British, both of them from small-town Britain, to their experiences in small-town India. “I wanted to show their sense of marginalization and also some of the underlying similarities in their conditions,” he said.

One of the more notable characters in the movie was that of a wife of a gay man. She is shown helping Anna deal with his family life and his love for another man.

Rangayan, an engineer by training, has several documentary films on various social issues to his credit. He has also been associated with some feature films, like “Papeeha” directed by Sai Paranjape and “English, August” directed by Dev Benegal. He is a social activist and has been involved in gay and other gender issues for several years. His previous film on issues of sexual orientation, “The Pink Mirror (Gulabi Aina),” dealt with cross-dressing drag queens. But it was banned by the censor board in India, who felt it had too much of vulgarity. “They even said that I had not treated the theme with ‘understanding,’”he says.

In his future endeavors as part of seven movies dealing with gay issues that he calls the “Rainbow Series,” Rangayan wants to use the homoeroticism in Sufi poetry in his storyline. “That will introduce an element of lyricism in the theme,” he feels.

The audience seemed to appreciate the directness and the sensitivity with which gay issues were dealt with. “I felt it was a little over-sexualized, but it was a warm and touching depiction, nevertheless,” said Sarav Chithambaram of Cambridge, who is associated with the Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association.

Published in India New England magazine, Boston; Issue Date: July 15 to 31, 2006
Read the article Online here

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Screening at MIT

A special screening of the film 'Yours Emotionally!' was organized by Parmesh Shahani at MIT, Boston on June 30

The invite read:
A reminder that there will be a very special screening, and the Boston premiere of the gay Indian film "Yours Emotionally" at MIT, tomorrow, that is Friday, June 30, 2006, between 7:00pm-9:30pm, in room 1-190 ( ) The film is a surreal journey that deals with the realities of trans-cultural love across India and the UK. (See for more)

Sridhar Rangayan, the film's director (Gulabi Aaina/The Pink Mirror, 2003) will be visiting Boston especially for this event, and he will be present for a short Q&A session following the screening. He has been traveling with the film through the US this summer, and it has received a thundering reception over the past 4 weeks at NewFest in New York and Frameline in San Francisco.

I do hope that you will be able to make it for the special Boston event - attendance is free. Feel free to pass on this email to those you think may be interested in attending the screening and/or post it on any lists that you think appropriate.

Sridhar writes: Thanks so much Parmesh. It was such a well organized event and the turn out was really amazing. Especially considering it was a non-academic season at this campus city and it also was the July4th long holiday weekend, to have an auditorium full with more than 125 people was truly gratifying. The Q&A almost went on forever (more than an hour) and we had to take the conversation to dinner at a fantastic bengali resturant. Thanks to the Boston Masala group for spreading the word and of course a special thanks to Junri for putting up those YE posters all over MIT!

During the Q&A, there was quite a bit of debate about the women characters in the film. I tried to portray them as having great emotional strength to sustain marriages with closeted gay men, but many women in the audience seem to think that that is the bane of women - that they are always put on the pedestal and expected to play the Mother India stereotypes. That was thoughtprovoking. Thanks.

Review in East Bay Express

Review in 'East Bay Express '
The Frameline film festival hits the big thirty.
By Kelly Vance
Article Published Jun 14, 2006

Absolutely nothing is taken for granted in writer-director Sridhar Rangayan's Yours Emotionally, a gay male travelogue that claims to explore clashing cultural values between India and the UK but comes across as the trippiest flick in the fest, full of fantasy sequences, color effects, and wonderful music, in the service of its story of two young guys from Leicester on Indian holiday. Ravi brings his white friend Paul to a homocentric resort in a small town, where they meet an older gay Indian couple and find themselves, amid much local color and some truly amazing tropical digressions. It has the deep-Indian feel of an early Merchant Ivory film, only gay. From this movie, you'd think India is loaded with gays — tour operators are no doubt standing by. The final mind-blower is an onscreen display of the Ravi character's phone and e-address, no doubt saving him the trouble of getting a MySpace page.

Link to article :

Frameline press June 25

Harjant Gill, Sridhar Rangayan and Jack Lamport outside Roxie theater where YE screened.

From Frameline's press release June 25 -

Yours Emotionally played to a completely sold out house. In attendance was the charming director from India, Sridhar Rangayan, and one of his actors, Jack Lamport. The Q&A session that followed the screening sparked a very interesting dialogue about the visibility of LGBTQQI persons in Southeast Asia.

Sridhar writes: Indeed the Q&A was interesting. Apart from issues, some of the people in the audinece had very positive reaction about styling of the film - the color tones, effects and surreal scenes. They felt the style complemented the content. In the picture here, to my right is Harjant Gill, a bright south asian filmmaker from DC, whose forthcoming film 'Milind Soman made me gay' is very promising.

Sold out in San Francisco !

Again a sold-out show! YE screened on June 24 at Frameline 30 - San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival - which is one of the oldest and largest queer film festival in the world. 'Yours Emotionally!' was the one of the earliest film to sell out among 300 films from all over the world! Here too an additional screening was scheduled on June 21 to accomodate rush of tickets.

Frameline festival program review -

From the director of The Pink Mirror (Frameline27) comes this intoxicating queer journey through India. Ravi is a young Indian man living in England who impulsively heads to an all-night gay party in an Indian village, dragging his British friend Paul along.Fueled by erotic performances, flirting and sex, Ravi connects at the party with Mani, a closeted working-class guy. Rooming at the very gay-friendly hotel belonging to Murthy and Anna, an older gay couple who have been together for more than thirty years, Ravi decides to stay for a few days to pursue what may be the love of his life, but the consequences of their hedonistic night catch up with them. With bursts of surreal images and scenes, Ravi tries to reconnect with Mani, but the situation becomes rocky when his slutty friend Paul flaunts his own careless hook-up with Mani.Thankfully, Ravi has the wisdom of Murthy and Anna to guide him. They share their stories of defying tradition, loving against all odds and being true to oneself. Invigorated by his time with the couple, Ravi meets Mani once again to see if their fates may indeed be intertwined.In addition to the colorful and bizarre situations, the camera lingers lovingly over the queer Indian male body and exalts its sexuality. With a consistently surreal look, Yours Emotionally feels like a beautiful fever dream inspired by both avant-garde gay cinema and the tropes of Bollywood. — COREY EUBANKS

The film was co-presented by Third I South Asian Films

Frameline website link:

Conquering the Queens

QMA and 3rdI NY screened 'Yours Emotionally!' as part of its 'Pride month screening celebrations' on June 12 at the Queens Museum of Arts. Our film was preceded by 'Lavender Ink' (USA, 2006, 15 min) a Multimedia Presentation directed by Hector Canonge.

YOURS EMOTIONALLY! Dir. Sridhar Rangayan (UK, India, 2006, 83 min)
While visiting India with his friend Paul, Ravi, a British Punjabi, gets a taste of gay life when they attend a sex party. Though Ravi finds a mixture of dying traditions and shocking openness, he cannot reconcile them with the gay scene back home in Leicester, England. With flashes of semi-surreal situations -presented through exciting dream sequences- the film unfolds on a brightly painted canvas that defies stereotypes and explores contrasting values within Indian and Western gay sub-cultures.Presentation in partnership with 3rdiNY

After the screenings join us for a Q&A panel with directors and artists followed by Queerin' Queens 2006 Performances at the Unisphere Gallery of the Queens Museum of Art

Sridhar writes: "It was a fantastic opportunity for us to screen the film at a platform that was so unique - with an eclectic mix of queer and non-queer and Asian and Cacausian audience. The auditorium was packed and there was huge appreciative laughter right through the film. I was quite dazed because though I always meant the film to be funny, I was not sure it was 'so' funny. Myself and Jack Lamport who was present handled the Q&A where many people wanted to know wht it means to be gay in a homophobic country like India. Many of the older Asian gay men in the audience felt the film depicted a true slice of life in small town India. I was particularly impressed by the collection of shorts 'Lavender Ink' which gave voice to elderly gay men and women, I esp liked the short - 'Three Photographs' which was so poignant and depicted the angst of the south asian identity crisis out there."

World Premiere of YE

World Premiere of 'Yours Emotionally!' at New Fest - New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on June 9 was a sold-out show!
An additional screening was scheduled on June 5 to accomodate demands for tickets.

Director Sridhar Rangayan and actor Jack Lamport were present at the screening that received lots of laughter, appluase and appreciation. The Q&A was extremely positive and highlighted issues about queer communities both in UK and India.

Sridhar writes: "It was so exciting to be out there, watching my film on the big screen for the first time, amidst laughter and claps. It was instant gratification for all the effort all of us put in making the film. It was all worth it! What was amazing was the connection with the audience who laughed and gasped with the film!"

From NewFest program guide:

In this compelling comic drama, two gay friends, Ravi, a British Indian, and his best mate, Paul, go on holiday to India, where they attend an eye-opening gay sex party. Despite the circumstances, Ravi, a romantic, immediately falls for the handsome working-class Mani, but Ravi’s dreams of bringing Mani home to England are completely unrealistic – Mani is under constant pressure to marry a woman. Their story parallels that of Murthy and Anna, an older gay couple whom Ravi and Paul meet. Will the older men be able to help Ravi keep his newfound love? Will Ravi’s friendship with Paul survive Ravi’s obsession and Paul’s disloyalty?

Link for festival website :

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yours Emotionally!

A film that challenges stereotypes & cultural differences

Yours Emotionally!
83 mins English
UK / India

Produced by:
Niranjan Kamatkar
Wise Thoughts, London
C0-Produced by:
Solaris Pictures, Mumbai

Directed by:
Sridhar Rangayan

Executive Producer:
Saagar Gupta
Creative Consultant:
Subodh Rathod

Premjit, Jack Lamport, Pratik Gandhi, Iravati Karnik
Ikhlaq Khan, Ajay Rohilla, Abhay, Ashwin, Mansoor
Deepak Pandey
Nishant Radhakrishnan
Ameya Naik
William Longden