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Spikes Asia Awards

"Words Of Pride wins a Silver and Bronze at the Spikes Asia Awards, and also stood out with a Spike Glass nomination, marking us as the sole contender from India in this category."

Words Of Pride Launch

"Rooted in the core mission of the campaign, it squarely confronts historical biases perpetuated by the continued misuse of language. With a strong emphasis on advocacy, the campaign strives to reintroduce and promote respectful terminology within Indian languages, unveiling a rich linguistic heritage that aligns harmoniously with contemporary progressive values."

Five Films For Freedom,

In conversation

"Varsha Panikar tell us about their film 'Body of Desire', a sensual visual poem celebrating gender-less love and desire"

"Panikar and Jagushte, from Star Hopper, reason that as queer artists, they’re keen on showcasing stories of queer and marginalised art-makers from a gaze that captures the complexity of their lives. "While this isn’t, strictly speaking, a queer film, it is a story of and by queer folks, and we need to see more and more of that in the public discourse," they sign off".

18 Indians among D&AD Awards 2022 jury

"Asawari is one of the Direction Jury for the esteemed D&AD Awards 2021 & 2022 (UK). D&AD awards are the most prestigious benchmark for creative excellence in Design and Advertising."

Alex Matraxia, Otherness Archive

"Confronting the normative manner in which sexuality is discussed in Indian culture, Bodies Of Desire established desire as world-making, world-protecting - as a space in which we reach not just for nearby bodies but for a future which if we permit ourselves to imagine, can be located in the present."

"Sitting at the confluence of identity, attachment, belonging, and more, After So Long // बरसों बाद is magic in the form of visual poetry. Varsha’s wondrous vision gives the poetry body, and allows it to be its own being."

Suno India, Podcast

"Host Suryatapa Mukherjee spoke to trans filmmakers Varsha and Asawari, who started their own production studio, Star Hopper, a great example of queer people creating opportunities for themselves."

Srishti Berry, Gaysi

"The biggest question that Bodies of Desire answers, is, that intimacy is not limited to sex; sex is a secondary part of intimacy. One does not even have to be fully naked to experience an overwhelming sense of intimacy. One does not even have to be with someone to find intimacy and desire burning in their core."

Romita Roy, The Lipstick Politico

"Queer or marginalised filmmakers and their stories are often boxed in what we call the ‘niche’. we are working towards creating an alternative industry where queer, underrepresented works become the prowess of contemporary Indian culture. And slowly you shift your gaze from what is ‘niche’ to what can be mainstream."- Asawari Jagushte, the producer behind Bodies of Desire.

"The Poetry Film Breaking Genres and National Borders."

"It’s a really beautiful film that captures an honest sense of longing between companions, the raw and honest visuals a result of the filmmaker's decision to cast non-actors who then went through a series of intimacy workshops to become comfortable in front of the camera."

Sankha Ghosh, Times Of India

"Intimacy amongst lovers, holds immense political power and we wanted to use it as a language to resist the bias and stereotypes that continue to segregate our society, and start a dialogue about gender, sexuality, identity and representation, says Varsha."

Girls In Film

"It’s a reconstruction of memories, lived experiences & nostalgia that brings together a generation, says Asawari"

Vanya Lochan, Homegrown

"The film has been shortlisted in one of the world’s most prestigious, Berlin Commercial 2020’s Cultural Impact category. What makes Bodies of Desire beautiful is the fact that it is intimate yet never intrusive. It flows subtly yet hits right in the deepest core of the heart. A solemn play of light, shadow, and all that’s there in between, this one-of-its-kind film reintroduces us to ourselves as we find ourselves enveloped in memories evoked by the slight touches, the nimble kisses, and the tight yet freeing embraces."

David Britto, Rolling Stones

"Mumbai Artist Varsha Panikar Talks About Her New Film ‘Bodies of Desire’ in an interview with Rolling Stones."

Matt Grobar, Deadline

“Activating at some of our creators’ and audiences’ venue favorites like the DGA, Hollywood Forever, the Orpheum and REDCAT in DTLA, we hope brings all the ‘feels’ everyone is ready for. We can’t wait for everyone to see the festival we have curated – I believe the slate of programming not only meets the moment but distinctly presents the work of some of the most talent contemporaries in queer cinema.

- Outfest Executive Director, Damien S. Navarro."

Will Stroude, Attitude

"Reminding audiences that love is still a human right, the five films that will be available to watch on free YouTube from 17-28 March have now been revealed, with stories from India, Spain, Sweden, the USA and the UK all set to be showcased."

Bi Collective's Podcast

"Suryatapa and Navdeep from the Bi Collective Delhi talk to Varsha Panikar about their short film Bodies of Desire as part of British Council's Five Films for Freedom.

 

We need to build more intersectional spaces where more people from the LGBTQIA++ community are given means and resources to reclaim their narrative freely and safely. So children and young adults that are from the community aren’t growing up without seeing a single character that they can relate to, says Varsha."

Nowness Asia

"As one of the rare few works coming out of India confronting issues surrounding sexuality, intimacy and desire, Bodies of Desire seeks to initiate a dialogue around exactly that, which is mostly portrayed through a heteronormative lens."

100 Women and Non-Binary Directors We Loved In 2021

"Varsha Panikar joins the list of 100 women and non-binary filmmakers from 2021 with their film, Bodies of Desire which was screened at BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival."

"Queer short film ‘Bodies of Desire’ delves into themes of intimacy, identity."

Zoya Rebelo, Herald Goa

"The 23-minute film looks beyond traditional rep­resentation and seeks to examine the inner lives of those less thought of so that it might hold up a mirror to society. With a feeling that is ancient, the treat­ment of the film is contemporary. “I hope we have managed to create a world that looks through the  lensof the oppressed, in a language that is personal to us. And I hopet he film raises the same emotions that we felt while making it,” Asawari states.

Aniruddha Biswas, The Telegraph

"Self-expression, homophobia, coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life — this year’s short films looked at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives."

Cinestaan

"Excited about an Indian film being part of the line-up this year, Kennedy added, "It will take the perspective of the Indian LGBTIQ+ individuals to global audiences and connect them with people across borders. The range of emotions across this year’s line-up underlines the need for more love and togetherness in the world."

Filmuforia

"The FIVE FILMS FOR FREEDOM campaign has been going since 2015 and over 15 million people from more than 200 countries have engaged with it particularly in places where homosexuality can be prosecuted and, in some cases, punishable by death."

Mid-day

"Indian Short wins the Special Jury Award for the best international short film category at Rio Festival De Cinema LGBTQiA+"

What Is This Behaviour? - Podcast

"Experimental filmmaker Asawari is unapologetically shaking up Bollywood by showing unseen stories. Asawari talks about redefining Indian Cinema in this podcast with Almass, Aaron and Rueben.

Rajeev Anand Kushwah, Gaysi

"Overall, through its poetry and music, the film serves as a defiant meditation on cross border solidarity amongst queer South-Asian artists from India, the United States and Canada."

Mid-day

"Indian Short wins the Special Jury Award for the best international short film category at Rio Festival De Cinema LGBTQiA+"

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