I Am Sirat
I Am Sirat is a personal, vulnerable autobiographic documentary by Sirat Taneja about her experience as a transwoman in India, where she lives a dual life. Collaborating with acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta, Sirat shot the film with her smartphone (taking advantage of her own experience building a platform on Instagram), capturing the real portrait of herself literally and metaphorically. While supported by a queer network of friends in Delhi and on Instagram, Sirat reverts to the closet at home. Living with and caring for her widowed mother, Sirat is forced to maintain the familial and cultural duties and responsibilities a son would traditionally provide, since her mother doesn’t understand or accept Sirat’s true self. As Sirat seeks to reshape her life and be true to herself while fulfilling her mother’s obligations, the film explores the larger social implications of queer identity and acceptance in India. An empowering portrait of a transwoman wrestling with cultural limitations while sharing her story with the world.
September 29: Q&A with co-director Deepa Mehta
In Punjabi with English subtitles
Kabir Singh Chowdhry
A Collaboration Between
Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose emotionally resonating work is known to be provoking and challenging. Her films have played major film festivals around the globe and been distributed in over 75 countries. Her films include The Elemental Trilogy: Fire, Earth and the Oscar nominated Water, Bollywood/Hollywood, Heaven on Earth, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Beeba Boys, Anatomy of Violence, and recently Funny Boy, which won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score at the Canadian Screen Awards. Deepa has directed numerous TV episodes that include Netflix’s Leila, Apple TV’s Little America and Showtime’s Yellowjackets.
Filmography: Fire (1996); Earth (1998); Water (2005); Heaven on Earth (2008); Midnight’s Children (2012)
Sirat Taneja a transgender woman who lives in New Delhi, India. She works in the Accounts Department at the Ministry of Social Defence. Previously, she worked at Love Life Society, an NGO working with people living with HIV or AIDS and Sexual Minorities on the issues of HIV/AIDS.
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