30 min | 2014 | India
In Punjabi, Hindi & English w/subtitles
Directed by Harjant Gill
Produced by PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust)


Mardistan is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young college student wanting a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India, starting a conversation on urgent issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.


“Mardistan presents Indian masculinities in all their complexities as they emerge in a context of a powerful and shifting debate in India on sexual violence, sexual rights and citizenship. This is a powerful, insightful, and teachable film that overturns simplistic notions of gender and seeks to widen the debate on the relation between patriarchy, masculinity, sexuality and gender.” – Inderpal Grewal (Yale University), author of Transnational America and Home and Harem

“… very thoughtful and insightful… a rich provocation, a nuanced reflection, and even richer ethnographic text… a teaching resource by anthropologist in various ways - for gender studies, urban studies, and South Asian or International Studies, as well as for its excellent example of visual methods to use in ethnography.” – Tarini Bedi, in American Anthropologist, 118 (3)


TV Broadcast:

• Doordarshan (Indian National TV) – Fall 2015

Film Festivals & Academic Settings:

• South Asia Institute, UT Austin (invited screening) – April 2018
• Institute for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley (invited screening) – November 2017
• Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison WI – October 2017
• South Asian International Documentary Film Festival, Seattle – February 2017
• Mumbai International Film Festival – January 2016
• NY Indian Film Festival – May 2015
• DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival – April 2015
• Ethnografilm Festival, Paris – April 2015
• Screening Scholarship Media Conference, University of Pennsylvania – March 2015
• SCRIPT Film Festival, Kochi – February 2015 ***Award: 2nd Place “Best Documentary”***
• International Film Festival of Prayag – February 2015
• The FD Zone - Film Division, Mumbai – January 2015
• Men & Boys for Gender Justice Festival JNU, New Delhi - November 2014
• Open Frame Festival, New Delhi - September 2014