Films In a novel initiative, at the Kovai Rainbow Film Festival, seven transgenders screened documentaries they had filmed covering issues close to their heart

Seven transgenders cast off their inhibitions and came forward to take on the world as documentary filmmakers. Armed with a camcorder, they made documentary films about issues that touched their hearts. Project Kalki, transgender Kalki Subramaniam's latest initiative gave these women an opportunity to speak out. Kalki and her team were in the city recently to screen seven of their documentary films as part of the Kovai Rainbow Film Festival.

“Some of these films might appear amateurish. But, this is a step forward. Project Kalki aims to empower transgender women by training them in multimedia and other computer technologies. It is my dream project. These documentary films were filmed for over a period of five months in Chennai. They show that we too care for the underprivileged. In fact, we can understand their pain better, since we are an underprivileged minority too,” said Kalki.

Kalki's documentary, Punnagai flagged off the day's screening. The three-minute docudrama beautifully depicted the intimacy and chirpiness of transgender sisterhood. Classical dancer Abinaya's Abi, with love was a sample of the many talents possessed by transgenders.

Hope by Kanchana, The Pain of Poverty by Santhiya Chandru and Voices Unheard by Renuka brought out the sufferings faced by abandoned women and other disadvantaged individuals.

“I want to start my own old age home,” said Sandhiya, the maker of Abandoned Souls. The documentary revolves around the elderly who are abandoned by their loved ones. “Please do not abandon your parents when they are old. Care for them till the end,” she urged the viewers. Sowndhariya portrayed the relationship between a transgender woman and her mother in My Mother.

Transgender Seema, who is HIV-positive, faced the camera with grit. Egged on by friends, the central character in Thenmozhi's My Friend Seema narrates her experiences as a HIV-positive transgender in the five-minute documentary. The newbie filmmakers were later honoured on stage for their efforts.

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