‘Abu’ – A film by Arshad Khan

Arshad Khan is a Montreal-based filmmaker and film festival programmer. Khan’s internationally acclaimed, award-winning autobiographical documentary Abu (2017) has played at film festivals around the world and won the INSPIRIT Foundation grant for 2018/19. Abu documents his rocky relationship with his father after Khan came out as a gay man. It also chronicles the wider story of young gay people fighting homophobia and invisibility within South Asian and Muslim cultures.

The film screening, which was held on February 25, 2020, drew a wide and diverse audience from across the city and was followed by a lively discussion with Arshad Khan about his inspiration, the process of making the film, and his experiences screening it around the world. Members of the audience shared their own emotional responses to the film and personal stories, and there was a wider discussion about marginalised sexualities in South Asian cultures including in Pakistan and in the diaspora.