24 Sep 2018

Please Mind the Gap

Newbie directors try to bridge the gaps in people’s minds

India recently decriminalised Section 377 of the IPC and denied LGBT as a criminal offence. This massive shift in the Indian society provides scope to artists from different fields to express their views and spread awareness about the LGBT community through their work. Mitali Trivedi and Gagandeep Singh recently released their short film – ‘Please Mind The Gap,’ which provides and insight into the lives of transpeople.

The film was screened at Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) on September 24, 2018 and the film makers spoke to students.

Mitali Trivedi is a research scholar at the Department of Sociology and has been working with Abhigyannatya Association. Gagandeep Singh is a lawyer and a theatre practitioner. They made their debut as short film directors through ‘Please Mind The Gap’. In their film,  Anshuman, an outspoken transman  narrates the challenges he faces while travelling in the Delhi Metro.

The young directors spoke about how the movie was shot with a smart phone in a a year and a half. Since the directors did not belong to the LGBT community, they had to do a lot of research and earn the trust of the community.

The film adopts the technique of a monologue where Anshuman is both the protagonist and the narrator of the story. He talks about how he avoids going to public bathrooms to escape humiliation. In a striking instance in the movie Anshuman talks about how he deals with curious co-passengers. Two boys standing behind him were discussing his identity and one of them told the other, “Hit on the chest and you will know.”

Mitali said, “Anshuman is forthcoming and wasn’t hesitant at all. He is not at all camera-shy.” She also said “Anshuman’s first encounter about transgender being a separate community or even to the term itself was in a metro where a stranger told Anshuman about it.” The two directors talked about how the “act of holding hands was an act of resistance before section 377 was read down,” and that “people are more than their sexual identity.”

‘Please Mind The Gap’ captures the gap that lies between most people and the LGBT community, in a short span of 20 minutes.

Anshuman said, “I cannot explain how happy I am. I am glad that the movie is appreciated and accepted.”

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