IGNCA hosts panel discussion, poster exhibition, other activities to focus on ‘Women in Cinema’

Women in Cinema


New Delhi/IBNS-CMEDIA: As part of International Women’s Day, the Media Centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) organized a panel discussion on ‘Women in Cinema’ along with a display of posters of old and new films and other activities.

The panel discussion featured Rashmi Mallick, Chairperson of SPIC MACAY, Odissi dancer Reela Hota, senior journalist and author Jayanti Ranganathan, and film critic and author Iqbal Rizvi.

Cinema in India has completed 11 decades, and today women have become an integral part of it.

Panellists unanimously agreed that the participation of women in cinema has increased significantly too.

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.

To mark the occasion, an exhibition was also held, 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. 

Rare issues of film magazines such as ‘Film India’ from 1940 and ‘Filmfare’ from 1956 were also on display.

During this event, books published by IGNCA on cinema and DVDs of films produced by the centre were also available for sale.

Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA said that the kind of content being produced in the era of OTT platforms has become a matter of concern, and sometimes leading to social voyeurism.

He raised the question of whether women in cinema today are merely props or are used solely to attract audiences.

Journalist Jayanti Ranganathan said that in the 1980s and ‘90s, the roles of female artists in most films were significant and progressive; 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 said that Indian films have always been successful due to the excellent performances of female singers and dancers, and cited names of artists like Roshan Kumari, Sitara Devi, and Begum Akhtar.

Reela Hota said that in the past, dance sequences in films emphasised on love more, whereas nowadays, they tend to depict sensuality.

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; now roles of women in Indian cinema have changed, portraying them as empowered women.

Madhavendra Kumar spoke about IGNCA’s bi- monthly publication ‘Vihangama’ and its special issue on ‘Women in Cinema’, which was launched at the event.

A short film based on empowering roles of women in films was screened too.

The discussion was moderated by Anurag Punetha, Controller of the Media Centre, IGNCA while the event was anchored by Dr. Shruti Nagpal, Deputy Controller.