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Interesting watch: Young filmmakers portray dreams and aspirations of third gender in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar/ Berhampur: The third gender is a community that is always perceived with a question mark. Their identities are frowned upon with contempt. Society is apprehensive of their inclusion and the government is at their wits end about formulating policies about their rights.

Amid all the confusion, a few youngsters in Odisha have put together a project that looks at the existence of these individuals with a fresh pair of eyes. Anwesha Brahma of Berhampur and ace photographer-filmmaker Eureka Apta are the brains behind ‘The Transition’, a documentary film that goes beyond the tag of ‘transgenders’ for this community.

“We always associate begging and prostitution with transgenders. With this documentary, we want to shatter the illusion and establish the fact that their identities are defined by something more—their dreams!” exclaimed Anwesha, the 26-year-old Digital Marketing executive, who conceptualised the entire idea.

Eureka (first from bottom left) and Anwesha (adjacent to Eureka) with some members of the third gender they interacted with during the shoot of the documentary.

The trailer of this video on YouTube portrays the transition their status quo has undergone after the Supreme Court of India identified them as the third gender in 2014. The team of Anwesha and Eureka worked with about 10 transgenders over a period of 15 days to create this documentary.

“I always had a tendency to ignore the transgenders. However, my whole outlook about them changed during the course of the shoot! Not only we lived with them and experienced their lives firsthand, but also became a part of their families. Today, I have a lot of respect for who they are and what they do. This has been a memorable project for me,” said Eureka, the director of photography.

“First of its kind, this documentary has portrayed the bright and inspiring side of the lives of the transgenders,” explained Anwesha.

Anwesha went on to say that this community cannot be defined by their identities alone. “There is a transgender make-up artist in Berhampur, who is renowned for her talent. These people have dreams like any of us and are a part of mainstream society as much as we are. We also interviewed their parents and the public in this regard,” she added.

The documentary is slated for screening in March in New Delhi.