A Film by Ishita Srivastava

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What role does the South Asian LGBT community in New York City play in the life of ‘A’, who might never tell her family that she is a lesbian? In contrast, what do Priyanka, who lives with her girlfriend and is able to be open about her sexuality, and Ashu, a DJ who runs Sholay productions, a social events group for queer South Asians, gain from being a part of this community? Desigirls follows ‘A’ and Priyanka as they negotiate their diverse and often fraught experiences as gay Indian women in New York.  While ‘A’ is not comfortable with her sexuality, how is it that Priyanka, brought up in India, is? The documentary explores what their varying experiences tell us about the role of minority community groups in a diverse and often fractured immigrant society.

Featuring: Desigirls! features intimate interviews with ‘A’ and Priyanka talking about the role that the South Asian lesbian community plays in their lives, juxtaposed with observational footage of them going about their daily lives. This will be framed by footage of the SALGA support groups and events and D.J. Ashu at the Sholay parties that take place in New York City clubs on a regular basis.

Technical specifications: HDV; TRT: 18 mins. Aspect Ratio: 16:9.

Credits: Written, directed and edited by – Ishita Srivastava

Camerawork, lights, sound- Anna Wilking, Alison Cool, Geoff Agnor, Ishita Srivastava, Jason Fox and Yasmin Moll.

About the filmmaker: Ishita Srivastava recently completed her Masters degree in Cinema Studies from New York Unioversity’s Tisch School of the Arts, along with the Certificate in Culture and Media, a program offered by the Department of Anthropology in conjunction with Tisch. She is passionate about making documentaries and is interested in pursuing this passion through a career in human rights advocacy work. On an academic note, she is interested in the changing modes of spectatorship and the representation of minorities in Indian cinema.