Indian movie A Place of our Own wins Hivos Free to be Me Award

The award distinguishes a film that contributes to acceptance and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

During LGBTQ+ film festival Roze Filmdagen, Hivos will present the Free to be Me Award to A Place of our Own on Saturday, April 1. A Place of our Own is the story of Laila and Roshni, two trans women looking for a home after being evicted from their rental property. It soon becomes clear that their search is part of an ongoing search for a place in society. The film shows the discrimination and stigmatization that individuals from the LGBTQ+ community must fight daily. But it is also a film about the importance of community and allies to stand strong together.

 A Place of our Own

Every year during Roze Filmdagen, Hivos presents the Free to be Me Award. A prize for a film that contributes to acceptance and visibility in a country where there is little room for diversity. With the award, Roze Filmdagen and Hivos give the makers of their film a stage to express themselves as well as their deep appreciation for their craft. A Place of our Own is a production of Ektara Collective, an independent collective of filmmakers making films about marginalized communities. Several individuals from the collective will be present to receive the award in person during the special award screening on Saturday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at Het Ketelhuis in Amsterdam. You can buy tickets here. A Place of our Own can also be watched during the final festival day on Sunday, April 2.

“We are greatly honoured to be receiving the Hivos Free To Be Me Award. This award not only gives recognition for our work and the contexts from which such stories emerge but also validates the collective process through which the film was made. A Place of our Own was created under extraordinary circumstances, during the pandemic and it was only the determination and commitment of the cast and crew to the story and cinema that made it possible. We would also like to specially mention the grace and courage of the actors who acted in the face of discrimination and hostility that society reserves for them. We hope that the film will help amplify the voice of the trans-queer community and also hold a mirror to society.”

- Maheen Mirza from Ektara Collective

Free to be Me Award

For the sixth time in a row, Hivos is presenting the Hivos Free to be Me Award during Roze Filmdagen. The award is given annually to a film from a country where there is little space and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. Previous winners are:

  • 2022: Kapana, Philippe Talavera, Namibia
  • 2021: Valentina, Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Brazil
  • 2020: Todos Cambiamos, Arturo Montenegro, Panama
  • 2019: Rafiki, Wanuri Kahiu, Kenia
  • 2018: Evening Shadows, Sridhar Rangayan, India

Roze Filmdagen

Roze Filmdagen is a 12-day film festival screening feature films, short films, documentaries and online talk shows with an LGBTQ+ related theme. The 26th edition of the festival will take place from Wednesday, March 22 to Sunday, April 2, 2023 at Het Ketelhuis in Amsterdam. Ticket sales start March 6 via