Session 9               
Friday June 9, 2006    10:15PM TO 12:30AM
AMC/LOEWS Boston Common: 175 Tremont St. Boston
Factor 8                            (92 min)

FACTOR 8 is about to take its place in history as one of the most
tragic pharmaceutical drug stories since Thalidomide. Made from
tainted blood bought from the Arkansas prison system, Factor 8
infected thousands of unsuspecting Canadians with HIV and hepatitis
C—and the Canadians were only the tip of the iceberg. Under the
watchful eye of the Department of Corrections and the Arkansas
government with Bill Clinton at the helm, FACTOR 8 uncovers the
devastating human tragedy that took place when blood tainted with
viral hepatitis and HIV/AIDS was allowed to pass through the prison
blood donation system, sold to pharmaceutical companies and used
to make a drug that was given to hemophiliacs around the world. This
is a story of blood for profit, government cover-up and a fundamental
moral flaw that is shocking in its implications. As more cases are
discovered and the death toll continues to rise, lawsuits abound and
investigations begin again. Kelly Duda’s dedication to the truth is an
inspiration—this expose wears his heart on its sleeve, refusing to let
the victims die in vain. - Natalie McMenemy, AFI

Kelly Dudda
(USA) Digital Video



The Celestial Brides              (27 min)

In the month of April, every year, thousands of Eunuchs gather in
Koovagam, a village in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to
participate in the Aravani festival. Considered as the incarnations of
Mohini, the feminine form of God Krishna, the Eunuchs are married to
the warrior deity, Aravan. Several men, both heterosexual and
homosexual, join the brides of Aravan - the Aravanis, to celebrate this
one-day celestial marriage and to indulge in unobstructed sexual
activities. This unique and unfamiliar practice in Hindu tradition openly
sanctions the union of homosexuals, proving that Hindu mythology did
recognize and assign members of the transgender community a
distinct status of their own.  In spite of the mythological reference, the
Aravanis have always been tormented, neglected and constantly
devalued by their family and society. Using the festival as a pretext,
the pilgrims indulge in unprotected sex with the Aravanis, posing a
serious threat to their health and resulting in rampant spread of HIV
and AIDS. Despite their social, sexual and economic hardships, the
Aravanis smile bravely and savor the Koovagam celebrations. Once
the festivities come to a close, they sadly withdraw into their close-knit
familial networks of mothers, sisters and daughters and continue to
crusade for the betterment of their community. ‘The Celestial Brides’
voices their outcries to strip the hypocrisy and open doors for equal
opportunities, legal rights and acceptance of their sexuality. It asserts
their need to be treated as human beings and poses the poignant
question - if mythology can accept Aravanis, why can’t society?

WRITER: Dr.Kalai Parthiban
DIRECTOR: Parthiban Shanmugam
PRODUCER: Parthiban Shanmugam, Kantharaj Kasthuri,
Tamilnadu Chennai
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Siva Silvaraj, Sapna Gandhi
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