South Asian lesbian film to get digital worldwide release

NEW DELHI: The controversial film ‘When Kiran met Karen’ by America-based Manan Singh Katohora, which has failed to get an Indian release more than two years after its completion because of its controversial theme of lesbianism, has become the first South Asian lesbian film to get digital worldwide release barring India.

This controversial cross-cultural film has already been screened at 52 International Film Festivals after its debut screening in Germany at the 18th Annual Verzaubert International Queer Film Festival.

Written, produced and directed by Manan Singh Katohora, the film explores the theme of lesbianism and pushes the boundaries of a taboo romance within the South Asian culture. It stars Samrat Chakrabarti, Chriselle Almeida, Kelli Holsopple, Sonny Suri, Manish Dayal, Shetal Shah, Iggy Ignatius, and Emmy-nominated Tirlok Malik who is himself an eminent producer-director-actor. The film’s Producer/Cinematographer is Punit Chhabra while the Executive Producers are Iggy Ignatius and Mano Kesavan. The film features the music of Deadbeat Darling and Katherine Almeida.

The story is about a famous Bollywood actress, Kiran, who meets a lesbian journalist, Karen - 3 days before the release of her international film - ‘A Himalayan Love Story‘.

The film can be seen online on https://dingora. com/when- kiran-met- karen. The idea for Dingora came to Pankaj Sikka, a resident of the US, when he drove for eight hours to catch Ram Gopal Varma‘s Company, because no theatre close to him was showing it. This made him realise that only certain pockets of the NRI market were privileged to catch their favourite desi actor in all his glory.

A surprisingly large number of non resident Indian Hindi film fans have no access to Bollywood, he says, adding that "Dingora is a combination of various technologies. Google helped us in mapping and we have tied up with Microsoft."

He also said there is no chance of the film being stolen while being streamed. Dingora mainly focuses on reaching 30 million NRIs. Big releases reach where the concentration of Indians is large -- New York, Chicago.

The film is also the first Indian-American film to be screened at the Pennsylvania State University in a screening organised by the Coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally (LGBTA) Graduate Students in the One in Ten film festival. It also featured in the Delray Beach Film Festival, Florida, in May 2009 last year.

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