"That is fine to focus on Queer Asia for this year I suppose but the urgent state of fixing the environment in Asia would would be my preferred focus as the world cannot wait! Tasveer has always stressed women's and gay issues but what about the rest of the planet - animals are part of our world too and way more oppressed! What groups are locally helping animal issues in Southeast Asia and why not support that?" -- anonymous

"Tasveer's film festivals have provided a remarkable space for people to meet across various identity markers. As a queer South Asian immigrant, I applaud Tasveer's commitment to presenting the diversity that is the "South Asian community." And because of the popular medium of film to bring folk together, the space is more easily inhabitable by people who might otherwise shy away from each other. This kind of cultural organising is critical to developing stronger relations within and across communities. Thank you!" -- Dipika Nath

"Cinema, like all art forms, is at its most powerful when it explores universal themes within specific contexts. Tasveer is pulling together a set of films touching on powerful themes of interest to all of their supporters -- family structure, relationships, personal identity, the nature of love -- all within the context of the experiences of GLBT South Asians. The line-up is a perfect reflection of their goal to challenge us all to explore the full range of South Asian culture and politics through independent progressive films." -- Dr. Steven M. Goodreau, UW Asst. Professor of Anthropology

"The South Asian and broader communities are stronger and more politically engaged because of Tasveer's work. I'm looking forward to watching the community grow through this year's ISAFF, focusing on LGBTQ communities. There is no denying the power of film and media, and I admire Tasveer for using that power for the betterment of my life, and our community." -- Uma Rao

"as a queer south asian woman, there are so few representations of me, my life, and my communities in the world. to see my own life and reflection presented creatively and artistically through film can be a very empowering experience on a personal and collective level. in addition, as a progressive voice in the south asian community, i see tasveer as uniquely positioned to support queer south asian artists, filmmakers and communities. this is a valuable opportunity for the south asian community to explore issues of gender and sexuality within a cultural context through the medium of film." -- Gita Mehrotra

"I fully support Tasveer's choice to devote this year's ISAFF to exploring issues affecting queer South Asians. Relative to the South Asian mainstream, queer South Asians represent a marginalized community who are viewed as being less than fully South Asian because of their sexual orientation. Beyond just entertainment, ISAFF represents a unique opportunity to explore these internalized mechanisms of oppression. As a community and as a diaspora, we need to have this conversation, and I applaud Tasveer's courage in providing us a forum for that to happen." -- Shankar Narayan

"Films reflect both oppression and possibilities. ISAFF is a space where I find complexity and depth reflected in a real way, and I am deeply appreciative of that. That's why I think it's important and significant to reflect the queerness of desis through this medium. What we silence is as impactful as what we voice. If we don't represent the identities and lives of a large section of South Asians, they are made further invisible. And if a large majority of people identify as heterosexual and consider queer ISAFF irrelevant, then this is dangerous for those of us who don't identify with them. Oppression affects all our lives - we have a responsibility to raise our own awareness, to challenge ourselves, and to support the struggles of those of us seeking visibility and owning our power. ISAFF opens doors - I want to see a wide array of doors that I can walk through, options I can choose from that will continue to open my mind and reflect the complexity of my life." -- Nitika

"There are no "Queers" in the world, we are all human beings with one big soul and individual genetic and environmental makeup. Tasveer through its focus on gay, lesbian and transgender human beings through ISAFF embraces us all South Asians with our differences, without discrimination." -- Anonymous

"I am absolutely thrilled that Tasveer has chosen to feature queer programming at this year's ISAFF. Tasveer emerged out of a shared conviction that there is power in cinema- the power to make visible what has been invisibilized, the power to tell stories that are rarely told, and the power to shape (and challenge) the way the way we make sense of the world around us. From its initial stages, Tasveer made the extraordinary commitment to not only screen independent films emerging from South Asia and the diaspora but also to engage audiences in community dialogues around the social, political, and personal issues on which the films speak. Tasveer has consistently taken risks to actualize this commitment and create unique opportunities for audience members to engage in discussions around seemingly controversial topics- such as domestic violence, gender, communalism, and sexuality. This year's ISAFF is no exception. Tasveer's leadership in bringing queer stories to the forefront is inspiring.Too often queer voices go unheard. And too often, they are actively silenced, silenced even when the voices belong to our family members, our neighbors, our friends, and our greater Tasveer community. Thank you, Tasveer, for the work that you've done. And thank you for the work that you do!" -- Sandra Gresl

"This letter is in strong support of the queer content planned for this year's ISAFF. We at Trikone-NW are so proud of our long-standing partnership with Tasveer, extending to Tasveer's beginnings in early 2002. In fact, the very first Tasveer film event was a joint venture with Trikone-NW. Each year since 2004, ISAFF has designed well-thought-out programs around specific themes and addressing specific issues. "Aaina," and specifically "Yoni ki Baat," is a testament not only to Tasveer's strong relationship with Chaya, but also to your willingness and commitment to engage with and tackle controversial issues affecting all of us. How fitting, then, that 2008's film festival continues to extend these traditions --of developing well-formulated themes, establishing strong partnerships, and embracing all South Asians-- to have a queer-themed ISAFF. As a fellow South Asian community organization, Trikone-NW applauds Tasveer's commitment to ensuring that all South Asian voices, experiences, contributions, and challenges are reflected in your programming, from the films to the filmmakers to the related events. This commitment strengthens our community, builds stronger partnerships, and beautifully meets your mission to engage the community in dialogue and action around sociopolitical and cultural themes that are specific to South Asia. Tasveer has never shirked from controversy and has never allowed the fear of potential loss of supporters to stop you from pushing the boundaries of thought and dialogue. We know that Tasveer's courage and inclusiveness will be at the heart of the queer programming of ISAFF 2008." -- Vega Subramaniam, Board Chair, Trikone-NW, on behalf of the board and Trikone-NW community members

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