Indian Gay DVDs

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Review of YE in Fire Island Q News

Bruce-Michael Gelbert review of Yours Emotionally! in Fire Island Q News:

"Two seasons ago, Indian filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan’s “The Pink Mirror” was the sensation of the festival. A new work of his, “Yours Emotionally,” shot in England and India, was shown this year and a hauntingly beautiful film it is, demonstrating what East and West, young and old, and straight and gay can learn from each other. Ravi and Paul leave Leiscester, England to investigate Ravi’s ancient ancestral homeland, India, where families still expect their gay sons to marry women and the caste system retains much of its rigidity. They find themselves at an exotic, erotic gay gathering, right out of the Kama Sutra... Emotions unexpectedly run high when Ravi falls for Mani---and then meets Mani’s wife-to-be. The encounters between the men here are steamy and the older gay male couple, Murthy and Anna, is strikingly portrayed."

Yours Emotionally! screened at the Fire Island Film & Video Festival (September 13 -16, 2006) on September 14, 2006 @ 11pm.

The film marked the return of the director to Fire Island where his earlier film 'The Pink Mirror (Gulabi Aaina)' screened as the Closing Night film and won the Jury Award for Best Feature.

Link to festival website:
'The Pink Mirror' link:

Screening at Humsafar Trust

Yours Emotionally! had its first Indian outing recently, screening to a packed hall at The Humsafar Trust, a male sexual health agency in Mumbai. More than 100 gay and transgender persons watched the film and participated enthusiastically in the ensuing Q&A session with the director Sridhar Rangayan and lead actors Premjit and Ikhlaq Khan. The screening was special because many members of the audience had participated in the film (in the party and Kamasutra scenes) and for them it was a delight to see a film which they had worked in.

While Rangayan applauded the courage of these queer people who so fearlessly came out to be part of the film for the very first time in Indian cinema history. "It is indeed very brave of you all and I am completely indebted to your participation without which this film wouldn't have been what it is", said Rangayan.

One of the audience member asked, "Why doesn't anyone in the film manage to live happily with the person they love" to which another person retorted, "Have you been able to?" amidst giggles and laughter. Rangayan explained that he tried to mirror reality and usually in most of the real circumstances there are different situations and events that become roadblocks to love; especialy for gay men who have to battle the society to live out their identity and consummate their love.

"How was it doing all those hot scenes?" the audience asked the panel. Premjit mentioned that, "it was all very technical actually with all those lights and crew members!" to which someone quipped, "it hardly looked technical!". Iklhaq Khan, who is a well-known actor in mainstream television and films and for whom accepting to play the role of an elderly gay was a big challenge, said "The director made us comfortable with the situations and sensitized us to the emotional content of the scenes, esp the bedroom scenes and particularly the kiss with Anna which is the high point of the film. None of us found anything crass or vulgar and everything is depicted so sensitively and beautifully".

"Was there any problems during the shooting, considering it is such a bold film?". Rangayan mentioned that they had sought permission to shoot in the streets and the prince of the palace where most of the film was shot was very supportive. Incidentally the prince is none other than Manavendra Singh Gohil who is one of the first person from the Indian royalty to come out openly as a gay person.

"It was amazing that so many gay men and TGs particiapted that too in public places like the riverside and temples. Did no one object or make fun of?". Rangayan said, " What was amazing about the queer people from Lakshya (Baroda) who particiapted in those scenes was that they themselves were utterly comfortable about their sexuality. So, that confidence showed, giving no room for anyone to poke fun at them... and even if they did they cared two hoots about it. It was amazingly empowering"

Many people wanted to know when the film will be released so that it can be seen by a wider audience, "It is a trendsetter... Such films need to be seen. For the first time an Indian film has portrayed the gay community with so much honesty and motionality". Rangayan mentioned that the film will be distributed by Waterbearer Films for the home DVD market but also hoped that more distributors come forward to release it in theaters, maybe even in India.

The evening conclued amidst much mingling and discussions over samosas, dhoklas and tea. Later there was even a performance by the well known dancer Simran (who also played a small role in the film).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New York Times Reader's Review

Reader's Review of 'Yours Emotionally!' on the New York Times Movies page.

Naked & Truthful

July 12, 2006

Many aspects & issues we take for granted here, still seem to pose a challenge to gay men in India. This reality is driven home honestly & emotionally in Rangayan's 'Yours Emotionally' has a universal appeal. The film purports to "explore cultural differences & similarities" between a British Asian from Leicester and a youth from rural India. And it does so vividly, passionately & quite emphatically. But the film doesn't stop there. Its highlight is the 'trans-generational' plot line where we get to see gay men in their 20s as well as a gay couple in their 50s. Stories & images such as these are hard to find, even in the mushroom of american gay films that focus more on hot bodies & the eternal fountain of youth. Through some exquisite color tones & angles, a mood is set that exploits the mental states of all the characters aptly. A dramatic scene between the two boys and the only woman we see on screen (fiance of the village youth) uses extremely vivid compositions and dramatic jump cuts to show changing dynamics of the triangle. Brilliant and truly of international cinematic quality. A daring effort that may be diffiucult for some dogmatic people, was very well received by the New York audiences with lots of laughter and a huge ovation at the end. Wonder how the director would be able to screen such a nakedly trutful film in his homophobic country and more importantly how it will be received. A groundbreaking film.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hitting the Right Chords

Hitting the Right Chords

GLBTQ discussion board
Posted: 30 Jul 2006, 12:39 am

'A beautiful feverish dream' (Corey Eubanks); 'Reminiscent of early Merchant Ivory films'(Kelly Vance), 'combines avant-garde cinema with Bollywood tropes', 'cross cultural with a modern English tilt'

'Yours Emotionally!', a new gay feature from India / UK that delves into the minds and hearts of South Asian sexual minorities in UK and small town India, is receiving accolades from both South Asian & Caucasian audiences. A honest and moving portrayal of cultural stereotypes and identities, the film is being hailed as a milestone in south Asian queer cinema. "The film is cross-cultural as well as trans-generational", says the film's director Sridhar Rangayan, "for the first time the film portrays an elderly Indian gay couple and their mature relationship as well as a passionate love story between youngsters".

The film opened to sold out shows in New York & San Francisco garnering some very positive reviews : 'A beautiful feverish dream' (Corey Eubanks); 'Reminiscent of early Merchant Ivory films'(Kelly Vance), 'combines avant-garde cinema with Bollywood tropes', 'cross cultural with a modern English tilt'. While the film may face a challenge getting screened in India, it is expected to hit the film festival circuit all around the world soon. 'This film is very special because, for the first time ever more than 100 trans and gay men from India have boldly come out to be part of a film. It is a significant process of empowerment for the Indian gay community', adds Niranjan Kamatkar, the film's producer.

Rangayan, whose earlier film 'The Pink Mirror' was a big success on the festival scene winning several awards, is now planning his next feature 'Songs of Eternal Love' which is to be set in Vancouver and India. He is seeking co-producers in North America who could partner with him to make this film which he says is, 'a beautiful lyrical tale that intersects poetry, religion and passion.It is sexy and spiritual!'