Going gets tough for Female directors in Tollywood

Female directors face challenges due to industry bias and inhibitions, hindering their progress, says producer Lagadapati Sridhar.

Hyderabad: Undeniably, a handful of female directors are finding it hard to get offers and they are unable to give a stiff competition to their male counterparts in Tollywood.

Even though film industry boats of female directors like Nandini Reddy (Oh Baby), Sujana Rao (Gamanam), Seshu Sindhu Rao (Choosi Choodanganey), Sowjanya (Varudu Kavalenu) and Sanjana Reddy (Raju Gadu), they are unable to churn out more films and move up the ladder of success. New directors like Deepthi Ghanta (Meet Cute) and Neeraja Kona(to make a film with Siddhu Jonallagada) have just joined the fray.

“I think few female directors have a few inhibitions about approaching producers. They are unable to visit the producer's office repeatedly and seek offers,’ says producer Lagadapati Sridhar, who claims that the film industry has gained notoriety and lady directors are apprehensive.

“Until film industry shuns its male-chauvinistic attitude, lady directors are going to find it hard to make a mark. A few of them told me that industry is not conducive for women directors unlike other professions and their repeated visits to a production house aren’t drawing good comments,” he says and adds, “Being brought up in conservative families, educated girls are unwilling to take chances. They would commence their next after finding a right producer and would like to sit idle at home rather than drawing brickbats,” he adds.

He further claims that women directors are capable of dishing out soft love stories and family dramas. “They can handle tender emotions with ease so they are restricting themselves to romantic stories and family-driven sagas. With the season being for action flicks, they are unable to grab an offer,” he reasons.

Dismissing the argument that women directors are capable of only dishing out feel-good entertainers, actor-turned-director Jeevitha Rajasekhar says, “Women are capable to handle all kinds of themes including action because gender has nothing to do with talent’. Although she admits that direction is male domain, women are also finding their rightful place in movies.

“We are in a kind of transition period of women taking over male-centric domains. Women have begun to drive autos, buses and aeroplanes and hence it is just a matter of time before more women directors set to rock in Tollywood,” she points out.

Jeevitha has directed big films like ‘Seshu’, ‘Sathyameva Jayathe’ and ‘Sekar’ and carved a niche for herself in Tollywood. “Not only in Tollywood, there are only a handful of female directors even in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada industries ” she informs and adds, “I have begun to see females in costume designing, direction department and even as assistant camerawoman and things happening for the better. I do understand that some women who come from well-to-do and educated families have few apprehensions about the film industry.

Everything will change once women take centre stage and give confidence to women folk to showcase their creative talent in various forms in Tollywood. Since women are much more focused and disciplined than males, they are bound to turn the tide in the days to come,” she concludes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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