This short film night is presented as the final part of AFI’s BEAUTIFUL FORMS: QUEER ART UNBOUND, a three day arts festival dedicated to the celebration of the extraordinary queer artists and fierce allies who are fundamental to the fight for artistic freedom worldwide. It honors the many diverse and beautiful forms queer identities, art, and allyship can take and champions the rights to create, move, live, and love freely – unbound and without fear.
Through this short film night, internationally acclaimed filmmakers Faraz Ansari (India), and Mehrdad Hasani (Iran) demonstrate how queer film narratives disrupt dangerous norms and uplift those that venerate free expression. Three groundbreaking short films by Ansari and Hasani explore the intersection of LGBTQIAP+ identities and cultural and religious paradigms. With filmmaker Q&A’s moderated by activist and artist Beyza Burçak (Upwardly Global, Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival), this short film night is the inspiring conclusion to BEAUTIFUL FORMS: QUEER ART UNBOUND.
SISAK | Faraz Arif Ansari (India, 2017)
Faraz’s film, Sisak, is India’s “first silent queer love story.” Through beautiful and heart-wrenching turns, this exquisite short film follows two young men who regularly take the same local train home.
As the winner of 59 international awards, Sisak has screened at film festivals including Cannes, Wicked Queer in Boston, and FilmOut San Diego Film Festival. Sisak received a nomination for the Iris Prize, an acclaimed international LGBTQIAP+ short film prize.
Duration: 16 minutes
SHEER QORMA | Faraz Arif Ansari (India, 2021)
Faraz’s film, Sheer Qorma, is a LGBTQIAP+ romantic drama that centers Queer muslim women and nonbinary characters, exploring the meaning of belonging, identity, and family. Visually stunning and substantively rich, this powerful film shows us how a group of Queer muslim women and nonbinary individuals choose to embrace love, despite differences in their cultural and personal beliefs.
Sheer Qorma won the Best Short Film Audience Award at San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival and qualified for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards in 2021. Since its release, Sheer Qorma has won 89 international awards.
Duration: 30 minutes
THE ADJUSTMENT | Mehrdad Hasani (Iran, 2022)
Mehrdad’s 2022 film, The Adjustment, follows Shahrokh, a nine year-old living in a small rural village in Iran. Despite being bullied and alienated by friends and family, Shahrokh makes a courageous decision to embrace his identity.
Beautifully shot and intensely moving, The Adjustment won the Grand Prix at the 2022 Busan International Short Film Festival (Oscar Qualified) and the Embrace Award at the 2022 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Oscar Qualified). The Adjustment has received 40 official film festival selections and 7 international awards.
Duration: 17 minutes