Kolkata: Film director Ranadeep Sarker has said that he belongs to the lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGBT) community and is proud to be one of them. Ranadeep has directed ‘Not A Dirty Film’ (2015) and ‘Nupur’ which released last year. He recently made ‘Daayra’, a short film that explores the void in live-in relationships.
In a candid conversation with RBN, Ranadeep said, “I have no qualms in admitting that I am from the LGBT community. There’s no shame in accepting one’s sexual identity. I am comfortable with what I am and people should not have problems with it.’ He, however, ruled out going under the knife to change his gender.
Ranadeep admitted that he has often been ridiculed because of his body language and how he appears in public. “People, sadly, associate the LGBT community with a set of mannerisms. While awareness about the community has increased after section 377 was repelled from the Indian Penal Code, people’s perception is still largely biased against us.”
The 26-year old director said, what irks him is that the huge pool of talented individuals in the LGBT community are grossly overlooked particularly in the entertainment and modelling industry. “It’s always a man or a woman who features in a commercial or advertisement campaign. LGBT people are deprived of a fair opportunity to show their talent. Even a recent critically acclaimed film from one of the top directors in Bengal had a male actor playing the lead role of a transgender, whereas the fact is, he could have found many actors from among the LGBT community worthy of that role.”
Ranadeep said that in an effort to break the gender stereotypes in the industry, he has appeared in a photoshoot series, dressed in feminine attire. “The idea,” he said, “is not to bring out my feminine inner self but to encourage people from our community to come out and work in the modelling industry. I have worked with directors like Anjan Dutt and Kamaleshwar Mukherjee at the initial stage of my career. Both of them used to tell me that I could make a career in modelling. I never gave it a serious thought and got into filmmaking.”
A few days back costume designer and stylist Arun Kumar asked Ranadeep whether he would be interested in a modelling assignment. “I suggested, why not appear as a trans-character in the photoshoot, since that’s the community I represent. Arun was open to the idea and we went ahead with it. Ayanjit Sen who has bankrolled ‘Daayra’, financed this project while Soumen Sengupta was in charge of my hair and makeup.”
Ranadeep said that the entire shoot is experimental and he plans to go ahead with the series. “In a way, the photo series is also an effort to answer my critics who were bothered only about my gender and not my work,” he said.