IFFI 2016 saw the World Premiere of the path breaking Venezuelan Film ‘Tamara’ in Goa yesterday. The film is a social drama that explores the journey of Teo Almanza, a transgender, who is in search for true self. It depicts the day-to-day struggle one undergoes with societal taboos as well as inner conflicts regarding who a person wants to become in contrast to what the society wants the person to be.

‘Tamara’ is a reaction to the norms and the codes of conduct prescribed by a society that refuse any change in the societal mind set attributed to the human condition. It is a film about Transphobia, the hatred that the society exhibits against transgenders. The film is inspired by the life and struggles of Tomas Mariano Adrian Hernandez, now Tamara Adrian. She is the first transgender person to become the Member of Parliament in Venezuela.

Sharing her experiences with the media, Ms. Elia Schneider, the Venezuelan writer-director, said that the most difficult part of the film was how not to tell the story of Tamara. This story has taken five years to translate into the film and as it is dealing with a sensitive social issue, it is a very important theme that needs to be debated widely in the society, she added.

Talking about her experiences in life, Ms. Tamara Adrian said that her story is the story of all the underprivileged and excluded minorities world over, especially the transgender community, that face a discrimination on a daily basis. For every transgender, there are two kinds of troubles.  One is to fight against yourself and recognize who you are and the second is a fight against the lack of identity, exclusion and violence by rest of the world, she added.

Ms. Tamara noted that human rights are for all humans equally and no one should be deprived of that. She hoped that cinema would increasingly bring such issues to the fore and start debates in the society to initiate an Evolution in the Collective Consciousness across the globe.

Replying to a question on discrimination being ingrained in the impressionable minds of young children by the society, Luis Fernandez, the lead actor of the film, noted that discrimination against minorities is deep seated in our societies and there is a need for all of us to unlearn these prejudices in the very first place. He added that we have to educate our children from the very beginning to see the world with an open mind and accept diversities in the society around us.

Elia K. Schneider has directed movies like A Dot and A line (2004) and A Distant Place (2010). She won the Best Director Award for her film Punto Y Raya (2004) at the Bagota Film Festival. Other members of the crew present during the interaction with the media were Joseph Novoa, Producer, Prakriti Into Maduro Martin, Actress of the film Tamara.

Please find attached the press release for your perusal.