8th - 14th March 2018

Is it too much to ask

Leena Manimekalai - 2017 - 30 min

“Is it too much to ask” follows the journey of two friends Smile and Glady – looking for a rental apartment in Chennai and the obstacles and social stigma they encounter in not just looking for a home but being single and the fact that they are transgender women. In addition to the search for a house we will meet the two women in their everyday dealings with an outmost prejudiced society where there are very few emotionally bright spots with which Smile and Glady can recharge their energy. Their identity render them helpless before the caste ridden, feudal and patriarchal landlords of the city who by denying them their apartments, deny their existence too. But Smile and Glady face every day as it comes with so much grace, humor and undying positivity. They turn their anger and frustrations into songs, dance, plays and their work of art continues to supply them the hope to live.

Director: Leena Manimekalai

Leena Manimekalai is a poet and filmmaker committed to social justice. Her narrative documentaries on the dynamics of caste, gender, globalization, art therapy, student politics, eco-feminism, indigenous people's rights and LGBTQ lives have been internationally acclaimed and have won several awards in prestigious international film festivals and civil rights circuits. Her debu fiction Sengadal/the Deadsea won her NAWFF Award at Tokyo for the Best Asian Woman Cinema and also was recognized with prestigious Indian Panorama selections after the initial ban by CBFC that got cleared through several months of legal battle. One of her documentary “Goddesses” has won her Golden Conch at MIFF and Nominations for Horizon Award in Munich and Asia Pacific Screen Award in Melbourne. "White Van Stories" an exclusive doc-feature on enforced disappearances on SriLanka was shot by her and won her accolades in platforms like Channel 4 and Aljazeera. Additionally, Leena has received the Charles Wallace Art Award for Visual Ethnography, the EU Fellowship for Media&Conflict Resolution and the Commonwealth Fellowship for Cinema&Gender. She has published five poetry collections and is currently producing her non-fiction feature "I will not keep quiet" that traces the lives and struggles of rape survivors across the Indian Subcontinent.