Change is inevitable

Govind Nihalani

With women directors in the forefront of the Screen nomination race, film-maker Govind Nihalani welcomes the shift in trends

India is the only country in the world which provides equal opportunity to its women folk. Films then are a reflection of this attitude. Although a film like English Vinglish has a female protagonist, this does not mean that in the future films with women playing second fiddle to men will not be made. English Vinglish is a perfect example of the successful partnership of the actor Sridevi and director Gauri Shinde.

While, women helming major projects is a positive sign, the change had to eventually happen. The old notion about women being incapable of handling technical aspects of film-making no longer holds ground. Women are honing in their skills at the various film-making institutions, providing specialised knowledge about direction, lighting, editing that have sprung up in recent times.

Education has helped in breaking old gender prejudices. Big stars too do not question the gender of their director.

A common thread in this year's nomination is that all the women are approximately the same age. I am very happy that they are making a mark in their fields. As a film-maker, I never held any prejudices against women co-workers. This new found confidence amongst women is mainly due to education which empowers her and instills confidence in her capability, and helps her to approach producer and financiers.

It is imperative that they do not imitate their male counterparts, and establish their own individual identity. The categories should remain gender neutral. This change also reflects the changing attitude of the society towards women. With emerging opportunities in all spheres, they no longer need to suffer from inferiority complex.

While the concept of the film is the director's visualisation, it is not necessary that women-oriented subjects can be dealt only by women. They should not limit their perspective. It is heartening to note that directors like Reema Kagti and Gauri Shinde have proved a point with their nomination. Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair, who have made their mark on the international circuit, are role models to the young generation. One should also not forget the contribution of Sai Paranjpe, Aparna Sen, Hema Malini, Farah Khan and South directors Revathi and Suhasini.

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