The Film Writers Association aims to sensitise screen and television writers to gender issues and women’s portrayal by hosting a workshop
On July 26, the Film Writers Association (FWA) will hold a workshop for screen and television writers in order to sensitise them to gender issues, especially the portrayal of women in cinema and television.
Anjum Rajabali (left) and FWA members, Kamlesh Pandey (right), have organised the workshop
Writer Kamlesh Pandey says, “Men have women to thank for everything — right from a sense of beauty to creativity and sensitivity, and yet they use their talent to reduce women to being sex objects. I remember the film, Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman plays a male actor impersonating a popular female character in a TV show. In the film, he says that the best part of being a man was being a woman! So yes, this workshop was long overdue.”
He adds, “This workshop is aimed at creating awareness among our content creators so that they resist whatever pressures they may be facing against projecting women as powerful, independent individuals. Women ought not to be associated with ‘tandoori chicken’ or some such disgraceful image.”
He says that this workshop was necessary because he feels that the entertainment industry as a whole has to be blamed for the wrong portrayal of women in cinema and on TV. “It seems to be ingrained in the culture and DNA of our films. We need to change this,” he says.
The FWA is also concerned about the rise in sexual violence against women in the country. Says Anjum Rajabali, “Women characters are sexually objectified, stereotyped in regressive ways, and are portrayed purely to cater to the male point of view. More often than not, gender relations are depicted in an unequal way.
Hardly is the onscreen woman depicted as an individual, with her own independent point of view.”
Looks like all this will change gradually and the workshop seems to be a step in that direction.