Event: Skin Stories — love. desire. disability. in Chennai

Description: A person with long black hair sits up in bed, under a blanket, reading a book. A magazine, cup of spilled coffee and pillow lie on the floor beside them. On the edge of the bed is a blinking phone. The bedroom is decorated with yellow wallpaper and a rug, lamp and painting in warm shades of red. Credit: Alia Sinha

A day of inclusive film screenings in Mumbai

After the success of our event in Mumbai, Point of View and Equals are delighted to invite you to Skin Stories: love. desire. disability, a day of inclusive film screenings in Chennai on March 3rd, 2018 at Ramanujan Auditorium, The Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Myths and stigma shroud the intimate lives of people with disabilities. Through this event, we seek to challenge these harmful assumptions by demonstrating that people with disabilities are sexual beings, just like anyone else.

The event is free and open to all. The films we will show will have subtitles and audio descriptions. The venue will be fully accessible and there will be a sign language interpreter present.

Please find the detailed programme below. You can confirm attendance using this online form, or by contacting Sujata (+91 9080268930, [email protected]).

We do hope you’ll join us in opening up the conversation around disability and sexuality.

Programme Schedule

9:30 am — 10:00am: Introduction and welcome

10:00 am — 12:30 pm: Program 1


Directed by Justin Giddings and Ryan Welsh

(English and Sign Language, USA, 2013, 20 mins)

A young deaf* woman named Gwen undergoes an experimental medical procedure that is supposed to ‘cure’ her of her deafness and give her the ability to hear. Despite the controversy, Gwen risks her friends, culture, and identity to discover the answer to the question, “Is it worth giving up who you’ve BEEN for the ‘maybe’ you could BECOME?”

*To our d/Deaf audience: the filmmakers chose “deaf” over “Deaf” because Gwen does not self-identify with the Deaf culture due to her mainstreaming upbringing. Part of the film is exploring the conflict of embracing a Deaf identity or abandoning it completely.


Directed by Jennifer Brea

(English, USA, 2017, 98 mins)

Jennifer Brea, an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life, finds her life suddenly derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, which doctors tell her is “all in her head,” she turns the camera on herself and her community, filming her darkest moments as she looks for answers and fights for a cure.

Conversation: Jennifer Brea, Srinidhi Raghavan, Amba Salelkar

12:30–1:45 pm: Lunch

1:45–4:15 pm: Program 2


Directed by Michael Actman

(English, UK, 2015, 22 mins)

In this existential comedy, Anna, who is chronically ill, is visited by Doreen, a door to door proselytizer who makes herself at home and stays the day, slowly defrosting her non-welcome. Together, they walk in the park, bake a cake and watch an Ingmar Bergman film. Both women are blind, and are played by blind actors.

The Sessions

Directed by Ben Lewin

(English, USA, 2012, 95 mins)

Set in 1988 Berkeley, California, and based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a poet who lives in an iron lung due to complications from polio, and is determined, at the age of 38, to have sex for the first time in his life. With the guidance of his priest and the help of his therapist, Mark gets in touch with a professional sex surrogate who prescribes six sessions for him.

Conversation: Nidhi Goyal, Rajiv Rajan, Dr. Aiswarya Rao

4:15–4:45: Tea and refreshments