LGBTQ2+ FOCUS SERIES - Edmonton and Calgary

IFFA will be showcasing films from India with a special focus on LGBTQ2+ movies to provide platform for youth in South Asian LGBTQ2+ community to reach out to other organizations in Calgary. In addition, this films will create awareness about LGBTQ2+ individuals in South Asian community who are suppressed and marginalized due to community pressure. The following are the films that will be showcased during IFFA in Edmonton and Calgary:

1. Abu – A Canadian documentary which is based on the real life story of the Director Arshad Khan as a Muslim gay person. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the Director, Arshad Khan, Junaid Jahangir (Asst. Professor and a fighter for LGBTQ2+ rights).

2. Nagarkirtan – An Indian feature film which delves into a life of a transwoman, who lives in a village in the state of Bengal. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the Actor Riddhi Sen, representation from Calgary based organizations (Calgary Pride and Calgary Queer Arts Society). Also, some of these groups could be featured as co-sponsors in the screening. We may also ask them to set up their support booths/kiosks in case LGBTQ youth show up and look for additional sustained resources.

Bios for the artist and the panel member:
1) Junaid Jahangir - Moderator for Abu - Dr. Junaid Jahangir is an Assistant Professor of Economics at MacEwan University. He is active in Edmonton interfaith circles through community presentations and has consistently published blogs and articles at Huffington Post, Edmonton Journal, Vue Weekly and now Daze Magazine. With Dr. Hussein Abdul Latif, he has co-authored papers that have appeared in the Journal of Homosexuality, Iran Namag, Theology and Sexuality and Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Their book "Islamic law and Muslim same-sex unions" was published in 2016 and was released inpaperback in 2018.

2) Chevi Rabbit - Moderator for Nagarkirtan - Chevi Rabbit actively advocates against hate crimes and helps others feel comfortable in their own skin. She is a young mover and a shaker from Rural Alberta. Listed by the premier of Alberta as of the Top 25 Human Rights Advocates, an award winning advocate, accredited makeup fashion makeup artist, educator, fashion coordinator and public speaker. She is currently a board member of the Aboriginal Women Professional Association, Member of the Board of Directors at Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Member of Committee at Alberta Sexual Minorities Liaison Committee, Founder at Maskwacis Two Spirit Society, Recipient at Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine and founder of Hate to Hope. In 2014, she received an award for hate-crime awareness from Alberta’s justice minister.

3) Arshad Khan - Panelist for Abu Film Screening - Arshad Khan is a multiple-award-winning filmmaker, film festival director, festival strategist and film educator from Canada. Born in Pakistan, Khan believes in cinema as a catalyst for change. He makes films that shed light on subjects that are often underrepresented by the mainstream media. He is interested in realism in cinema and the new wave in South Asian cinema, yet not restricted to any one cinematic genre. ABU, his first feature documentary and has won awards and critical praise around the world. He is currently working on his fiction feature.

4) Riddhi Sen - Panelist for Nagarkirtan film screening -Riddhi Sen is an Indian Bengali actor. He is a regular actor of the theatre group Swapnasandhani and was a student of South Point school, Kolkata. In 2010, he received a special talent award from his school for his achievements in the field of theatre. He is the youngest actor in India to won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the film Nagarkirtan.