|By||:||MOR Films, Australia|
|Genre||:||Drama, Comming of Age|
|Language||:||Hindi (English subtitle)|
|Time||:||123 min. / 2:03|
|Logline||:||The quest of a transgender girl to become a teacher in India.|
Aashish in an aspiring teacher and has struggled with his gender identity since childhood. Aashish makes the difficult decision to leave home and join a traditional transgender community (known as Hijras). The Hijra Guru allows Aashish to transition into Aasha. The life of a traditional Hindu Hijra in modern India is stifling. Will Aasha be able to pursue her dream career of teaching – something that only a handful of Hijras could do out of around five million of them in India.
I strongly feel that the Indian transgender community is at a crossroad, given that there is a greater awareness now, I believe with greater understanding and acceptance from their families and society, ‘Hijra’ (transwomen community) members will have more opportunities in a new India and modern world.
There are very few Indian novels or films that discuss transgender issues, let alone in a positive light.
Our film is an attempt to put transgender people and their stories front and centre. All adult transgender roles (total 11) are played by non-actor transgender people from Mumbai, Delhi and Surat India. We worked extensively with each one of these lovely human beings to establish camaraderie and collaboration.
There are approximately 5 million transgender women, known as Hijra or Kinnar, in India.
A great majority of them are barely literate because many within wider society and their own community believe that education is not an option for them.
Without an education they will not be able to make use of the reservation (quota) that they currently have.
Let’s break this cycle.
My long-term vision is to play a role in creating a space for transgender people in India, where they can live
and get support to pursue their educational goals, so they, in turn, will become the role-models for the next
generation of transgender people. This film is a medium through which I wish to spread the message for my
In my film, the story highlights the need for unconditional acceptance of our transgender citizens as well as their rights for higher education and vocational careers in modern India. I strongly feel that India can and will become a beckon of light for the whole world, when it comes to the transgender rights. India is only 1 of the 9 countries to recognise them legally and the first country to give them the reservation (quota)! Hence it is imperative that the project is based in India where the progressive policy of the Government is likely to have a deep impact. Our aim that our research on policy impact can instigate other States in India to mirror the policies of India.
Mayur Kataria is personally committed to a project 1-11-101, which will sponsor and support transgender kids in India for higher education and assist them to get conventional employment such that they can benefit from the progressive policies of modern India. We will start with 1 kid and project will see up to 101 transgender kids in conventional jobs.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia