Friday, June 22, 2012



IN WHAT is being heralded as a breakthrough for India's transgender Hijras, a blockbuster Bollywood all-dancing, all-singing melodrama about Hijras has taken top honors at The Los Angeles Movie Awards (LAMA) in the International Films category. 

The Hindi-language film "QUEENS! — Destiny of Dance" took the first prize in the international films category, as well as awards for best director for David Atkins, best cinematography, best costume design, best supporting actress for Seema Biswas and best special effects.

It is the first-ever Bollywood film about hijras, and industry analysts say the awards will encourage filmmakers in India to tackle this controversial topic more often.

The story is told through the eyes of a young Hijra named Mukta, the archetype of Hijras — the most beautiful, the best dancer in the community, a natural leader whom all the other girls look up to. She is potentially the next Amma (Hijra mother) of the community.

That is ... until the arrival of a total stranger into their midst — a young 16-year-old whom Amma names Nandini. Right from the outset, Nandini is an enigma and a mystery — where has she come from? Did someone send her? And if so, what is the purpose of her arrival?

And what really is she? Is she in actuality a goddess, as Amma resolutely believes her to be? Is she a female? Is she male? Is she Hijra?

Director David Atkins says he wanted to celebrate the Hijra way of life using the metaphor of a colourful dance of destiny ....

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