Filmmaker Faraz Ansari's latest offering 'Sheer Qorma' became the first Indian film to win an award at Frameline Fest, the world's oldest film festival that showcases LGBTQ+ cinema. This is also the second such festival to honour the film which earlier won the Best Short Film, Audience award during the Connecticut LGBT Festival. It will also be competing at this year's BAFTA Awards.
Starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar, the movie tellss the love story of a woman and a non-binary person and their struggles to get their relationship a seal of approval from those around them. It raises many questions about gender identity, morality and the need for family's approval of one's choices. For the director, this was their way of providing representation to a much overlooked groups - queer, Muslim, South Asian women and non-binary people.
#SheerQorma WINS THE BIGGEST QUEER FILM FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD — @framelinefest, #BAFTA qualifying, longest running, largest & most widely recognised queer film exhibition in the world! ????✨???? HISTORIC! First Indian film to win @framelinefest! ???? #Frameline45 #AllKindsOfQueer ???? pic.twitter.com/1aeIQ28EUs— Faraz Arif Ansari (@futterwackening) July 1, 2021
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Ansari said they didn't believe the film had won until they read an email confirming the development. "It’s to do with the fact being a brown, queer, Muslim child, growing up in India in the 1990s. You don’t think these big opportunities will come to you. And when they do, you go to the world and they’re talking about it. It feels very surreal. I don’t want to wake up from this dream," they explained.
The Frameline Film Festival, which began in 1976 in San Francisco, is the largest and oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. It is organized by Frameline, a nonprofit media arts organization whose mission statement is "to change the world through the power of queer cinema".