Months after she accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, #MeToo India torchbearer Tanushree Dutta headlines web film about the exploitation of newcomers in Bollywood
Tanushree Dutta and Nana Patekar
She may be miles away in New Jersey, but Tanushree Dutta — who sparked the #MeToo movement in Bollywood — continues to keep the dialogue going, in her own small way. The actor is bringing Bollywood's sexual harassment stories to the screen with her upcoming short film, Inspiration, that drops online on March 8 to mark International Women's Day.
"It deals with the issue of wilful exploitation of young newcomers in showbiz or any other field where they don't have mentors or guidance," says Dutta. The actor had accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the filming of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008, thus opening the floodgates of the #MeToo wave in India. While several people from the industry have been called out since then, Dutta clams up when asked if the film focuses on a true episode. "It is a new format where reality meets fiction," is all she is willing to say.
The first look of Inspiration
The actor had shot for the Atul Bhalla-directed venture during her eight-month stay in Mumbai last year. "I was approached by Ullu, the online content platform that is producing the film. I play a guardian angel who inspires the girls to make the right decision." Her insights into the underbelly of the industry helped shape the project.
"I wrote the dialogues, inspired by my own insight and understanding on the matter. I was excited to face the camera after nine years because this time, I was not only entertaining but also imparting wisdom to the misled and unfortunate," says Dutta, who was recently invited to a conference at Harvard University as a guest speaker.