How does a Film Industry Recognize Women?
The Film industry, around the world, is one of the most distinctive areas which requires a systematic collaboration between different entities and businesses. The filming of Baahubali took nearly four years to complete which means the project has provided jobs to more than 10,000 people through different areas of interest. The Visual Effects department, The Makeup Team, The Stunt Coordinators, The Food department, each of them have their part to play for the successful completion of any movie, whether it turns out to be a blockbuster or not.
However, the people working behind the screens are often overlooked. Apart from the ones who share the spotlight, many others and their talents are frequently ignored. Along with it, the role and importance of women in the Film Industry have been on debate for over the years. Of course, several movies portray women as strong and equal to men, but we often ignore the things that happen behind the screen. How well their contributions are recognized offscreen? How well are they compensated and treated behind the screen? Even though the facts on the internet suggests that women earn equally as men in the film industry, we cannot conclude just by analyzing their pay scale.
The Influence of Women in the Film Industry
Apart from acting, there are plenty of women contributors to the recent Film Industry. For example, Mary E. Vogt, a notable Costume Designer from New York has extensively worked on movies such as “Enthiran (2010)” and the upcoming movie titled “2.0”. The importance of an experienced costume designer can be observed through these movies which had portrayed every scene and especially the songs more beautifull than we can ever imagine. Suhasini, an actor, director, and writer, spent her fair share of her career in crafting commendable dialogues for many blockbuster movies. Archana Borhade, the brilliant cinematographer behind movies such as “My Name is Khan” and Robin Wright, who acted as well as directed several episodes of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” It’s safer to say that in recent years more women are working and striving towards the Film Industry as their long-term career.
However, from a director’s point of view, everything seems different. Earlier, around 30 years before, its very rare to see female directors in Hollywood. Even if there were any, they hardly received any spotlight for the movie’s success. The best example is Jane Campion, who directed “The Piano,” received the Palme d’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993. In fact, she was the only female filmmaker to have won such a prestigious award till date. Of course, over the years this trend is changing, and we can see the directors are awarded based on their talent rather than discriminating based on gender. The Cannes panel of judges which used to have only male members now consists of an equal number of women to consider an impartial decision.
All things being said, we have to understand that Change, happens slowly and its evident that it is taking place. However, during the recent Cannes Film Festival held in 2018, around 82 well recognized and talented women directors walked the Red Carpet as a silent protest to bring in more diversity in Filmmaking Industry. Such incidents make us wonder, are we really witnessing the much-needed diversity? Or Are we still kept in the dark from the actual events happening behind the screen?
Nepotism - Does it favor women more in the Film Industry?
If we are brutally honest, Nepotism is the only practice that does not discriminate based on gender. More specifically, Nepotism in Indian Film Industry is no news. We’ve seen both men and women, generation after generation, rocking the Indian Film industry, just because of their surnames their elders left them with. The reason I’ve mentioned the influence of Nepotism is mainly because there are talented and aspiring actors, directors out there who had succeeded in breaking the clutches of Nepotism. They proved that an influential surname is not necessary to shine in the Film Industry rather Passion and Hard Work would do.
Many notable female celebrities worked up their way to the top in the Movie Industry. Mithila Palkar is one of the most recent examples of commendable personalities who is now shining in Bollywood. She started her career through several short films, advertisements and gradually worked up her way through which she recently grabbed a prominent role in the movie “Karwaan.” There are more such celebrities, but the point being that there are several aspiring young models and filmmakers, both men and women, who are working very hard to outshine the significant herd in the Film Industry.
The Latest Fad of Objectifying Women in Movies
One of the most widely debated topics is how the filmmakers often objectify women in their movies by portraying them in the most degrading way as possible. While the young aspiring models are often roped into this practice without even them realizing it, several experienced actors don’t seem to have any problem with this. Now, the main reason is how the audience tends to perceive these movies. We don’t require those scenes, however, if depicted in a film we never oppose it publicly. This is just because the majority of the audience are not mature enough to withstand new changes in the film industry. Movies such as “Trapped” & “Newton” are not well recognized in Bollywood because the audience is not ready to accept new scripts. While several websites rate a movie’s performance through numbers and stars, the actual success is determined by how much money the film has made so far. Let’s be honest; we cannot blame the filmmakers for objectifying women since from their perspective a movie is an investment, and it should in-turn provide them with substantial returns. If they are investing so much money in such degrading scenes, then that could only mean that there is just more demand for that, which in turn lies directly on the audience’s shoulders.
For several years we have asked different versions of a very familiar question to ourselves.
When will Indian Film Industry improve their standards? The harsh reality is that, we, as an audience or at least the majority of them are simply not ready to accept new changes. We fight for equality in every field but fail to realize that it has to start with ourselves first. At the same time, change happens gradually, and the talented will always find a way to succeed. Leonardo DiCaprio began his film career in 1979, and even though he has given a lot of successful movies, he could only grab the Oscar in the year 2016. It’s not because he was less skilled but because of the numerous competition.
Similarly, in the current generation, there are plenty of opportunities for women in the Film Industry and along with it comes a great competition. The future is to hope that the said competition should be focussed between the talented, rather than the genders. An equal amount of responsibilities lie on the audience’s shoulders as well, and it’s high time we encouraged the most talented.