queer parivaar short musical queer indian
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Shiva Raichandani
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April 30, 2022
Film
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Queer Parivaar celebrates queer joy, family and heritage in a cheery musical

Combining their queerness with their cultural heritage, actor and director Shiva Raichandani celebrates interfaith and intergenerational love with their first movie, Queer Parivaar.

Growing up, Shiva Raichandani didn’t have any good representation of queer South Asians. The 29-years-old writer, director, and actor decided to create this representation themselves with their directorial debut, a short musical released last month. The London-based artist wanted to celebrate the richness and beauty of Indian culture while portraying gay, trans, and non-binary characters in joyful and mundane settings.

The short film follows the story of a queer couple, Madhav (portrayed by Raichandani) and Sufi, on their wedding day. The wedding ceremony gets interrupted by a mysterious figure of the past: Madhav’s long-lost grandmother. As they catch up, the grandmother reveals why she was ostracised from the family and bonds with Madhav, accepting them and praising the couple.

Parivaar means family in Hindi. The blood one, and the chosen one. Both are present in Queer Parivaar, accepting and loving. Raichandani highlighted the lack of representation of out and proud queer elders, they thought important to portray LGBTQIA+ elderly characters in their short.

Showing young and older queer characters loved and accepted, Queer Parivaar is a breath of fresh air when it comes to representation. This representation doesn’t stop at the characters, but extends to the whole cast and crew: more than 90% of the people working on the set of Queer Parivaar identified as LGBTQIA+, and their age ranged from 6 to 70.

The short musical is also heavily based on traditional Asian music and dance, an important cultural reference for Shiva Raichandani who lent a lot to it growing up. The music is provided by some young queer musicians like Leo Kalyan and MNEK, mixed with more traditional South Asian music from Bombay Jayashri.

If it was a long ride to get to the release of Queer Parivaar, with many difficulties with funding that was obtained through fundraising and filming that was stopped twice due to COVID-19, the result is certainly up to expectations and deserves a lot of love and support for its release. Watch the trailer down below and check out the screenings planned in your area!

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