We have till date raised $725 from here Indiegogo, $1100 from Wishberry.in and about $850 from donations through paypal/bank transfers.
We still hope to raise at least about $2500 more to help us move forward through basic editing. Please contribute and help us complete this film.
Crisscrossing across India, BREAKING FREE a pathbreaking feature-length documentary, attempts to unravel the human rights violations faced by Indian LGBTH (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, hijra) persons at the hands of the law, family, and society because of their sexuality and sexual orientation. It also traces the history of the Indian queer rights movement – from ‘Invisibility to Empowerment’.
"I’ve a right to love and live with dignity", cry out the Indian LGBTH community who have been made invisible and pushed underground by a draconian law Sec 377 that criminalized homosexuality till recently. The film BREAKING FREE strings together anguished voices of those who were tortured, blackmailed and indicted by this law; alongwith voices of advocates, activists and opinion builders who have fought a decade-long battle to have this law read down in 2009.
But it is now being challenged by religious fanatics and moral policemen who scream it will open the floodgates of immorality and destroy India's cultural fabric. Even as hate crimes rise and LGBTH voices become strident demanding social acceptance, the Indian queer rights movement has gained a spotlight in the media and among the mainstream. The film captures a community in indignation, a society in transition and a country on the verge of historic changes.
BREAKING FREE is the biggest LGBTQ project from India, with more than 100 interviews across 15 cities and towns in India, giving a candid and emotional voice to the still largely closeted and invisiblized by the society.
"This film has to be made, and it has to be made NOW", urges Sridhar Rangayan, activist and filmmaker who tells this story of change, of transformation, where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender persons in India are claiming their right to live and love as equals.
What is this film about?
‘Breaking Free’ is a film about people, about people who created a movement, a movement that has created history.
Stringing together voices of people who were brutalized under a homophobic law and those who fought against all odds for their freedom and dignity, it recreates the untold story of the queer rights movement in India and the struggle for justice.
Section 377 – a draconian law, which criminalized homosexuality in India, pushing a large section of the population to the brinks of injustice and inhumanity. Countless Indian LGBT people have been brutally tortured, blackmailed and harassed by state run institutions – the police, medical centers as well as civil society at large. After a decade long struggle and a united movement by the LGBTQ community this law was read down and homosexuality decriminalized in 2009.
But it is now being challenged by religious fanatics and moral policemen who scream it will open the floodgates of immorality and destroy India's cultural fabric.
BREAKING FREE is the story of injustice and brutality, of a community on the verge of a revolt, of men and women desperate to break free. But what will this new freedom mean to the LGBTQ community that is embedded within a larger civil society, a society that is caught between old social mores and a globalized outlook of a shrinking world.
Why is this film important?
We believe that a story has the power to deliver a message in all its complexity – emotional, political, social, personal, and cultural. Therefore we envision ‘Breaking Free’ as a story of the people’s movement told through multiple voices. And it is a poignant tale of brutality, fight for justice, sacrifices, waiting and hope – of pain, humiliation, unity, courage and above all hope.
The untold story of LGBTQ movement in India needs to be voiced out, now more than ever when the decriminalization proceedings are being challenged at the higher court.
The film thus comes at a very crucial moment, to be used as a tool for advocacy - to spread greater awareness about the law and the history of the legal battle; to highlight the opinions of civil society and policy makers; and to channelize the struggle of the LGBTQ community.
Though the subject matter is controversial, without sloganeering or jingoism, the film attempts to present a pluralistic point of view without compromising on the personal point of view.
Why do we need support for this film?
70% of the film has been shot till date - over five years - with a lot of interviews and events shot in Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities.
30% of the shooting is to be done with several important interviews and events to be shot in August / September. And then editing and post-production work to be completed in October.
The project till now has been self-funded by our production company Solaris Pictures and supported by the community based organization The Humsafar Trust.
However for the film to proceed we need more support and funds. We have been applying to a number of film funding agencies and are hoping for a positive response. But that process would take time.
We need to shoot and edit in August-September for the film to serve its purpose.
How can you help this film?
We need your help and support for it - with your contribution and by spreading the word.
Give us little or give us more - every contribution helps. Be part of the VIBGYOR by contributing in the Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange or Red Band. Each contribution comes with its own special incentive.
Also share on facebook, twitter and help us go viral. Use the Indiegogo share tools.
It is YOUR project. make it happen NOW.
Who is making this film?
Sridhar Rangayan is a Bombay-based writer/director whose films have presented hard-hitting social issues and critique with warmth, compassion, and humor. His award-winning films The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally, and 68 Pages have been at the forefront of India’s emergent queer cinema movement – ground-breaking in a country where homosexuality till recently was criminalized and socially unacceptable. These films have screened at over 100 national and international film festivals; won several awards and received critical acclaim.
He has served as Jury at Berlin International Film Festival, Germany (2010) and Movies That Matter, Netherlands (2010).
He is the Founder & Festival Director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival (2010 & 2011) and FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival (2010 & 2011).
He is also one of the Founder Trustees of The Humsafar Trust, India’s first and largest CBO working with gay & transgender communities, serving on its Board since 1994; and also on the Board of Directors of Bombay Dost, India’s first gay magazine.
Sridhar Rangayan’s profile: www.imdb.com/name/nm1482161/