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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

Documenting Queer Diaspora

A Screening and Conversation with Atif Siddiqi & Eisha Marjara on QTPOC Filmmaking in Montréal since the 1990s

//Friday, February 19 2021

//2-4 PM EST

//Online Event

//Registration at Eventbrite

The Global Emergent Media Lab‘s Race Critical Theories series and Cinema in the Midst of Struggle present a conversation with filmmakers Atif Siddiqi & Eisha Marjara. Trailblazers of QTPOC film and video since the late 1990s, this event will discuss their works amidst the challenges of diasporic queer and trans representation in Québec. Confronting traditional heteronormative narratives, Siddiqi and Marjara’s films capture intimate portraits of the socio-cultural landscapes of South-Asian experience in Montréal. Alongside this discussion, the directors will also present a screening of Marjara’s short film (featuring Siddiqi) House for Sale (2012), amongst other clips of films and videos from throughout their careers.

Event moderated by Gregorio Pablo Rodríguez-Arbolay (PhD Candidate, Humanities). Please email for more information.

Please note: Select films from Eisha and Atif's careers will be made available online for viewing during the weeks before and after the event. Some of these films will be reserved only for registered attendees from Concordia University to comply with copyright restrictions.


House for Sale (dir. Eisha Marjara, 2012)

CANADA, 18 minutes, English (French subtitles)

Description: A stranger shows up posing as a homebuyer at a suburban house that is up for sale. As the owner's wife gives her a tour of the place, she recalls a memorable night when a fatal promise was made.

WINNER: Jury Award Best Canadian Short (Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival); Best Int'l Men's Short (NCGLFF); Winner Crystal Cactus Award (Out in the Desert LGBT Film Festival); Best Performance Atif Siddiqi (Mosaic South Asian International Film Festival); Best Performance Atif Siddiqi (Fetisch Film Festival, Germany); Audience Award (Image+Nation Film festival); Best Short Film (Long Island LGBT Film Festival)



Atif Siddiqi studied fashion design in Los Angeles and video production/performance in Montreal where they live currently. Their work revolves around gender identity, ecology, justice, notions of personal transformation and metamorphosis by incorporating elements of symbolism and iconography. Their artistic body of work includes the long form experimental documentaries, Solo (winner best documentary) and M! Mom, Madonna and Me. Audio recordings of Amethyst’s Universe, Firefly, and Tranie Tronic. Various other short form videos like Unique Mythology, Erotic, Exotic, and performances of Alienation are also part of their portfolio.


Montreal-based filmmaker Eisha Marjara has made several award-winning films including Locarno’s Prix de la Semaine de Critique winner DESPERATELY SEEKING HELEN, German-Canadian THE TOURIST and HOUSE FOR SALE. She has also authored her novel Faerie (Arsenal Pulp Press) which received rave reviews in the Canadian and American press, including a star review in US Publisher’s Weekly. Faerie is about a South Asian Candian teenager struggling with anorexia. VENUS, her first fiction feature produced by Joe Balass, received the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature at Whistler Film Festival, Best Feature Film at Cinequest Film Festival, at Reelout, MIX Milano and several other awards at International film festivals. She’s developing features CALORIE and FAERIE, an adaptation from her novel.


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