Private Project

Rainbows Are Real

A candid look into the lives of three transgender persons in Kolkata, who are shunned by society and forced to make ends through sex work. This documentary is not just a story of their dark and difficult lives,but also their beautiful journeys filled with psychedelic and vibrant colors of the rainbow that mesmerizes its viewers. It revolves around the lives of Anu, Tracy and Pauli - their work, their homes, their difficulties, their childhood, their chosen families,their hobbies and their normality. All three are in their early twenties- Pauli is a sex worker, Anu is till searching a job, and the English speaking Tracy works at a call centre. Listening to their stories and realising their emotions this film really makes one wonder why and how such people can be denied their basic human rights!

  • Ritesh Sharma
  • Arushi Pandey
  • Ritesh Sharma
  • Govind Menon K P
  • Johnson Rajkumar
  • Parvez Ahmed
  • Susnato Chatterji
  • Nimai Das
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 23, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    16,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Bengali, English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Boston, U.S.A
    April 6, 2014
    World Premiere
  • Vibgyor International short and Documentary Film Festival
    Kerala, India
    February 12, 2014
    Indian Premiere
  • Bangalore Queer Film Festival
    Banaglore, India
    March 2, 2014
  • Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
    Mumbai, India
    May 24, 2014
  • International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala
    Kerala, India
    July 21, 2014
  • Kolkata International Film festival 2014
    Kolkata, India
    November 21, 2014
  • The Woodpecker Film Festival
    Delhi, India
    December 12, 2014
  • Delhi international Film Festival
    New Delhi, India
    December 25, 2014
Director Biography - Ritesh Sharma

Ritesh Sharma is a prominent young film-maker based in Delhi. His first independent work is the feature-length documentary “The Holy Wives” on caste based sexual exploitation of women and children in India.
He has been associated with theatre for the last thirteen years. He is a Delhi based activist, who involved in several film productions since 2008. He has directed documentary films on various social issues and worked with different production houses in India.
“Rainbows are Real” is his second independent feature length documentary movie.

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Director Statement

This is the second time I am sitting to compose the Director’s Note, and I am ten times more swept away by the power of community. The cast, crew, production staff and our many community volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring this story to life for you amidst laughter, excitement, and the pure joy of working together. I am honoured to be a part of this film, one that truly belongs to the community.

I am proud to present you with 'Rainbows are Real' not only a film straight from my heart but also a film that represents my transformation as a Director and as a person.
Listening to their stories changed my perspective completely. As realisation came to me, so did revelation of how amazing and colourful the life of transgenders actually are. This revelation made me believe that I have to make people aware.
Being a part of their family made what earlier was just a belief, a concrete foundation of how I needed to show the masses their stories. I wanted my film to reach the common audience.

So here we are today, my team and I, starting a worldwide campaign, through my film, ‘Rainbows are Real’.