Bengaluru

BIFFes 2020: ‘Still extremely difficult for women to make films and find audience’

Filmmakers Aruna Vasudev, Sudeer Nandagavkar, and H.N. Narahari Rao were felicitated at the Bengaluru International Film Festival on Monday.

Filmmakers Aruna Vasudev, Sudeer Nandagavkar, and H.N. Narahari Rao were felicitated at the Bengaluru International Film Festival on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

They have to battle the same patriarchal biases even to find an audience

To this day, it is extremely difficult for women to make feature films and find an audience, said Malayalam filmmaker Geetha J.

She was speaking at an interaction of women filmmakers at the twelfth edition of Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes) on Monday. Her film, Run Kalyani, is competing in the Indian Cinema section at the festival.

“After winning an award for a script at an international festival a decade ago, I found it impossible to get funding to make that film. It is only a decade later, I made my first feature film, an independent film Run Kalyani. The first film I wanted to make required a bigger budget, which I am yet to mobilise,” she said.

"There is inherent patriarchy in the film industry like everywhere else, which we, as women filmmakers, need to contend with. All filmmakers face the challenge of raising funds, but we women filmmakers face double the challenge as we need to battle the bias as well. A male filmmaker needs to be good, a woman filmmaker needs to be extra good to even break the barriers,” she said.

Regarding the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) in the Malayalam film industry, that has raised many hopes, she said, “WCC is an important first step that has opened up conversations on these topics. But it is too early for WCC to impact filmmaking.”

Not just in the industry, women filmmakers have to battle the same patriarchal biases even to find an audience, filmmakers said.

Kannada filmmaker Vijayalakshmi Singh, whose film Yaana is being screened at the festival, said as she was herself the producer, she did not face issues with making the film, but did find it tough to find an audience.

“Despite our best efforts, we could not get a good release. The film was not given a fair chance at the theatres. But once it premiered on streaming platform Amazon, it has been a runaway hit. Amazon has said the film is very popular and asked me to make a spin-off or a sequel. It makes me both sad and happy,” she said.

From this year, BIFFes has begun screening films under the ‘Women filmmakers from Karnataka’ section, which is “a first step towards encouraging women filmmakers” said Sunil Puranik, chairperson, Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:44:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/biffes-2020-still-extremely-difficult-for-women-to-make-films-and-find-audience/article30965155.ece

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