Likho Awards honours LGBTQ representation in media

(From left) Vivek Raj Anand, Urmi Chanda Vaz, Vinta Nanda, Parmesh Shahani, Apsara Reddy, Anuraadha Tewari and Shibu Thomas at the event on Saturday.  

The third edition of the Likho Awards for Excellence in Media were presented on Saturday, right after the second edition of the Likho Indian LGBTQ Media Summit.

The awards in 10 categories covered print and digital journalism along with graphic art, film, radio, and advertising.

Some of the winners were journalists Alka Dhupkar, Chitra Palekar, Roshan Kokane and R. Raj Rao. Filmmaker Onir won for his 2005 film My Brother Nikhil in a new category — the trailblazer — to honour an individual’s past works.

Preceding the awards ceremony was the Likho Indian LGBTQ Media Summit with four panels: ‘Pitching LGBTQ Stories’ on queer roles in film and television; ‘Cracking the Regional Media Code’ to encourage cross-pollination of thoughts; ‘#LGBTQinMedia – Being An Out Media Person’ with several professionals recounting their experiences; and finally ‘Beyond #MeToo – Creating Equal, Diverse, Inclusive and Safe Media Work Places in India’.

Three months after the Supreme Court partially struck down Section 377, decriminalising homosexuality, the conclave sought to draw awareness to the road ahead for the queer community. Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson of the Humsafar Trust, focused on the atmosphere pre and post the verdict. Media professional Dipti Agarwal noted how newsrooms have changed, while Priya Babu of the Transgender Resource Network highlighted the issues of the trans community and called for a change in its representation in the media. Journalist and politician Apsarra Reddy said, “For me, it is important to put my skill set and my talent out there. If people continue to judge me because of my gender, it’s their problem.” She continued, “To reclaim your space is very important and in the whole #MeToo movement, women need to have a stronger voice.”

The event also hosted a screening of short film Cover Story by director Suhail Abbasi. The day-long event was organised by Bombay Dost, India’s oldest LGBTQ magazine and the Humsafar Trust in partnership with Blued, a gay social networking app. The summit was organised to promote a fair and inclusive workplace for the LGBTQ community.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:39:15 PM |

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