Transgender Indian SXSW Title ‘A Place of Our Own’ Boarded by Sales Agent The Open Reel (EXCLUSIVE)

International sales agency The Open Reel has boarded Indian film “Ek Jagah Apni” (“A Place of Our Own”).

The film follows trans women Laila and Roshni who are looking for a house after they are evicted from their rental place. It soon becomes evident that their search for a home is also their ongoing search for a place in a society that wants to keep them away in a section away from the center.

“A Place of Our Own” premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2022 and will have its North American premiere at SXSW on March 11. It will then head to the BFI Flare LGBTQIA festival in London later this month.

The film is directed by the Ektara Collective and also produced by the collective alongside Lotus Visual Productions. The cast includes Manisha Soni, Muskan and Akash Jamra.

“As a part of Ektara Collective, we set out to tell a story that was close to our hearts and to tell it in our language and voice. Mainstream representation of such stories unfortunately was in many cases very disappointing. The film casts many first time non-professional actors who play characters close to their lives, which also helped shape the story and bring in an authenticity that blends fiction and reality. Shot entirely on location, through a trans-queer feminist lens the film questions not just discrimination against a marginalized gender, but also the whole structure of inequality based on caste and class that the society functions within. Nothing can be seen in isolation,” the Ektara Collective told Variety.

“It is also a film that was made with a minimal budget by a crew that largely comes from marginalized  backgrounds and have little access to mainstream filmmaking in spite of a keen interest in it. This film also made room for those to make a place of their own within the world of cinema. So the selection at SXSW is a validation of sorts to and challenges notions of who can or cannot make cinema,” the Ektara Collective added.

Neeraj Churi, producer at Lotus Visual Productions, said: “Our movie, ‘A Place of Our Own,’ shows that opportunities for marginalized queer communities to tell their stories can also create a compelling and entertaining cinema that can resonate beyond borders. We are grateful to our transgender lead actors who contributed to the script and directorial aspects of the film to bring out the candor and grit of their day-to-day lives. We hope the movie energizes and emboldens other trans and queer ‘folx’ to bring their stories to the screen.”

Cosimo Santoro of The Open Reel said: ” ‘A Place of Our Own’ is in some ways a work of a naturalness and truth quite difficult to find today. I was very impressed to see how the Ektara Collective approached the story that this film tells, also thanks to the help of the protagonists in the writing phase. This work gives the film the ability to create a strong impact on the audience, even if told with a simple narrative style, I would say almost neorealist.”

The Open Reel’s recent acquisitions include Pablo Garcia Perez de Lara’s documentary “Born to be Born,” which bowed at the European Film Market in Berlin, and Daniel Gonçalves’ “Acsexybility.”


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