Aussie surfer gal, Poppy Stockwell trained a camera on herself as her long-distance romance with Sandeep Virdi began to blossom first online, and then by telephone. Two problems; not only does Sandeep live half a world away in England, but she’s in her 30s and is still not out to her traditional Southeast Asian family.

Poppy’s documentary about the relationship, “Searching 4 Sandeep,” which follows their accelerated romance and the drama of the coming-out process for Sandeep, played at the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival on Saturday.

Every coming out story feels familiar yet is uniquely wrenching in its own way. Sandeep and Poppy’s story is a testament to the drama couples will endure for love. In Sandeep’s case this means risking estrangement from her family or living in denial about who she is. In Poppy’s case this means relocating to a different country and risking her heart on someone who’s just embracing life as a lesbian.

The documentary ends on a mostly upbeat note, but it was released in 2007. Can a new relationship with a newly out partner last, especially when it’s available for public scrutiny at film festivals all over the world? I couldn’t find a definitive answer but the MySpace page for the movie lists Poppy as “in a relationship.” I hope this means that love endures.

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