An American scholar from the University of California has been granted the prestigious Fullbright-mtvU Scholarship to study music of the gay and lesbian community in India. Jeffrey Roy from the University of California in Los Angeles is currently in post-production of his feature-length documentary film, entitled "Rites of Passage," following the gender transition of an Indo-Muslim transsexual female.
The short-film version of the project (already completed) won "Audience Choice - Best Short" at the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival. Besides English and French Roy knows Hindi and Urdu. The US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU yesterday announced the 2012 winners of the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship to study, for an academic year, aspects of international musical culture in Barbados, Botswana, India and Kosovo.
The other three winners are Albulen Shabani (University of Wisconsin) who will study women's musical groups in Kosovo; Katherine Cloutier (Michigan State University) to study community health and music in Barbados and Sebastian Modak (University of Pennsylvania) to study local hip hop and HIV/AIDS awareness in Botswana.
In partnership with mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, the Fulbright fellowship uses music to promote mutual understanding. The winners will share their experiences during their Fulbright year via video reports, blogs and podcasts.