IGNCA Hosts Panel Discussion, Exhibition, on ‘Women in Cinema’

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L-R: Sh. Anurag Punetha, Controller of the Media Centre, IGNCA; Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA; Renowned Odissi dancer Reela Hota; Rashmi Mallick, Chairperson of SPIC MACAY; senior journalist and author Jayanti Ranganathan; and film expert and author Iqbal Rizvi.
L-R: Sh. Anurag Punetha, Controller of the Media Centre, IGNCA; Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA; Renowned Odissi dancer Reela Hota; Rashmi Mallick, Chairperson of SPIC MACAY; senior journalist and author Jayanti Ranganathan; and film expert and author Iqbal Rizvi.
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IGNCA Hosts Panel Discussion, Exhibition, on ‘Women in Cinema’

A Special Edition of ‘Vihangama’ on the theme ‘Women in Cinema’ also launched on the Occasion

14th March, New Delhi:

In a weeklong celebration of International Women’s Day, the Media Centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) organized a thought-provoking panel discussion on ‘Women in Cinema’. In addition to the panel discussion, a unique exhibition was also set up, showcasing posters of several old and new films such as ‘Hunterwali’ starring Fearless Nadia, ‘Mother India’ featuring Nargis, ‘Umrao Jaan, featuring Rekha and  ‘NH10’ featuring Anushka Sharma along with rare issues of film magazines like ‘Film  India’ from 1940 and ‘Filmfare’ from 1956. Moreover, the launch of IGNCA’s magazine ‘Vihangama’ special issue on ‘Women in Cinema’ took place, and a short film based on some empowering roles of women in films was screened. During this event, books published by IGNCA on cinema and DVDs of films produced by the centre were also available for sale. The panel discussion featured Rashmi Mallick, Chairperson of SPIC MACAY, renowned Odissi dancer Reela Hota, senior journalist and author Jayanti Ranganathan, and film expert and author Iqbal Rizvi. The discussion was moderated by Anurag Punetha, Controller of the Media Centre, IGNCA.

On this occasion, Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA remarked that the kind of content being produced in the era of OTT platforms has become a matter of concern. He stated that today, most people are posting content on social media to expose themselves physically or emotionally, which is a form of social voyeurism. He raised the question of whether women in cinema today are merely props or are used solely to attract audiences. Furthermore, he pointed out that with the content being produced on OTT platforms, there is an increasing use of profanity, breaking the boundaries of linguistic decency.

Cinema in India has completed 11 decades, and today women have become an integral part of it. The panel discussion focused on the status of female artists, directors, technicians, etc., in Indian cinema. Discussions also revolved around whether their representation is as it should be, whether they are receiving the deserved importance, whether their portrayal is proper, and whether films depicting women in empowered roles are being made in sufficient numbers. All panellists unanimously agreed that there is no doubt that the participation of women in cinema has increased significantly. They are not only acting but also showcasing their talent in every aspect of cinema, establishing new benchmarks of success. Over time, the involvement of women in cinema continues to grow steadily.

IGNCA Hosts Panel Discussion, Exhibition, on 'Women in Cinema'.
IGNCA Hosts Panel Discussion, Exhibition, on ‘Women in Cinema’.

In the panel discussion, journalist Jayanti Ranganathan stated that in the 80s and 90s, the roles of female artists in most films were significant and progressive. She mentioned that since the 2000s, there has been a change in the portrayal of female artists in cinema, with female protagonists being depicted more realistically. Rashmi Mallick mentioned that Indian films have always been successful due to the excellent performances of female singers and dancers. Women have played a significant role in the film industry in this regard. In this context, she mentioned the names of artists like Roshan Kumari, Sitara Devi, and Begum Akhtar. Reela Hota mentioned that in the past, dance sequences in films emphasized love more, whereas nowadays, they tend to depict sensuality (Tamas) more prominently. Film critic and writer Iqbal Rizvi stated that in Hindi films after independence, female artists were mostly shown in roles of a mother and a traditional wife. He said that the roles of women in Indian cinema have changed, portraying them as empowered women. The event was anchored by Dr. Shruti Nagpal, Deputy Controller of the Media Centre of IGNCA. Meanwhile, Madhavendra Kumar spoke about IGNCA’s bi-monthly publication ‘Vihangama’ and its special issue on ‘Women in Cinema’. A large number of cinema enthusiasts, journalists, intellectuals, and young people participated in the event.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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