Make-up artist, Benjamin Daimary won the 67th National Film award for his portrayal of a trans character.

Benjamin Daimary made history by becoming the very first openly gay actor to bag a National award. He was awarded the jury special mention at the 67th National Film Awards on March 22. He won this award for his portrayal of Jahnu, a transgender, in Prakash Deka’s Assamese film Jonaki Poruwa (Fireflies) and was wildly appreciated. 

On receiving the award Benjamin told Assamese Media, “When I saw my name on the list, I got goosebumps. I have never thought of receiving such an honor.” This 20-year-old, who is a make-up artist by profession hails from Goreswar, a small town in the Baksa district of Assam. Benjamin is also the first Assamese from the LGBTQ community to win such a huge honor.

The film is based in a remote village in Assam.‘Fireflies-Jonaki Porua’ directed by Prakash Deka, beautifully tells the story of the protagonist, Jahnu’s resilient journey to becoming Jahnavi, a transwoman standing against the tide to be free and herself. Born in a society that is yet to come to terms with the trans community, Jahnavi must be her own guiding light at the end of this tunnel comprising of darkness in the form of hate and ignorance. This film follows the internal struggle of a trans woman coming to terms with her identity and depicts how Indian society generally treats transgenders.

Watch the trailer here

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