A few days back, film producers Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, and author-director Tahira Kashyap had joined hands to launch Indian Women Rising (IWR), a cinema collective to support and empower Indian female talent in the film industry.
Spearheaded by the trio, the initiative ‘Of - By and For Women’ is aimed at discovering, nurturing and bringing spotlight on Indian women in cinema across the world. It has been launched with the sole purpose of disrupting the status quo and amplifying the voice of Indian female filmmakers.
Ekta, Guneet and Tahira took to their social media handles to introduce the platform. They posted, “With an endeavour to bring forth the unseen and unheard stories by imperative women creators of India, we present to you, Indian Women Rising, because when YOU shine, WE shine!.”
IWR aims to discover Indian female talent in cinema and amplify their work with marketing, sales and distribution push, irrespective of geographical locations. Any filmmaker in or outside of India can apply at the collective.
“Less than five percent of the total directors in India are female. It’s time we change these stats. I strongly believe that India is a goldmine of talent, and with this collective we wish to shine the spotlight on many amazing women who can benefit from our humble support,” Guneet tells the media.
“There is a limited amount of work about women and the scope reduces further when it’s by women. We, as a cinema collective, are trying to address this,” adds Tahira.
IWR has now boarded Student Academy Award-winning short film, Bittu, as presenter.
Directed by Karishma Dev Dube, Bittu is based on a real life incident from 2013. It shows the story of a close friendship between two girls (played by Rani Kumari and Renu Kumari) in northern India that is eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school.
“Bittu is a heartwarming watch. The film’s story and its endearing characters tug at your heartstrings and you can’t help but walk their emotional journey with them, hand-in-hand,” Ekta tells the media.
Bittu has won a silver medal at the Student Academy Awards in 2020. That makes it eligible for the 2021 Oscars in the best live action short category.
(Edited by Anju Narayanan)