Bollywood Women Directors: Not Weak!

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With countries like Sweden supporting their filmmakers monetarily, it seemed like the normally ignored Bollywood women directors would love the same subsidiary. Negative. Bollywood women directors do not feel the need for the government to help them finance their films. They went on to individually explain that there are perfectly fine by themselves. The following ladies took to a panel at the MAMI’s 12th Mumbai Film Festival and explained their passion for cinema albeit the fact that they a) were not men and b) did not need the help of men to make good films.

Acclaimed director Zoya Aktar, went on to explain that even if her films are more feminine, it’s her film ultimately. “If I’m the director, it’s my party. I will cry if I want to. I will be in all my hormonal glory. I’m not going to be embarrassed by it. As a man, you have chosen to be part of my set, so you handle it, boy,” she added.

Newbie Anusha Rizvi was questioned as to sexism in the industry in all facets. “In workplaces, men have two ways of dealing with women, quiet flirtation or outright condescending. So you have to figure out how to deal with it. Beyond a point, there is no point talking about it,” Rizvi said.

In fact, Aisha director Rajshree Ojha experienced a number of interesting events while shooting her directorial debut. “Everybody was shouting. We had fights on the sets. There were a lot of hormones. The men were very scared of the women on the sets,” she explained.

Actress and now director Nandita Das added, “They expect you not to be able to handle the pressures that comes on the set as a director. There is definitely a thing of labeling women.”

Leena Yadav, whose first film Shabd was a washout at the box office went on to explain her experiences of direction, “There’s an expectation that as a woman you’ll probably make something different, and your women characters have to be outstanding.”

And finally Sooni Taraporevala, who directed Little Zizou, confessed her reasons for taking years before finally deciding to plunge into direction. “After having written numerous scripts for others, it took me 24 years to write my own and once I had written it I did not want to give it to anyone else. I wanted to give myself a 50-year present.”

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