In an effort to support and empower Indian female talent in filmmaking, Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director and Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms Ltd., Balaji Motion Pictures and Alt Balaji, Guneet Monga, Founder and CEO, Sikhya Entertainment and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, writer & filmmaker have come together to lay the foundations for Indian Women Rising, a film collective.
In India, there has been a lot of discussion about the representation of women on screen. While this situation is far from ideal, the focus on the women behind the camera has been even more limited.
Speaking of the origin of this film collective, Guneet Monga shares: “Less than 5% of the total directors in India are women. It’s time to change those stats and double down on each other. I firmly believe that India is a gold mine of talent and with this collective we want to shine the spotlight on many amazing women who can benefit from our humble support. The intention is to use our collective resources to amplify independent creators. “
Tahira Kashyap Khurrana adds, “There is a limited amount of work represented on women and the scope is further reduced when it is by women. As a film collective, we try to approach this within the framework of the films. Since there is limited material representation when it comes to women and their stories, we are easily stereotyped. Either we have revolutionaries on one end of the spectrum, or tragedy-stricken young ladies on the other end. I mean we can be all of these, but there is so much more for us. Our bandwidth is greater than the general assumption that maybe will emerge if we have more women working not only in front of the camera, but behind it as well. This collective intends to upset the framed notions about women.
Ekta Kapoor shares: “When Guneet and Tahira told me about the idea of launching this collective, it was an instant yes from me. It is always exciting to collaborate with like-minded people. I’ve always believed that women create wonders when they have the right opportunity and the right support. Through IWR, our vision is to do this and empower independent directors and creators and give them a platform to showcase their talent. We hope our collective will encourage more female directors to showcase their work and lead the way in our industry.
The collective aims to discover Indian female talents in cinema and to amplify their work with a push for marketing, sales and distribution regardless of geographic location. Any filmmaker in India or outside India can apply to the collective. In its first phase, the collective will only actively seek out finished films – whether it’s a short, documentary or feature film.
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