I amNew Delhi: Gay filmmaker Onir is one happy man these days. All the hard work that he and his cast and crew put in, has finally paid off. Onir’s film “I Am” is the first gay film to win a National award. This comes as a pleasant surprise in times of dire straits when the highly controversial section 377 is again under government scrutiny.

It was not easy shooting this film, says Onir. The Indian government and the society at large still harbours prejudices with regards to the gay community. The film was made from independent funds they put together as no big production house was willing to back a film based on the taboo subject of gay issues. My film did not win even a single popular media award, we made no money with “I Am” says Onir ruefully.

He hopes this national award will help open up new avenues for the gay community at large. He also hopes to spread awareness regarding the issues of the gay community among the masses through cinema. His next film too will be based on alternate sexuality says Onir.

We hope “I Am” proves to be a breakthrough in Indian cinema, a mark of coming-of-age for Bollywood. But is one national award enough to change the opinions of the orthodox Indian society? Only time shall tell.

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