Women have stepped into every sphere. There are singers. There are dancers. There are choreographers. There are actors. There are women filmmakers too. But only a few days ago, Sajida Khan from the city was lauded for something slightly different. She was given the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for being the first woman audio engineer in the country.
The excited 30-year-old says, “This award is going to change a number of things in my life.” Sajida who stays at Moula Ali took up multimedia courses and earned a diploma in Computer Applications after her intermediate.“I started working right after that -- recording and mixing audio for films on project basis,” she recalls. She worked with music directors like Chakri, RP Patnaik, film director and producer Dasari Narayana Rao and a number of others. “There were all kinds of films -- big budget, small budget and even art films,” she tells us, where as part of the job, Sajida has to work with dubbing artists, mix audio, add sound effects and also background score. Apart from this regular job, the engineer is also currently also pursuing a course from Trinity College in London. “I am studying piano and how to write a musical note,” she says. She would like to pursue music and compose for films in the future. “I got offers in the past, but I wasn’t able to give time because of my job. But I would like to pursue it soon,” she shares.
Sajida also points that the ratio of women in the technical side of film and television business is very low.
“In films, you will see that there is one female assistant director. They need that one person so that the director can communicate with the leading lady or may be the designers. That is their purpose,” she observes. “Lately, the number of independent women filmmakers and cinematographers has increased, but still that is a very less number,” she adds. Being in the male-dominated profession for the past 10 years, Sajida shares that she has not faced any kind of discrimination from ‘men’. However, “there is no substitute for hard work. I have seen young girls come with a passion to be audio and music engineers, but they give up too soon. Perseverance is the key to survive,” she opines, “because deadlines require us to stay in the studio beyond the usual working hours. Some times, you may have to stay back for days together at the studio,” she shares.