Film maker fires students imagination

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The School of Communication students had an intellectually stimulating afternoon with film maker Tanvi Talwar on November 14. Tanvi, who was assisted by her friend Rajat Kumar, began the workshop by screening the film Between the Two, a film on transgenders that has been screened at several film festivals across the world.

The 19-minute film had three characters — a eunuch, a female to male transgender, and a female student film maker. The three meet as equals in the film and discuss their views about what being a woman means to them.

The unusual film with an unusual theme set the tone for the workshop, whose objective was defined by Tanvi as creatively enable a constructive dialogue amongst students on alternative gender and identity.

The students were divided into two groups with Tanvi as coordinator for Group 1 and Rajat as coordinator for Group 2. The two coordinators asked the students to write their responses on post it notes under three heads: Comments, Observation and Burning Questions.

The stickers were posted on a chart paper, and the coordinators initiated a conversation by encouraging students to respond to the comments. The students, as well as the Faculty members, were made to share their views.

The two coordinators stoked the discussion by asking questions like:

  • What did the film make you feel and why?
  • What is your Idea of Gender after seeing the film?
  • Why do you think the film-maker put herself in the film?
  • Why do you think it is difficult for society to accept sexual minorities?
  • Do you think this movie can help the community? Why?
  • Do you think cinematic technique and handheld camera was deliberate? Why?
  • What is your idea of beauty?

The responses were jotted on a chart paper and a mind map created. Each group was next asked to elect a leader to communicate the important points that came up during the discussion. The floor was then thrown open to a debate.

For the students it was a great learning experience. It gave them an opportunity to share their views on an issue like transgenders which is normally brushed under the carpet.

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