Reporter's Facebook Note Becomes a Film

Made by a team of filmmakers from Mumbai, the video has crossed 11,000 views in a couple of weeks

Published: 09th September 2014 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2014 09:14 AM   |  A+A-


BANGALORE: Three months ago, after a particularly difficult day out on the roads, Nivedita Niranjankumar, an Express reporter, vented out on Facebook about how the society objectifies women. The article vouched for every woman’s right to make her own lifestyle choices without the fear of harassment. ‘Yes, I wear a bra. And it shows. So?’ it said and went on to attract over 3,00,000 likes and several thousand comments.

The reactions that ensued were alarming and the writer even received rape and death threats on her personal phone. Men, and even women, criticised her for ‘wanting to dress provocatively and expecting men not to stare.’ It was, however, heartening to see that a lot of people saw the point she was trying to make. Some even advised her to be bold and not buckle under the pressure. “Don’t play the victim. When a man’s look makes you uncomfortable, make eye contact and glare. Make him look away first. Say things like ‘do you want something?’ or ‘can I help you?’ very loud and very assertively. Let him know you are not to be messed with,” advised Sue Cornair, a woman from the USA.

Facebook.JPGThe article went viral in a matter of days and recently, a team of filmmakers based in Mumbai has made a short film based on it. The film shows women walking around at night freely, running on the beach and dancing at clubs without inhibition. It creates images of women who live in a world where men don’t stare and there is no fear of abuse, with Nivedita's words as a voice over.

Payal Kumar, the cinematographer of the film, says, “We made the short film for a contest organised by the YesBank Foundation. The results won’t be out till October, but the film has already been viewed over 11,000 times on YouTube.”

“In course of the shoot, it became more than just a film to us,” she further says. “For shooting the vox pop part of the film, we went to Juhu Market and struck a conversation about women’s safety with a lot of men. While most of them went the usual way and blamed the women, we did get some surprisingly hopeful responses. And as we left the place, we noticed that the men had started discussing the subject among themselves,” she says with a smile.

“We went home with a high that day. We had sparked a debate, which is remarkable,” she adds.

Directed by Akshay Vishwanath and produced by Anand Sivakumaran, the short film was shot with six women in six different locations within 101 hours, as per the rules of the contest. You can watch it here: 


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