'National Award Means Govt Accepting Sexual Minorities'

'National Award Means Govt Accepting Sexual Minorities'
Maverick director Rituparno Ghosh, who won the Special Jury award at the National Film Awards today for Chitrangada, said it is a signal that the government is now accepting sexual minorities.

"This award has been given to non-conventional sexuality. People in India had started accepting it at their individual level but this award to the subject is from the government's side. So it is a signal that they are accepting it," Rituparno told PTI.

Written and directed by Rituparno and also starring him in the lead, Chitrangada is about a homosexual choreographer who is struggling with his gender identity.

He won the special jury award "for his excellent grasp of the medium of cinema and his multi-faceted versatility", sharing the honour with Kahaani star Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Rituparno stated that the award is extremely important because it has been given to his character of a sexual minority rather than him personally.

"I don't see it as my personal achievement at all. We have tried it at our own level so far to highlight non-conventional sexuality but now this has come as a recognition for us," said the winner of eight National Film Awards.

A contemporary interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore's eponymous dance drama, the film shows Rituparno's character undergoing a sex change operation so that he and his partner can adopt a child.

Rituparno had previously acted in other films exploring third gender sexuality in Kaushik Ganguly's Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story) and Sanjoy Nag's Memories in March.

"This award has been able to give voice to the other gender. I just acted as a facilitator," he said.
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