3RD I NY co-presents
in association with South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association (SALGA) & Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of HIV/AIDS (APICHA
Sancharram ("The Journey")
Winner of the Chicago Award for Best Film at the 2004 Chicago International Film Festival.
Preceded by a screening of the short film "Barefeet"
About Sancharram ("The Journey")
Director: Ligy J. Pullappally
107 mins, 35mm Color
Malayalam with English Subtitles
In Sancharram ("The Journey"), Kiran is mortified by her growing lesbian desire for Delilah, in an idyllic South Indian community where arranged marriage is the only acceptable form of coupling.
Kiran is the only child of Delhi-returned Malayalees, Priya and Narayanan. The family has come back to Kerala to take up residence in Priya’s grand ancestral tharavad. Directly across the way lives Delilah, the fourth child and only daughter of Thressiamma, a widow.
The girls meet on an auspicious day, the day of Kiran’s arrival from Delhi, and the marriage of Delilah’s eldest brother, Jacob. They become fast friends. Joining the two friends is a neighboring boy, Rajan; the three form a tenuous triangle.
The friendship continues into adulthood, despite the fact that Kiran and Delilah are polar opposites. Kiran is a reserved, an intellectual, while her friend is a playful mischief-maker.
The story changes one night, when Kiran comes to terms with her changing feelings for Delilah.
Mortified by her physical desire for Delilah, Kiran agrees to help Rajan in his bizarre scheme to win Delilah for himself. Delilah is unconvinced by Rajan’s efforts, and through a strange circumstance, discovers Kiran’s feelings for her.
What follows is a romance that improves both young women in many ways. But when the relationship is discovered, arranged marriage plans fly into action for Delilah; meanwhile Kiran, her hopes dashed, arrives at the brink of suicide.
About the Director
Ligy J. Pullappally was born in Kerala, South India, and grew up in Chicago. She began directing at the age of 13, when she wrote, directed, produced and acted in her first stage play. She would later receive recognition from the Chicago Young Playwrite’s Festival for her first full-length stage play.
She put a pause on her writing/directing habits when she went to law school in Chicago. She was a trial lawyer in Chicago for seven years. Most recently, she acted as Litigation Director of an agency serving the needs of abused women. In addition, Ligy served as Vice President of the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago, and as an Executive Board member of Apna Ghar, a social service organization offering assistance to South Asian domestic violence victims.
Ligy’s first short film arrived upon graduating from law school. A second short film followed shortly thereafter. Then, in August of 2002, Ligy received the Sunshine Peace Award, a national award recognizing her work in law and women’s issues. The following month, Ligy embarked on the making of her feature film, Sancharram. Sancharram is rooted in Ligy’s second short film, “Uli.” That film’s back story was about two girls in love in rural Kerala and the tragedy that transpired when they were forcibly separated from one another.
Director: Sonali Gulati
2004, 5 mins, Color, Video
An Indian woman living in the US with her girlfriend travels home and struggles with the complexities of fluid identity. How can she help her family understand the complexities of her life? An experimental narrative featuring appearances by NYC residents, Surabhi Kukke and Svati Shah!
Sonali Gulati teaches filmmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She has made several films including Sum Total, Where is there Room? and Name I Call Myself. Her films have screened at over 90 national and international film festivals. She has won several awards and grants from foundations such as the World Studio Foundation and the Third Wave Foundation. She is currently working on a documentary titled Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night on out-sourcing of jobs.
About 3rd I. 3rd I New York's monthly film and music salon designed by local filmmakers and experimental DJs showcases the works of independent filmmakers of South Asian descent and local djs, musicians and electronica artists. Providing alternative forums for South Asian filmmakers who often have few venues to showcase their work not only increases their visibility, but also provides a social forum for peers and audiences to participate in an ongoing discussion. More info...