Pride Month is right around the corner, and it’s time to celebrate the spirit of love with cinema. It is great to see how filmmakers are pushing the envelope and breaking out the stories to understand the LGBTQIA+ community. Director Sudha Kongara’s short story Thamngam in Netflix’s Tamil anthology Paava Kadhaigal is about facing longtime bullying and how a trans villager risks everything to support the dream of a beloved childhood friend.
There have been a lot of such movies in the industry that are hailed for accurate portrayals of the LGBTQIA+ community. Njan Marykutty starring Jayasurya is another award-winning film about a transgender woman. Directed by Ranjith Sankar, the film carries a black-and-white tale of a transgender while shredding all the taboos associated with their community and the stigma of gender-affirming surgery.
To commemorate Pride Month, we have hand-picked a few classic titles from the South Indian film industry for a perfect watchlist for our viewers.
Here are 5 regional films you can watch during Pride Month:
Cast: Kajal Aggarwal, Nithya Menon, Regina Cassandra, Eesha Rebba, Priyadarshi Pullikonda, Murli Sharma and Srinivas Avasarala.
Directed by Prasanth Varma (in his feature debut), Awe is a psychological thriller and it will leave you rooting for its concept and engaging stories on marriage, sexuality, gender, mental health and child abuse. Eesha Rebba and Nithya Menen play lesbian characters in this Telugu anthology.
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Ramya Krishnan, Fahadh Faasil and others.
Vijay Sethupathi is seen as Shilpa a.k.a. Manickam, a transgender woman in the film. The film questions what is right and what’s wrong and gives an in-depth understanding in each characterisation. One of the boldest attempts taken by Tamil cinema.
Paava Kadhaigal is a Tamil anthology that explores stories about dreams, desire, pride, honour and sin. Thangam, one of the episodes directed by Sudha Kongra is a story about Sathar (played by Kalidas Jayaram), a Muslim transwoman who is in love with their Hindu childhood friend Saravanan (played by Shanthanu Bhagyaraj). The story hits the right spot!
Cast: Raghava Lawrence, Sarathkumar, Kovai Sarala
The horror comedy film written, produced and directed by Raghava Lawrence, is an engaging watch but also a bold move. Kanchana is a transwoman who is always shunned by society, including her parents. She ends up being killed but vows to revenge. Kanchana, released in 2012 was remade in Hindi as Laxmmi Bomb starring Akshay Kumar.
En Magan Magizhvan
En Magan Magizhvan (My Son is Gay), is said to be the first Tamil film based on gay relationships. Directed by Lokesh Kumar, a filmmaker from Chennai, the film is a tale of a gay man who comes out revealing about himself and how that impacts his relationship with his mother and other people around him. The Tamil film saw its world premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.
There are many such films in South and Bollywood that depict an LGBTQ love story.
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