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Profile of women directors of Hindi films undergoing a change
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
With Sushmita Sen announcing her intention to direct a biopic on Rani Laxmi Bai and Neelima Azeem also declaring her intention to step into the arena of film direction, a new paradigm shift is being experienced in the arena of film direction of India. In a close parallel to what is being done by their male counterparts in the industry, now the female actors are also ready to wield the megaphone. The difference in the present times however, lies in the fact that the actors are the female actors who are still in the prime of their career are now jumping on to wield the megaphone. The category is getting quotient of glamour in more than adequate proportion.
In the modern times, the inclination on part of the mainstream female actors to test the choppy terrain of direction seems to stem from the urge to be on par with their contemporary male actors. The urge also seems to have been triggered from the success stories that their male contemporaries are achieving by stepping into the field of direction. The catalytic factor seems to be informing the world that they have much more mettle in their oeuvre than only the conventional glamorous category in which they have been bracketed as a matter of practice by the Hindi film industry per se.
This is a trend that needs to be welcomed, because it is a breaking of a glass ceiling as far as the characterization of a role of female actor is concerned. As a practice a female actor, when she stops getting the lead role either switches over to character roles, or settles down in a marriage. However, the experimentation that Sushmita Sen and Neelima Azeem are trying to attempt would make a hole in the way in which a life span of a female actor in the Indian film industry is concerned.
It had happened for the first time in the early thirties when Fatima Begum, who was also an actor, had wielded the megaphone with panache. However, the same spirit could not continue for long, and when the established female actors when they were past their prime, returned back to wield the megaphone, they did so to launch their offspring. Shobhana Samarth therefore introduced Nutan and Tanuja, Tabassum did a film for her son, and Aruna Irani did the same for her brother and other relatives. The exception was Hema Malini who made DIL AASHNA HAI in which she enacted along with Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh and Shah Rukh Khan.
A new and refreshing phase for the film industry indeed is in the offing as films from the perspective of a female actor would make their debut. Already women directors are making waves, but of these, it would be difficult to single out one who would have acted in front of the camera and has now shifted to wield the megaphone. It is the sheer economics as well, that seems to be the triggering factor in making this change being introduced in the industry. Any fresh wave that comes in is an indication about a vibrant and pulsating industry and is a pointer towards the spirit of dynamism present in the industry.