The Protector (Muhafiz)


Writer/Director – Pradipta Ray | Length: ~20 min | Language: Hindi (English Subtitles)

During the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat, India, 30-year-old Samir, smuggles a Rafiq, a bearded Muslim man, being chased by a Hindu mob, into his workshop. Once inside, however, Samir tries unsuccessfully to seduce the handsome Rafiq. Annoyed by the refusal, Samir throws Rafiq out of his house, only later to find a terrified Rafiq who has managed to sneak back in.

Their dialogue leads to both men understanding each other’s plight a little better. Both conclude that the gay/trans community is no better off than the Muslim community – hunted and invisible.

BFI Flare 2022 – World Premiere

Inside Out 2022 – North American Premiere

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival – Winner Best Short Film, Best Screenplay, Nominee Best Lead

IRIS Prize 2022 – Nominee Best International Short