Mumba Devi Films takes its first breath.
Why isn’t there an Indian film company that says they’ll focus on women centric films?
When my Wife and I decided to start ‘Mumba Devi Films’ we decided to be very frank about the fact that we’re going to predominantly make women centric films or films that deal with gender equality and comment on changing gender roles in some way. Even if that means someday talking about the kind of conditioning Indian men go through and a story of a man coming to terms with gender equality beyond his conditioning.
There has always been an unsaid rule in the Bombay film industry; that women oriented films don’t make money and are riskier. Yet between Dirty picture, Kahaani, Queen, Mary Kom, NH10, Nil Battey Sannata, Piku, there has been a good amount of money made for all concerned. We’re talking about exactly half the audience in our country. And yet producers seem to shy away from a woman centric film saying that it’s risky. One feels that that time is changing. And this is the subject, space that we feel we want to talk about. We feel that India is a country from which many myriad beautiful insightful, deep, engaging, meaningful, contemporary stories about women are just waiting to be spawned.
My childhood has been speckled by films like Mirch Masala which my mom made me watch on DoorDarshan and Thelma and Louise which I first saw at film school and was blown away. And I’ve always wanted to make films like those because I feel that there are so many stories like that which our country’s context is rife with. I find writing about women protagonists much more interesting, the narratives much more engaging, the structures much more dynamic.
We want to tell stories about women that are changing gender equations by making small but notable chinks in the Armour of patriarchy in the country. Our film ‘Tikli and Laxmi Bomb’ has a host of strong women working on it, right from the cast to the crew.
And our next 4 films deal either with gender or women as the hero of the piece.
It’s a small step towards the idea that catering to women as a market is a great idea even business wise. So that in the future we could have advertising companies that cater specifically to women’s products for example. So that men aren’t selling sanitary pads and soap to women, women are.
Excited to begin the first project of Mumba Devi Films.
By- Aditya Kripalani,
Writer and Director