Praise her work all you want, but don’t call Farah Khan a ‘woman director’. She hates it! The art of filmmaking is not gender specific, says Farah, who turned director with the 2004 film, Main Hoon Na — starring actor Shah Rukh Khan — after a successful run as a choreographer in the film industry.
“I’ve always been told that because of Main Hoon Na, a lot of female filmmakers have come up but I maintain that direction is a ‘genderless’ job. I don’t know why it is called women directors. We all are directors,” says the 51-year-old, who has directed films such as Om Shanti Om (2007), Tees Maar Khan (2010) and Happy New Year (2014).
With names such as Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde, Anu Menon, Kiran Rao and Reema Kagti also donning the directors’ hat, are women getting ample opportunities for filmmaking? “There are a lot of men also who are not getting the opportunity to make movies. And if we were to compare, I think the number of women making films are far more in the industry. I’m not comparing this to male filmmakers, but as per Hollywood standards, we have more women rising behind the camera,” says Farah.
Shift topic to the role of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the industry, and Farah, just like the rest of the film fraternity, feels that CBFC should limit their role of certifying a film, instead of cutting scenes. “Everyone is saying the same thing. If anyone has half a mind, they would know that a film needs to be certified and not censored. Worldwide, except for countries where there is no democracy, certification is given. How can 3-4 people sit and decide what 1 billion people should be watching?,” she says.