Milk is a biopic that chronicles around the life of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. The film appeared on many critics’ top 10 lists of best films of 2008. Although it has received mixed reviews in the LGBTQIA+ community, a common thread that flows across the reviews is that the story of Harvey Milk is definitely worth watching, even if cinematically things could have been done differently in the movie.

Language – English (America), 

Cast – Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, Victor Garber, Denis O’Hare. While the cast is not from the queer community, it is written by Dustin Lance Black who is from the community and is also an active LGBT rights activist.

Awards – The biopic received eight Academy Award nominations, winning two for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Sean Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black. Apart from this, it received Independent Spirit Awards, Best Original Screenplay at Writers Guild of America, Critic’s Choice Award nominations, Golden Globe nomination, won Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild of America nomination, Directors Guild of America nomination and BAFTA nominations.

Reviews – Tyler Coates, while reviewing from a gay perspective, said “Milk is a very good movie, a surprisingly clean biopic that offers a tour-de-force performance from Sean Penn (who won an Oscar for his role), and perfectly captures the era of Milk’s rise from aging hippie and community organizer to media-savvy politician.”

Language – English (America)

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams

Director: Ang Lee

Awards – The film received four Academy Award nominations, winning three for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Original Score. The film garnered received seven nominations at the Golden Globe Awards, winning four. The film also received nine nominations at the British Academy Film Awards, winning four. 

Reviews – It is known as the go-to LGBTQIA+ movie. Craig Johnson, a queer director, recently said “I came out as gay during the time ‘Brokeback Mountain’ came out, so it coincided with this time of me feeling like I couldn’t live a lie anymore and wanting to finally embrace fully who I am. Then I see this movie and it was a really emotional experience for me. Not only because in that movie you see what societal repression and internal repression can do to you. But also those feelings of like ‘if you’re gay, you’re gay.’ You can try to change it but you can’t, and it’s going to mess with you if you don’t figure it out. This movie could’ve felt like a cheap porno. But it was exquisitely done, so undeniably moving and had such an impact. It just felt like: ‘I knew this moment was coming.’ Everything else prior to that felt a little indie or under the radar, but ‘Brokeback’ was fully above the radar.”

Language – English (America)Not queer. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Michelle WilliamsDirector: Ang LeeAwards – The film received four Academy Award nominations, winning three for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Original Score. The film garnered received seven nominations at the Golden Globe Awards, winning four. The film also received nine nominations at the British Academy Film Awards, winning four.Reviews – Brokeback Mountain” has been described as “a gay cowboy movie,” which is a cruel simplification. It is the story of a time and place where two men are forced to deny the only great passion either one will ever feel. Their tragedy is universal. It could be about two women, or lovers from different religious or ethnic groups — any “forbidden” love. – Roger Ebert

Language – English (America)

Not queer. 

Directed by Todd Haynes. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, and Kyle Chandler.

Awards – In 2016, British Film Institute ranked Carol as the best LGBT film of all time. Carol has received over 275 industry and critic nominations, and over 90 awards and honours. Some of these are:  The film received six Academy /award nominations, five Golden Globe Award nominations, nine BAFTA Award nominations, six Independent Spirit Award nominations. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm. It won the Audience Award at the Whistler Film Festival, and the Chicago International Film Festival’s Gold Q Hugo Award for exhibiting “new artistic perspectives on sexuality and identity”. Carol was the “overall favorite” on IndieWire’s critics’ poll of the best films and performances from the New York Film Festival, topping the Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, Best Lead Performance (Blanchett and Mara), Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography categories. 

Reviews – Gabrielle Korn, a queer writer, said “and for a movie with such complex details, it’s this perfect simplicity that holds it all together. In an Oscar race that is surprisingly filled with queer narratives, this is the one we’ve been waiting for.” In contrast, Kate Taylor, a British writer, writes that Carol is a beautifully filmed Lesbian drama, but told solely for the straight world. 

Language – English (America)

Dee Rees, the Director and Screenwriter, is a lesbian, and has confessed that Pariah is semi-autobiographical. 

Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis Charles Parnell

Awards – Got nominated and won several awards. Won two awards at the African-American Film Critics Association, Best Independent Film and Best Breakthrough Performance (Adepero Oduye). It got 9 nominations for the Black Reel Awards, won an award for the Best Breakthrough Performance for Adepero Oduye. The film also received five Black Film Critics Circle nomination, won four, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Independent Film and Best Breakthrough Performance. It also received nominations for Independent Spirit Awards and NAACP Image Awards, winning th award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture at NAACP Image Awards. 

Reviews – The film is about identity, not only how the world perceives you, but largely about how you perceive yourself. Critics have called it challenging, beautiful and heartbreaking. In Rotten Tomatoes Editorial, a queer writer said, “The movie changed my life and my perspective on what it means to be happy with everything I am. When the film was released, it didn’t receive the notoriety it deserves. Now, many movie fans are discovering what a gem Pariah is…..I’m just here to remind movie fans that Pariah should always come up in conversation when discussing queer cinema game changers. It’s a movie that speaks to a demographic that rarely interests Hollywood studios – Black queer women and non-binary people.”

Language – English (America)

It has an all-gay cast. One of the very few movies with such representation from the community. The Director, Joe Mantello, is also queer himself. It’s an adaptation of a play that goes by the same name, by Mart Crowley, who was also queer. 

Cast: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin De Jesus, Brian Hutchison

Awards – So far, it has been awarded the Film Award at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards. It was also awarded the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Limited Release). 

Reviews – Peter Bradhsaw, a film critic for The Guardian, wrote, “The Boys in the Band appears to come from a more innocent, or at least more naive time, as yet politically unradicalised by Aids and the backlash of homophobia, when the issue was acceptance, a goal that seemed to be matter of gradually changing taste. But it’s still refreshing to watch something which is, after all, a film of ideas, a spectacle in which people speak to each other in extended paragraphs. It is all unexpectedly potent, particularly in the absurdity and petulance and pain that Parsons crams into his performance. It’s a strange, compelling dose of unhappiness.”

Language – English, Spanish, Armenian (America)

Cast: The lead actors, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor are both transgender. 

Awards – 

  • Audience Award, Gotham Independent Film Awards; Breakthrough Actor (Mya Taylor), Gotham Independent Film Awards
  • Best Supporting Actress (Mya Taylor), San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award
  • Directors to Watch (Sean S. Baker), Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Forum of Independents Award, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
  • Stanley Kubrick Award, Traverse City Film Festival
  • Prix Nouvelles Vagues au Festival international du film de La Roche-sur-Yon (France)
  • Nominated at the Detroit Film Critics Society for Breakthrough Director. 
  • Nominated for four awards at Independent Spirit Awards, won the award for Best Supporting Female.  

Reviews – The critics have called it groundbreaking and an authentic retelling of the LGBT experience. Them, a next-generation community platform, that chronicles and celebrates the stories of people from the LGBTQIA+ community, had a review on Tangerine written by a transwoman, Samantha Riedel. She wrote, “Hollywood has known as much at least since 2015, when a modest little film shot on iPhones called Tangerine managed to gross nearly a million dollars and wow festival crowds on a $100,000 budget. Tangerine hits plenty of tragic notes in its plot, but it’s never voyeuristic or rubbernecking. Instead, it transports the viewer directly into the one-day-at-a-time realities of black and Afro-Latinx trans sex workers in cities like Los Angeles. Frankly, you need to watch every sun-soaked, grimy minute to really understand why Tangerine is — in my estimation — the current high-water mark for trans cinema. In both its vérité storytelling and the collaborative process behind it, Tangerine serves as touchstone for how Hollywood can better approach telling real, honest trans stories”. 

Nigel Smith, a gay writer, wrote in The Guardian “But Tangerine is also vital for another, arguably more important, reason: it represents a major leap for transgender people on film. Both Sin-Dee and Alexandra are trans individuals, and that the main “subculture” the film explores is a trans street culture rarely seen on film. Unlike the cagey synopsis or photo would lead to believe, Tangerine is brash and brave in the way it presents its two fiery heroines as fiercely individualistic trans women trying to survive the streets of Los Angeles via any means necessary. It also features trans actors in the parts of its two principal trans characters – a sad anomaly in film.”

Language – Hindi, English (India, Canada)

Not a queer cast/crew. But one of the first Bollywood films to explicitly show homosexual relations, and the first to feature a lesbian relationship. 

Cast: Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Javed Jaffrey, Karishma Jhalani

Awards – It received a lot of criticism in India, was temporarily suspended from screening as well. But it encouraged lesbian and gay rights activists to be more vocal about their existence and the erasure of India’s queerness in its historical heritage. It won the audience award for Fiction Film at Barcelona International Women’s Festival. Shabana Azmi won Best Actress at Chicago International Film Festival. It also won awards in the LA Outfest, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and Verona Love Screens Film Festival. 

Reviews – Two women stuck in difficult marriages grow closer to each other as they realise their similar situations. Feminism in India, wrote “Fire is also an apt representation of the suppression of female sexuality and the denial of a woman’s agency in a patriarchal society that normalizes the representation of women as mere objects and ensures their subjugation by men……Everything being said, Fire remains one of the most important movies in the history of Bollywood depicting love in a domestic and traditional setting of a family. It helps us understand the fact that the suppression of a woman’s sexuality because of the denial of agency over her own body is not an implication of the non-existence of her desire to explore her sexuality.”

Language – French (France)

Cast: The director Celine Sciamma is a lesbian. One of the lead protagonists, Adèle Haenel, is also a lesbian. The other cast members are Noémie Merlant, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino.

Awards – The historical drama made history when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival, with Céline Sciamma becoming the first ever female director to win the coveted Queer Palm award. It has received several nominations in other prestigious film festivals/awards, including Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globe Awards, and became the second highest-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes in 2019.

Reviews – Set in France in the late 18th century, Portrait of a Lady on Fire tells the story of a forbidden love affair. It has received phenomenal reviews even from persons within the LGBTQIA+ community. Arlene Reynolds, a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and s student at UCLA studying LGBTQ+ rights, said, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire sets a high bar for queer women’s representation in the film. When I watched Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu), I immediately loved the film and knew I would absolutely recommend it to everyone I knew. The thing is, I wasn’t aware of the significance it would hold for my own ideas about representation until later….A few weeks after my first viewing of Portrait, my Sociology professor brought up the film in a discussion on contemporary feminist theory. He was pointing to the film as a critique of how patriarchy shows up everywhere, stating that Sciamma’s film provides viewers with the exact opposite of the “male gaze.”  I was continuing to have conversations like this that were showing me just how impactful this film was proving to be.” The New York Times wrote, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire understands queer desire”. 

Language – English (United Kingdom)

Cast: Andrew Scott is gay. The other cast members are Ben Schnetzer, Joe Gilgun, Faye Marsay, Dominic West, Freddie Fox, Chris Overton, Imelda Staunton, Jessica Gunning, Liz White, Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine, Rhodri Meilir. 

Awards – The historical drama made history when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival, with Céline Sciamma becoming the first ever female director to win the coveted Queer Palm award. It has received several nominations in other prestigious film festivals/awards, including Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globe Awards, and became the second highest-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes in 2019.

Reviews – A person from the queer community reviewed the movie on IMDB as “I have just watched this film and on a personal level it affected me greatly. I was a young gay man in 1984 and I and friends, travelled to both the 84 and 85 Pride marches in London. I remember the Miners support at the 85 and we were greatly touched at the time. The movie got the details exactly right, I and many of my gay friends were on lots of marches including the ones against Clause 28 the evil Tory piece of legislation that outlawed promotion of homosexuality in schools and publicly funded museums and art gallerias (among others). What I want to say about this film is that young gay and straight people should see it. It is immensely moving and funny. Just the right balance. I wept throughout and laughed because it brought to life my youth as I lived it in protest against that evil woman and her kind who dared to tell us how to live our lives, and who we couldn’t legally love. It was scary times, AIDS, homophobia and arrest for protest.”It won the Queer Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. It got nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards, won three awards for Best British Independent Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. It got nominated for many prestigious awards, including Golden Globe Awards, London Film Critics Circle Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, Irish Film and Television Awards. It also won Dorian Award for the LGBTQ Film of the Year and Unsung Film of the Year

Language – English (America)

Cast: Not a queer cast. Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen

Awards – The film won multiple awards and received several nominations, including Best Actor to Tom Hanks at the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Also got nominated for BAFTA, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, and several of these even for its music. 

Reviews – The New York Times wrote, “Reviews have been generally favorable, and the film has won the support of many gay organizations. “I thought the movie was a very good step forward for Hollywood both in its depiction of gay themes and in dealing with AIDS,” said Ellen Carton, executive director of the New York Chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.”

Another article said, the director, Jonathan Demme, never intended to make the film for a gay audience but saw himself as the ideal viewer.

Language – English (America)

Cast: Ryan Murphy, the Director and Writer, is openly gay. Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello and Jonathan Groff, the actors, are also gay. The film also stars Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch and Julia Roberts. 

Awards – Got nominated and won several awards, including Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Producers Guild of America Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards. 

Reviews – Read on IMDB, “When I sat down to watch The Normal Heart, I had no idea just how much I was about to be moved, amazed, traumatized, enraged, heartbroken, and enlightened. I’ve been passionate about gay rights and issues ever since I knew what it was to be gay, and I had not one clue how horrible the AIDS epidemic was at its inception. The Normal Heart is an unflinching look at a horrific time in our history where human beings were treated by the masses as garbage. Literally. And that’s when they were even being acknowledged at all.” 

Language – Hindi (India)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew. Directed by Hansal Mehta, stars Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkumar Rao.

Awards – Manoj Bajpayee won Best Actor in 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Best Actor (Critics) Filmfare Awards. Rajkumar Rao got nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Filmfare Awards and IIFA Awards. 

Reviews – Nandini Ramnath, on Scroll, wrote “Aligarh is a moving portrait of the right to love and live”. LiveMint wrote, “It’s inevitable that any cinematic rendering of gay lives in India will be seen and promoted as an “issue film”. This has certainly been the case with Aligarh, and I hope it sparks conversations about Section 377 in TV studios and living rooms. Yet, an even bigger victory for the film might lie in getting vaguely homophobic viewers to empathize with Siras, to understand his distaste for easy labels, to admit that even they sit in the dark with a drink and listen to old Hindi film songs.”

Language – English (Australia)

Cast: Hannah Gadsby – she is queer herself, openly lesbian. 

Awards – It won several awards in comedy, including Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award, Helpmann Awards, Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Adelaide Fringe, AACTA International Awards, Peabody Award and Primetime Emmy Awards.

Reviews – Hannah Gadsby is an Australian lesbian comic who in the show through her social commentary takes on her life, experiences, trauma and homophobia. It received a lot of phenomenal feedback. Read on Twitter from someone from the queer community “Nanette also changed my life. I felt like finally someone was speaking to my lived experience in front of the whole Sydney Opera House and the words can never be taken back. Hannah Gadsby truly freed us all”.

Language – Hindi (India)

Cast: Shonali Bose, the Director, Producer and Writer of the movie, identifies as bisexual.  Cast is not queer: Kalki Koechlin, Sayani Gupta, Revathi, Kuljeet Singh

Awards – Bose won the NETPAC Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The production was subsequently awarded the Audience and the Youth Jury prizes at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema, respectively. Koechlin won several accolades for her performance, including the Best Actress Award at Tallinn, the Screen Award for Best Actress, and the Jury Award at the 63rd National Film Awards. She also garnered nominations for Best Actress at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Asian Film Awards. McCleary won the Best Composer Award at the latter ceremony. 

Reviews – Kathi Wolfe, a blind and queer writer, wrote ““Margarita” is a story of two attractive, smart, young, queer women with disabilities who fall in love. (Some of us in the disability community have proudly reclaimed the word “crip.”). So many of our images are formed by pop culture. In movies, you rarely see disabled characters — hetero or queer — work, go to school or even brush their teeth, let alone have sex.  Crip bodies aren’t sexy in Tinsel Town. “The mix of disability and sexuality may be too much for those raised on the Hollywood and adult film industry-inspired standards of beauty,” writes gay, deaf poet and playwright Raymond Luczak in “QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology,” a book he edited…..Contrary to the stereotypical cultural narratives around being queer and crip, Laila isn’t a tragic, pitiable or “inspirational” character. Though “Margarita” is often touching, it doesn’t feel like a “teachable moment.” It’s as refreshing as having a margarita on a summer night. “Margarita” isn’t focused on the characters’ disabilities, Anastasia Bacigalupo, who is hearing impaired and a lesbian, told me over the phone, “their lives are multi-faceted.”…Often films with queer characters depict disability as something to be “overcome” rather than portraying it as a part of being human, said Ray Bradford, director of programs, entertainment media with GLAAD. “Margarita,” a rare exception, shows Laila and Khanum as “whole” persons, Bradford said. “It’s one of only a few movies that doesn’t stereotype bisexuality,” he added. “Often bisexual characters are depicted as using their sexuality to their advantage.” Actress Geri Jewell (“The Facts of Life” and “Deadwood”), who has cerebral palsy, personally related to Laila’s quest for independence and search for love. “Margarita is so much more than another disability movie … it truly is a brilliant journey,” Jewell, a lesbian and author of “I’m Walking as Straight as I Can,” wrote in a review.”

Feminism in India wrote, “Margarita With A Straw is a coming of age tale and breaks all boundaries of heteronormativity, patriarchy and the ‘normal’. It is a lovely tale of love and miraculously made it past the censor board (I still can’t believe it!)”

Language – English (America)

Cast: Alice Wu, the Director is gay. It stars Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire and Collin Chou. 

Awards – So far, the film has received the top award at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature. It was also nominated for the 2021 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Limited Release).

Reviews – The film is a teen-dramedy on first love, class politics and small-town mentality told through the lens of a gay American-Asian teen. 

The Queerblr wites, “As far as the queer aspect of the film goes, it’s relatively subtle. Ellie clearly has feelings for Aster as the viewer can tell while listening to their letter correspondence and watching the various text exchange on screen. It’s framed as one of those infatuations where the other person “just gets you” sort of things. The Half of It does something that I really enjoyed, though – instead of Ellie putting a label to her feelings for Aster, the viewer watches her confidence change instead. It was much more powerful than Ellie putting words to how she identified.” The Queer Review wrote, “Despite an element of ingrained conservative Christian homophobia that surfaces in the town, refreshingly the film’s tension and drama doesn’t come from inner-angst over Ellie’s same-sex attraction to Aster, which is handled with delicate, touching nuance by Wu and her two female leads. I also enjoyed seeing high schoolers represented without a layer of nostalgia or being looked down on by a more mature writer; they’re treated with respect as the young adults we know them to be. When Ellie and Aster are expressing their feelings, or quoting Wim Wenders, they sound like mouthpieces for more worldly adults as with some YA dramas.”

Language – English (United Kingdom)

Cast: It stars, Mae Martin, a queer comedian. Who is also the Writer. It also stars Charlotte Richie, Lisa Kudrow, Ritu Arya, Sophie Thompson, Ophelia Lovibond, Phil Burgers. It is a two-seasons series. The show tackles serious subjects such as internalised homophobia, mental health and addiction but with a remarkably light touch.

Awards – So far, on Rotten Tomatoes, season 1 has an approval rating of 100% based on reviews from 41 critics, with an average rating of 8.3 out of 10. At the 2021 RTS Programme Awards, Martin and Hampson won Best Writer – Comedy. 

Reviews – Jude Dry, a queer writer, wrote “Heralding the arrival of a truly singular creative force, it’s one of the best queer shows of the year…. Back in London, Mae’s English rose George (Charlotte Ritchie) is nursing her heartache with new fling Elliot (Jordan Stephens), a so-called enlightened polyamorous bisexual who fails to see the irony in mansplaining women on emotional maturity and internalized misogyny. Needless to say, it doesn’t take long for Mae to win George back, and the two make fast work of a delightfully ridiculous roleplay montage that involves gender-bending knights and heavily accented plumbers. While not its sole mission, the sex-positivity that permeates “Feel Good” is a huge breath of fresh air. It’s probably the only TV series ever to show queer sex in all of its creativity, style, and playfulness — while still being pretty damn hot.”

Caroline Framke of Variety wrote: “Feel Good feels lowkey, insightful and real in a way that so much of TV tries to be, but rarely achieves quite like this – and yes, it also can feel pretty damn good.” 

Sahir Avik D’Souza of Film Companion wrote “Often there is a pressure on queer people to form a concrete definition of how we feel, but Feel Good tells us that it’s ok to be less than sure” 

Language – English (United Kingdom)

Cast: All-gay cast. Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Antony Perowski, Karamo Brown. 

Awards – For three consecutive years (2018,2019 and 2020), it got nominated and won several Primetime Emmy Awards. It won the following – Outstanding Structured Reality Program, Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program, Outstanding Director for a Reality Program. It also got nominated for four People’s Choice Awards in 2018. It won GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Program in 2019 and got nominated for the same in 2020 and 2021.

Reviews – Jake Nevins, a queer himself, wrote for the Guardian, “But in its Netflix reappraisal Queer Eye is pure, unbridled fun: earnest in its exploration of the cultural schisms between gay and straight men; topical and unpatronizing in its approach to contemporary politics; and refreshingly uncynical in its belief that there’s nothing a good makeover can’t fix.”

Language – Malayalam (India)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew. Nivin Pauly, Shashank Arora, Sobhita Dhulipala, Melissa Raju Thomas, Sanjana Dipu and Roshan Mathew.

Awards – Won Best Actor, Best Child Actor and Best Film at the New York Film Festival. Nivin Pauly received a special mention at the Kerala State Film Awards. 

Reviews – Feminism in India writes, “Moothon has opened the dialogue for queer representation in the mainstream, and if this isn’t a push enough to make better queer films, I don’t know what is.”

“Malayalam may have a string of celebrated screen romances, but there isn’t a single film that does justice to same-sex love. What makes Moothon an overwhelming film for us is the journey of Akbar and Amir. They communicate through unsaid words and furtive glances that make sense and speak volumes. Their chemistry is so very organic and realistic, we can easily relate to every moment of their love story,” says Jijo Kuriakose, artist, documentary filmmaker and LGBTQIA+ activist.

Language – Malayalam (India)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew. Jayasurya, Innocent, Jewel Mary, Jins Bhaskar, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Aju Varghese and Joju George. 

Awards – Kerala State Films Awards for Best Actor and Best Makeup Artist. 

Reviews – Laya Maria Jaison, a transwoman, in an interview said this about the movie – “This is the first time in history that a transgender’s real story has been shown on the silver screen. There are slices of real life in the film and many of them made me and others from the community cry our hearts out. These are situations that we have lived through,” She also doesn’t fail to praise Jayasurya for his performance. But at the same time, she also highlighted a couple of shortcomings, “A transsexual is also a part of the transgender community. Sometimes, it looks like the film is trying to promote transsexuals over transgenders. But that is not right. There are many transgenders who haven’t gone under the knife and have yet accepted their identity.” “Marykutty is strong and independent. She is a great role model. But she may not be a true reflection of our society. I wish everyone from the community gets access to good education and opportunities,”

Language – Malayalam (India)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew. Indrans, Srikanth Menon, Shaji AJ, Vishnu Agasthya

Awards – The film won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues while Indrans won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his widely acclaimed performance in the film.

Reviews – Dr. Trinetra Gummaraju Haldar, a transwoman, on the Netflix Instagram account says, “It is a Malayalam film which features Indrans as an ageing man searching for his missing son. The child left home 16 years ago, but when they reunite, we find that the child has actually transitioned and is a transwoman with a family of her own. While we need more trans participation in the cinema, stories about trans people are rarely portrayed with such sensitivity as portrayed in this film.”  

Language – English (Australia)

Cast: The Director and Actor, Josh Thomas, is gay. It also features Hannah Gadsby who is a lesbian.

Awards – Multiple awards and nominations, including at the Australian Writers Guild Awards, Australian Directors Guild Awards, AACTA Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, International Emmy Awards, Dorian Awards.

Reviews – Samantha Cavalcanti writes in the GLAAD blog, “The series presents all this with realness and dark comedy, and is one of very few shows to feature LGBTQ characters struggling with mental health. The series presents them in such a way that neither their sexualities nor their mental health are their sole defining characteristics, but those identities still play significant roles in their lives. Please Like Me is not the only show to address mental health in the LGBTQ community, but it is one of very few to do so in a nuanced way. We do not need more miserable and dying LGBTQ characters—television has killed too many already—but what we need are queer characters who face the adversity that is mental illness in a healthy and successful manner. We need characters who fight these struggles and win, and most importantly, we need them to feel real. Please Like Me feels incredibly real, while still drawing laughter with its off-beat humor. The series ended in December 2016, but it has set an example that other shows can follow in regards to LGBTQ characters struggling with their mental health.”

Language – English (Canada) 

Cast: Daniel Levy, the lead actor and creator, is out and gay. Eugene Levy is his father. It also stars Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. 

Awards – In 2015, Schitt’s Creek’s first season received two Directors Guild of Canada awards from three nominations. At the 2016 ceremony, season 1 received nine Canadian Screen Awards from 16 nominations. Schitt’s Creek’s second season received 13 nominations at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards. In 2018, the series received nominations from the US-based MTV Movie & TV Awards and the Critics’ Choice Television Award. In 2019, the series was nominated for 15 Canadian Screen Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role (Catherine O’Hara) and Best Comedy Program or Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. The same year, the series won Dorian Awards for TV Comedy of the Year and Unsung TV Show of the Year from the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. In 2020, the sixth and final season was nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards. This broke the record for the most Emmy nominations given to a comedy series in its final season. During the 2020 Emmys, the show became the first ever comedy or drama series to sweep the four acting categories (Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actress) and one of only four live action shows where all the principal actors have won at least one Emmy Award. In 2021, it won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast. Won nine awards at the Emmy’s.

Reviews – It shows a relationship between David (who identifies as pansexual) and Patrick (who identifies as gay). There are multiple platforms which have said that show normalizes LGBTQIA+ people and identities without ever making it too complex.

Language – Hindi (India)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew.

Awards – Best Screenplay at the New York Indian Film Festival. Also selected for Special Screening at Cannes Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, etc. 

Reviews – Dr. Trinetra Gummaraju Haldar, a transwoman, on the Netflix Instagram account recommends and says, “The movie is about unlikely characters crossing paths and then starting a new life journey.” It has also been recommended by the NGO, Tarshi. 

Language – English

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew.

Awards – Primetime Emmy Awards 2016

Reviews – “Transparent feature positive portrayals of transgender and queer women of color.” https://www.vice.com/en/article/7bmx44/a-beautiful-laundrette-taught-me-to-deserve-love

Language – English (British)

Cast: Not a queer cast/crew.

Awards – British Film Institute ranked My Beautiful Laundrette the 50th greatest British film of the 20th century

Language – Malayalam

Awards – Winner of Chicago International Film Festival 2004;  Autostraddle listed the movie as being among the 102 best lesbian films of all time

Language – Gujrati

Cast – The narrator is  Manvendra Singh Gohil the only openly gay Royal person Prominent Indian LGBT rights activist, and prince of Rajpipla, Manvendra Singh Gohil, narrates the film at was at the premier.

Review – ‘The gay and transgender community mostly provides the comic element in mainstream Bollywood films,’ said Gohil. ‘Meghadhanushya is an attempt to change that perception.’

Multiple Indian Languages : Hindi, English, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Kashmiri.

Cast – Director Onir is openly Gay

Awards – Best Supporting Actress Annual Central European Bollywood Awards, India 2012;  Jury Award Best Narrative Feature KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2011

Languages : English (British)

Cast – Story Writer Francis Lee was inspired by his own story he too is Gay

Awards – Winner Best Film Berlin International Film Festival 2017; Best British Independent Film Awards 2017; Winner of Czech Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2017; Best film Dinard British Film Festival 2017, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics 2018. Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, US 2017; Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival 2017; LesGaiCineMad, Madrid International LGBT Film Festival 2017

Languages : English and Hindi

Cast – Onir the director is openly Gay

Awards – Image + Nation Festival Cinema LGBT Montreal Film Festival 2005 Best Feature film ; Best feature Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2006

Languages : Bengali

Cast – It stars Ritupurno Ghosh  who was queer

Languages : Kannada

Awards – National Film Awards, India 2015

Cast – Based on the life of Living Smile Vidya, a transgender woman