Carco Theater, Renton – Saturday, October 14th – 4:00 PM

IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK?: This film follows the journey of two friends, Smile and Glady, as they look for a rental apartment in Chennai. It explores the obstacles and social stigma they encounter not just while looking for a home but also for being single, transgender women.

LADIES AND GENTLEWOMEN: This film is an attempt to break the silence in the area of comprehending the dynamics of lesbianism.

NAKED WHEELS: A diverse group of people comprising males, females, and transgenders undertake a journey across South India in a truck.

Presented in partnership with Trikone NW.

$12 Regular | $10 Student/Senior (with ID)
$10 Early Bird (through 9/30)

Is it Too Much to Ask?, Leena Manimekalai, 2016, Tamil / English, 30 min


Is it Too Much to Ask? follows the journey of two friends, Smile and Glady, looking for a rental apartment in Chennai and depicts the obstacles and social stigma they encounter in not just looking for a home but in being single, transgender women. In addition to the search for a house we meet the two women in their everyday dealings with a prejudiced and severely intellectually underdeveloped society in which there are very few mental and emotional bright spots where Smile and Glady can recharge their energy. Their identity renders them helpless before the caste-ridden, feudal and patriarchal landlords of the city who, by denying them their apartments, also deny their existence. Smile and Glady face every day as it comes with much grace, humor, and undying positivity. They turn their anger and frustration into songs, dance, and plays, and their works of art continue to supply them with the hope to live.

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Director Bio

Leena Manimekalai is a filmmaker committed to social justice. Her narrative documentaries on the dynamics of caste, gender, globalization, art therapy, student politics, eco-feminism, indigenous people’s rights and LGBTQ lives have been internationally acclaimed and have won several awards in prestigious international film festivals and civil rights circuits. Her debut fiction Sengadal/the Deadsea won her NAWFF Award at Tokyo for the Best Asian Woman Cinema and also was recognized with prestigious Indian Panorama selections after the initial ban by CBFC that got cleared through several months of legal battle. One of her documentaries, Goddesses, has won her Golden Conch at MIFF and Nominations for Horizon Award in Munich and Asia Pacific Screen Award in Melbourne. White Van Stories an exclusive doc-feature on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka was shot by her and won her accolades in platforms like Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. Additionally, Leena has received the Charles Wallace Art Award, the EU Fellowship and the Commonwealth Fellowship for her work in Cinema and Gender. She has published five poetry collections and is currently producing her non-fiction feature I Will Not Keep Quiet that traces the lives and struggles of rape survivors across the Indian Subcontinent.

Naked Wheels, Rajesh James, 2016, Malayala / English, 30 min


The film is about the journey undertaken by a diverse group of people comprising males, females, and transgenders across South India in a truck. The film seeks to explore many compelling thoughts on life, love, and gender. The film hopes for a society where none have to crush their desires because the majority does not understand them.

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Director Bio

Rajesh James is an award-winning documentary film maker and film researcher from Kochi, India. He was awarded the prestigious Riyad Wadia Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker, India, in 2017. His documentary Naked Wheels won K.F.Patil Unity in Diversity Award for Best Documentary Short at Kashish International Queer Film Festival Mumbai in 2017. He was also awarded PK Rossy Puraskaram for Best Documentary 2016 by Kerala Sthree Padana Kendram, Government of Kerala at International Feminist Film Festival of Kerala 2016.He has directed documentary films like In Thunder, Lightning and Rain (2017) Naked Wheels (2016) and Zebra Lines (2014).

Press & Awards

Pelponnisos International Documentary Film Festival 2017 (Greece)

International Film Festival of Shimla 2016 (India)

Ladies and Gentlewomen, Malini Jeevarathnam, 2016, Tamil / English, 40 min

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Ladies and Gentlewoman is an attempt to break the silence in the area of comprehending the dynamics of lesbianism. Probably one the first movies in the Tamil setting, this documentary tends to dialogue about the conspicuous silence about the body politics and relationship which is misspelled as social stigma. Acceptance of such norms emerges from constant fight against socially acclaimed identities. With absolutely no response to the suicidal cases, the social rejection of lesbianism leads to, the documentary sternly projects the question to the society. Why the hell do you care about someone’s love when you don’t care to speak about someone’s suicide?

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Director Bio

A movie monger, LGBT activist. Have passion in documenting untold stories, have directed a silent short film Kanavugalum Virpanaiku.

Press & Awards

Chennai International Rainbow Film Festival (January 2017) Best Tamil Film

Norway International Tamil Film Festival (2017) Best Documentary