Casting India's third gender: Namrata Singh Gujral opens up about the backlash to her rom-com 5 Weddings

Indian-American director Namrata Singh Gujral talks about the threats she received for making her latest film, and casting first-time actors from India's third gender.
(Uniglobe Entertainment)

In North America, the conversation about diversity on screen is getting louder, but depending on where you are in the world, that conversation can be very different.

Namrata Singh Gujral is an Indian-American director with a unique perspective on diverse casting. Her latest film, 5 Weddings is a fluffy rom-com that has been banned in Kuwait and censored in India and Malaysia because of a subplot that features hijra, known as India's third gender.

In India, third gender is a legally recognized designation, but the hijra community, which identifies as neither male nor female, still faces discrimination.

Gujral​ talked to q's Tom Power about the threats she received for making this film, and casting first-time actors from India's third gender. 

5 Weddings is in select theatres across North America right now, and available on-demand at the end of the month.

Listen to the full conversation with Namrata Singh Gujral near the top of this page.

Produced by Vanessa Greco

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