Sheer Qorma, starring Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhasker and Divya Dutta, has won the Best Short Film Audience Award at the recent 34th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival. The film's director Faraz Arif Ansari tweeted the news on Tuesday. "WE WON! #SheerQorma wins the BEST SHORT FILM, Audience Award at the 34th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival @OutFilmCT. Out of 83 short films in competition from over the world, we received highest audience score," Ansari wrote.
In a separate tweet, he added: "Huge thank you to Shane Engstrom, Festival Co-Director, the entire team at #OutFilmCT & all the audiences that voted for our film! If you are reading this, please accept our deepest gratitude — THANK YOU!"
Swara retweeted the news from producer Marijke deSouza's Tweet and wrote: Amazing! Congrats to us all! Kudos to you and Faraz for making this film possible."
The film is based on an LGBTQ+ theme and it narrates a story of love and acceptance, revolving around its leads Swara, Divya and Shabana Azmi.
"Love shouldn't be judged, love shouldn't be restrictive, love shouldn't be confined. 'Sheer Qorma' is one such tender story that the freedom to choose who you love. We are extremely happy to see our labour of love transcending across borders and getting recognition at a global platform like the Frameline Film Festival. In these gloomy times, this has come as a ray of happiness and hope," Shabana Azmi told IANS.
Swara Bhasker added: "(I am) Super excited for the fact that the world premiere of 'Sheer Qorma' is going to be at the BAFTA Qualifying Frameline. It's a story that needs to be platformed well, a story that needs to be presented well, a story that needs to reach out to as many people as possible within India, outside of India because again it's such a universal tale of our time. I think is very important for these stories to be heard."
Divya Dutta said: "I think it's a huge deal to qualify for Frameline at the BAFTA. BAFTA itself is the most prestigious festival we have and it's not easy to qualify at Frameline. So, I think to get out there and be the first to be there -- that is the biggest platform for us."
Directed Ansari said: "I am elated and grateful to have such a prestigious world premiere for Sheer Qorma. It is such a massive honour and feels like such a huge win for us. Frameline is the world's biggest queer exhibition that celebrates the best queer cinema from across the world. I don't think I could've asked for a better platform for our film to takes its first steps into the world."
Producer Marijke Desouza added: "What drew me to the film is I liked how Faraz at the scripting level itself had delicately handled the topic of a non-binary & a queer person's love story while concentrating on the relationship on a parent and child. It made me feel this could be anyone's love story. It does not have to fit into a queer box but it does so effortlessly and naturally. So I was confident we had a beautiful film to share with everyone."
The trailer of the film was released early last year. The short film's release date is yet to be announced.