THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: What stops a woman filmmaker from realising her creative aspirations? The 30 odd young women attending a workshop organised for filmmakers listed out the issues before film director and editor Arunaraje Patil, known for her feminist works in Hindi cinema. Among the issues raised some were hindrances in getting funds, family, lack of network, personal safety and victimisation. Arunaraje and casting director Uma Da Cunha demystified the issues one by one on the first day of the workshop held at Apollo Dimora.
Arunaraje, who made her own mark in the industry by breaking the glass ceiling, asked the aspiring filmmakers to do a deep introspection. She said the conviction from the exercise will help women move ahead and to take on the challenges.
“There are many factors that can lower the self-esteem of women in the film industry. Things are placed before you on a platter. Do not get daunted by the magnitude of the challenge. It is for you to take a decision now,” said Arunaraje before the participants.
International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) hosted the two-day workshop for women filmmakers and technicians. Around 30 participants participated in the workshop which was aimed at addressing funding opportunities, film festival roadmap and film packaging. Master classes were held by industry veterans.
Assistant directors, photographers, directors, actors and teachers were among those who attended the session. Manjusha Nair, an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India said she wanted to start her directing career after 10 years of family break. Asha Joseph who teaches film at an institute in Kochi came to meet the other film aspirants.
The participants were put through a script writing session led by Urmi Juvekar who heads the Screenwriters’ Lab and the Co-Production Market for the Film Bazaar. The session gave an idea about pitching the script. There was another session on possibilities of digital cinema.
The most anticipated event was the fund-raising opportunities for aspiring women filmmakers. Basil Content Media which Uma represents offered solutions to participants in terms of right connections for funding and promotion of films. Sanjay Ram of BCM explained various funding opportunities available exclusively for women. “There are over 100 funding opportunities for aspiring filmmakers. Unfortunately, none of them is in India. We can help filmmakers to find fund and opportunities to promote films in various festivals,” said Sanjay.