Women directors

Deccan Chronicle.  | Shashiprasad SM

Entertainment, Sandalwood

There are very few female technicians in the Sandalwood industry. Bengaluru Chronicle analyses the reasons.

Sruthi Naidu

Ever since the existence of motion pictures, it has always been accused of male dominance. While there has been a welcoming change in the recent times with several talented women filmmakers and technicians, who have outshined their male counterparts in every department in the world of entertainment, however, their numbers are still in negligible count for several reasons. Gone are the days when only male actors were considered the reel force behind the economics of movie business, as movies revolving around women have also proved to be a game changer. Whereas, there has been an immense change with respect to women facing the camera, their presence as filmmakers and technicians behind the camera has been in single digits. Same is the case with Sandalwood as the number of women film directors is less than 10 in numbers since the day one of the Kannada film Industry. Popular television producer Sruthi Naidu, who recently produced a sensible film titled Premier Padmini, has announced that she will be making her directorial debut in her project. Bengaluru Chronicle reports.

“If we look into the statistics, there are thousands of male filmmakers and technicians in the Indian film industry so far, but whereas women in the lead as directors and other roles behind the camera would be not more than hundred. One of the main reason is that women were always seen as the glamour quotient. Their prime duty was to make audience fall in love with their presence or make them feel their pain, sufferings and so on. The only department where women were seen in a majority in the past were either in choreography or as make up artistes,” says director Harsha.

It feels good to see that their numbers is on the rise. Zoya Akhtar, Nandita Das, Kangana Ranaut, Mira Nair, Farah Khan and several more are doing a commendable job, he adds.

Insofar as Sandalwood is considered, Prema Karanth, is probably the first female director in Kannada with her outstanding feature film Phaniyamma. Apart from her, Kavitha Lankesh, Vijayalakshmi Singh, Suman Kittur, Roopa Iyer, Priya Belliappa, Priya Hassan, Chandrakala and Pushpa have made it to the list in Sandalwood.

“Not everyone is comfortable to work with a female director. It is the only prime reason. Also, one has to to make a lot of compromises right from the beginning till the film finally hits the screens. Convincing the producers in every step is another tedious job apart from the making part of it. It is only because of a few producers who have extreme faith in a female leading the show, some female directors have come into existence. How many can produce and direct a film?,” asks another filmmaker Santhosh.

After her debut production Premier Padmini, Sruthi has shared that the audiences response to her debut film has been great, which has led her to not only produce but even direct her own film as her next.

“Time and again it is proved that audience always support a good project. I am busy penning a romantic story which will appeal to every section of the cinegoers. I will be directing it too,” she says. Apart from producing series of popular tele-serials, she has even directed a couple of them.