Renuka Shahane: I want my women to talk about things not related to men or romance!
“2021 has started with a bang for me,” says actor-director Renuka Shahane, whose directorial Tribhhanga released earlier this month. “I am happy with the response to the film, the performances and that people related to what I have tried to portray in the story. Indian stories are unique and they need to be shared with the entire world. My characters might have an education, which is westernized but their choices and manner of living are rooted in Indianness, which is lovely to celebrate,” she says, adding her next film, too, might be about three women.
Often people feel women directors are able to highlight women’s issues pertinently, Shahane doesn’t agree. “Directors like Gulzar, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt have represented women beautifully. I think is it about being a sensitive human. It is not that women directors can’t represent men well, so the converse is true as well. With me, I feel I am still a work in a progress, as a writer or director. The stories I can believe in and understand are the ones I would like to share. In fact, in the mainstream cinema, women are represented more now than previously, but still not as widely as what women do all around us. I mean, they are often portrayed as someone’s daughter, wife or sister. I want my women to have names and talk about things that are not related to men, romance, or marriage, for heaven’s sake,!” she exclaims.
There has been a change in cinema over the years and in the last few years, content has become the king across platforms. Talking about the growth and the direction it is taking, she says, “With OTT platforms, now there’s a space that one wanted to push the envelope in terms of content, without think about the economic viability of a project. It was a huge issue in our country. People who couldn’t showcase their talent in commercial entertainment, have now got an outlet. The more content we have, the more audience there will be for it- that’s a win-win situation. They will then expect good content even from mainstream films.”
Moving on, she is working on a book, which is a tongue-in-cheek look at the life in the 80s and has also been writing two screenplays, which she will pitch once she is ready, “because I am a slow writer.”
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