Last year , on the day of the Theme Reveal I’d taken a 5AM flight in the morning , a bus journey to another city at 5PM , posted my theme reveal around midnight & stayed up to read countless blogs thereafter.
The inspirational story about my Theme Reveal this year is that I have one!
So on that exciting note , let’s kickstart the countdown to April when I’d be blogging daily [ minus the Sundays ] as a part of the AtoZChallenge 2017 . The two genre I love to write about would come together in this space as an alphabet inspired post per day.
Women & Movies!
Since the year began , I’ve explored various narratives concerning representation of women. For the AtoZChallenge , I’d be extending this stream of thought in the contemporary Indian mainstream cinema.
As Indians movies have been such an integral part of our lives , they’re almost a religion to us. We have watched those beautiful tales unfold on the Silverscreen . Daydreamt our life with soundtracks playing in the background , have obsessed over celeb-trivia & watched those larger than life characters with star-crossed love.
But beyond the song & dance , the movies are also an industry with its set of rules and ways of business . We know it runs because of its leading men but then again the leading ladies make them the ‘heroes’. So the women are there for a purpose in most mainstream Indian movies but how relevant are they to the larger story is something we barely give too much thought to as long as they look beautiful and dance like magic.
As per a study on Female characters in popular cinema across 11 countries called Gender Bias Without Borders by Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media & UN Women , Indian movies topped the charts in under & stereotypical representation of women in popular movies. Indian movies focus on aesthetics isn’t breaking news , but it was shocking to know in our movies more than 1/3 of female characters are ‘objectified’ , the highest across the sample .
The screen time and space women enjoyed in powerful roles was significantly lesser . With women taking up less than 1/4th of screen ‘speaking’ time in our movies , we were at the bottom. Even the numbers behind the screen weren’t very positive as lesser women contribute in the mainstream ‘Bollywood’ industry as producers or scriptwriter than most others included in the study, as low as 1 female for every 6 males are involved in the process of film-making.
But those are stats and blogging isn’t about mathematics , it’s about opinions . So what’s my point?
The ‘Women in Movies’ series here won’t be exploring these gaps , it’ll be celebrating everything that’s right.
All through April , explore with me characters that make us question those facts .
The women that aren’t just a pretty face like the wallpaper adding to the overall screen décor , they are critical to the narrative . They make the entire movie run around them, they move the story forward .
Characters that are strong , poignant , beautiful and most importantly real & relatable .
I am collaborating with Jaibala Rao who is blogging about iconic movies of our generation here . Click here to join me in my #AtoZChallenge journey this April as I explore women representation in contemporary movies. If you find my theme interesting and/or are participating in AtoZ too, drop a note or connect with me on Twitter and let the conversations begin.