GLAAD Global Voices: This Indian filmmaker tells stories of people on the margins

As the leading LGBT media advocacy organization, GLAAD recognizes individuals who through their work positively impact the LGBT movement. Along with recognizing national activists, GLAAD also acknowledges individuals who make an impact on a global scale. One of such individuals is Pratibha Parmar, a Kenyan-born British filmmaker of Indian descent.

Best known for her film Khush, meaning 'ecstatic pleasure' in Urdu, which provides a bridging of geographies that seemingly divide South Asian lesbian and gay men living in Britain, North America, and India, Parmar is a fierce advocate for women and LGBT people of color across the globe. Parmar has also participated actively in editing, writing, and publishing both academic and personal accounts of South Asian queerness, most notably in the groundbreaking The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70's Britain.

Her films empower women and LGBT people through telling the stories of being caught in the Asian diaspora, challenging neocolonialism and the settler gaze. In a recent interview, Parmar spoke of how “living histories... become precious documents of both a personal and political history.” She describes her mission as one to “tell stories of people on the margins, outsiders and outlaws.”

She's been awarded the Visionary Award by the One in Ten Film Festival for her entire body of work, a Lifetime Achievement Award by San Francisco's Frameline Film Festival, and a Pink Peacock Award by Trikone in Recognition for Exemplary Service to the South Asian Queer Community. Many of her films individually won countless awards at the many festivals at which they were shown.

Her most recent documentary, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, celebrates the life of Black Womanist Alice Walker has received success as well, winning the Jury Prize at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

In conjunction with the inaugural International Advocate for Change Award to be presented at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, GLAAD is highlighting international advocates working through the media to advance equality across the globe. Earlier this year GLAAD launched the GLAAD Global Voices program, which aims to build support for LGBT equality across the globe by sharing culture-changing stories of LGBT people and families in national and international media.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 12, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton and in New York on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives. The GLAAD Media Awards also fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community and issues that build support for equality.

GLAAD is proud to recognize individuals such as Pratibha Parmar who through their work help promote the international conversation about the inclusion of the LGBT community. Through her work and involvement with the media and the LGBT community, Parmar has demonstrated a great dedication to advancing the equality movement around the world. 

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