Documentary on portrayal of women on Indian screens

Updated: Mar 08, 2013, 18:36 PM IST

New Delhi: The portrayal of women on Indian silver screen across ages has now been captured in a new documentary film, titled `Women on Silver Screen`.

Produced for the Lok Sabha TV (LSTV), the documentary charts the journey of the changing face of women in cinema and on television.

LSTV host and journalist Lotty Alaric who conceptualised, scripted and narrated in the film, believes that both cinema and TV began with portrayal of "women as strong characters" but over period women have "regressed into a stereotype".

"Both our cinema and TV began with strong characters like `Mother India`, `Udaan` and `Rajani`. Parallel cinema too has projected women as strong characters. But now the mainstream cinema carries regressive content," Alaric told reporters.

Alaric said the documentary also looks into the aspects of how portrayal of women in "mainstream cinema like Bollywood" and the concept of "item numbers" are affecting the society at large.

"One of the primary concerns of the film is dealing with the issue of item numbers in films. And, eminent film personalities like Nandita Das and Shyam Benegal have rejected them," she said.

The 30-minute documentary features interviews with film and theatre actor Nandita Das, filmmakers Shyam Benegal and Sudhir Mishra, lyricist Javed Akhtar, TV actors Surekha Sikri of `Balika Vadhu` and Sakshi Tanwar of `Bade Achhe Lagte Hain` fame, among others.

Alaric said the inspiration for the film was born after the horrific gangrape incident in Delhi last year, as a result of which the objectification of women became a point of discussion at several forums on and off screen.