As an effort to support and empower Indian female talent in cinema, Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms Ltd, Balaji Motion Pictures and Alt Balaji, Guneet Monga, Founder and CEO, Sikh Entertainment and Tahira Kashyap Khurana, author. & Filmmakers have come together to lay the foundation for a cinema collective Indian Women Rising.
In India, there has been much discussion about the representation of women on screen. While this situation is far from ideal, the focus on women behind the camera is even more limited.
Speaking about the origins of this cinema collective, Guneet Monga stated, “Less than 5% of the total directors in India are women. It is time we change these data and repeat each other. I firmly believe that India is a gold mine of talents and with this collectivity we want to shine the spotlight on many wonderful women who can benefit from our humble support. The intention is to use our collective resources to increase independent women creators. “
Tahira Kashyap Khurana says, “Work about women is limited in scope and its scope is reduced by women. We, as a cinema collective, are trying to address this in the realm of films. Since there is limited material representation when it concerns women and their stories, we easily become stereotyped. Either we have revolutionaries at one end of the spectrum or tragedy-stricken damsels at the other extreme. I mean we can be everyone but there is a lot for us. Our bandwidth is wider than the usual assumption that would probably surface if we had more women working not only in front of the camera, but also behind. This collective intends to disrupt boxing assumptions about women. “
Ekta Kapoor said, “When Guneet and Tahira told me about the idea of launching this collective, it was a quick yes for me. It is always exciting to collaborate with similar people. I have always believed that women are surprised when they get the right opportunities and support. Through IWR, our vision is to empower independent women filmmakers and creators and give them a platform to showcase their talent. We hope that our collective will encourage more women directors to come forward with their work and move forward in our industry. “
The collective objective of exploring Indian female talent in cinema and enhancing their work with marketing, sales and distribution irrespective of geographical locations. Any filmmaker in or outside India can apply collectively. In its first phase, the collective will actively seek out films ending only as a short, a documentary or a feature film.
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