Actor Ashish Sharma essays the role of a transgender in his maiden production, Khejdi. The film, which premiered at the Kashish Queer Film Festival in 2018, has been selected for the fifth Annual DFW South Asian Film Festival to be held from May 15 to May 19. Set in a remote village in Rajasthan, the film follows a transgender child named Khejdi, raised in isolation by an Ayurvedic doctor. After eighteen years of zero social contact, Khejdi starts exploring the outside world, and is faced with questions about gender, sex and identity.
“While writing and filming for Khejdi, I got to know the thought process of the society and trans people equally. It’s got to be a two-way street — the society needs to be accepting and accommodating, but even the transgender people need to embrace their identity with grace,” says Ashish. “During the process of shooting the film, we saw the real conditions transgender persons live in, the atrocities, the discrimination and the myths that surround them. It shook us from within. We knew it’s time we told a
story from the trans people’s point-of-view.”
Archana T. Sharma, who co-owns Rachayita Films with her husband Ashish, adds, “While travelling the globe with our film Khejdi, we realized that everyone understood and connected with the story, be it audiences in Dhaka or Germany. With the same thought we are headed for the film’s North American premiere at DFW South Asian Film Festival. We still have a lot of travel left for the film, post which we shall bring it to the Indian sphere.”