Films on desire and sexuality to be shown

A film festival is being held for a cause in the city. Films of Desire: Sexuality and the Cinematic Imagination focuses on Southeast Asian Cinema and will feature screenings of features, short films, documentaries, and experimental films that engage with ideas of sexuality in South and Southeast Asia. It is the travelling off-shoot of a larger event held in Neemrana, near Delhi, in March 2007.

The films will be shown at the LV Prasad Film and TV Academy, 28, Arunachalam Road, Saligramam between 6 pm and 9 pm on October 5 and 6.

The Film Schedule:

* LOCUST, Victric Thng, 4 minutes/ Cantonese with English subtitles/2003/Singapore
* CUT, Royston Tan, 12 minutes / Singaporean English/ 2004/ Singapore
* THE LAST FULL SHOW, Mark V. Reyes, 18 minutes / Tagalog with English subtitles /2004/The Phillipines
* BEAUTIFUL BOXER, Ekachai Uekrongtham, 118 minutes / Thai with English subtitles/ 2003/ Thailand

Discussion on the films


* SEA IN THE BLOOD, Richard Fung, 26 minutes / English / 2000 / Canada.
* ONE WIFE TO ANOTHER/ Namita Malhotra/ 2007/ 4 mins/ India/ English
* THE MATCHMAKER, Cinzia Puspita Rini, 10 minutes / Indonesian with English subtitles /2006/Indonesia
* LOVE FOR SHARE, Nia Dinata, 120 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia with English subtitles/ 2006/ Indonesia

Discussion on the films

Five organisations come together for the festival. They are the Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action, The South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality, Shakti Centre, SAATHII and the Youth for Social Change

Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA) ( is a women’s human rights organization based in New Delhi.

The South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality ( enhances scholarship on sexuality in the region and is based at TARSHI in New Delhi.

Chennai Partners

The Shakti Center ( is a Chennai-based centre for research, activism, and advocacy on gender and sexuality.

SAATHI ( is a Non-profit organisation that is based in both India and the U.S. Its primary aims are to provide information, medical support and Counselling with regard to HIV AIDS.

Youth for Social Change is a collective of young people based in Chennai. They work on issues of poverty, environmental conservation as well as social justice.

About the Films:

*BEAUTIFUL BOXER , Ekachai Uekrongtham, 118 minutes/ Thai with English subtitles/ 2003/ Thailand
Based on the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a Muaythai boxer who underwent a sex change operation to become a woman. The movie chronicles her life from a young boy who likes to wear lipstick and wear flowers to her sensational career as kickboxer whose specialty is ancient Muaythai boxing moves which she can execute expertly with grace and finally her confrontation with her own sexuality which led to her sex change operation.

* CUT , Royston Tan, 12 minutes/ Singaporean English/ 2004/ Singapore
Royston Tan’s Cut comes almost a year after his feature film 15 which was labeled by Singapore authorities ‘threat to national security’ and released locally with 27 cuts. In true Singaporean fashion, Cut responds to the issue of censorship with a heady blend of tongue-in-cheek humour and music.

* LOCUST , Victric Thng, 4 minutes/ Cantonese with English subtitles/ 2003/ Singapore
A momentary encounter evokes both a sense of fondness and bitterness of the heart. Moving and lyrical, the film’s backdrop of Hong Kong heightens the emotive narration.

* LOVE FOR SHARE, Nia Dinata, 120 minutes/ Bahasa Indonesia with English subtitles/ 2006/ Indonesia.
The film is an intriguing portrait of polygamous lifestyles in contemporary Jakarta. A gynecologist Salma discovers, to her shock, that her husband has taken a second wife. She tolerates successive wives as ‘a good Muslim wife’ should, until an incident forces her to cater to everyone in his circle. Siti, a country girl, realizes too late that her uncle, who has moved her to Jakarta with the promise of sending her to beauty school, has other intentions. In a packed household, Siti’s hope for survival rests in her growing intimacy with one of her uncle’s other wives. And Ming, a waitress and material girl, contrives to become her Catholic boss’ second wife. The lives of these three women from different classes and ethnic backgrounds intersect as the similarities in their stories are revealed.

* ONE WIFE TO ANOTHER , Namita Malhotra, 4 minutes/ English/2007/ India.
The film is the erotic exploration of the conversation between two women. The film is based on a poem in Pali with the same title, part of collection of works in ‘The Absent Traveler’ translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. The stage of the poem is the conversation between two women about their husbands and their sexual proclivity, and the film is about the words of this conversation written on the body.

* SEA IN THE BLOOD , Richard Fung, 26 minutes/ English/ 2000/ Canada.
An intensely moving personal essay about living in the shadow of illness, Sea in the Blood explores two of Fung’s closest relationships — with his late sister Nan, who died in 1977 of a rare blood disorder called thalassemia (which literally means ‘sea in the blood’), and with his lifelong lover, Tim, who has been living with HIV since 1980.

* THE LAST FULL SHOW , Mark V. Reyes, 18 minutes/ Tagalog with English subtitles/ 2004/ The Phillipines
A young man, just beginning to explore his sexuality, learns a painful first lesson about love after meeting an older, more experienced man at an underground Manila movie theatre.

* THE MATCHMAKER , Cinzia Puspita Rini, 10 minutes/ Indonesian with English subtitles/ 2006/ Indonesia
A simple story about Kay, an eclectic girl with both beauty and sweetness and a guy who seems to fall for her. Their eyes locked and she had him besotted since the first second he saw her, in his bookstore. The simple yet charming guy, named Darren owns a bookstore and she is quite a regular customer. A conversation over the book she ordered actually begins what we think as a start of a romantic journey. While, Kay is cooking a master plan which involves Darren in her own mind, they enjoy their times together. A week after their first meeting, Kay decides to launch her master plan.

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