Hard for women filmmakers to make films without male backing in Bollywood: Ruchi Narain

Ruchi NarainMUMBAI: Director Ruchi Narain says it is difficult for independent women filmmakers to survive in the film industry if they do not have a strong backing from a male star.
Ruchi has assisted Sudhir Mishra and written screenplay for Mishra’s films such as “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Calcutta Mail”.
In her over two decade long career, Ruchi has helmed two films – the critically acclaimed “Kal: Yesterday And Tomorrow” and “Hanuman Da Damdaar”, which released last year.

“It is harder for women filmmakers who do not have a strong male backing. Look around women filmmakers whose films get made, they have always have strong male backing always.

“It is harder for me. It is always harder for independent women filmmaker in the industry,” Ruchi told PTI. Ruchi, who has been moderating sessions on #MeToo movement at the ongoing MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, believes nepotism is a societal issue and says such problems should be seriously dealt with.
“It (issue of nepotism) will come up because you have to discuss equal opportunities. Patriarchy, feudalism, entitlement, misogyny… should be dealt. These issues are not with Bollywood alone, this is Indian society problem as well.”
The primary reason, Ruchi says, she has not made feature films for a long time is not about choice but because of the struggle to make one. “People often ask me, why it takes long time for me to make films, I wonder if people think I don’t want to make films. Of course I want to make films, I work very hard for it to happen. I struggle on it everyday, I keep trying and go everywhere I can and try to pursue it.

“I do feel bad, other boys and men are not as talented and their scripts are cleared. When I narrate my script to people they say they love it but I wonder why they are not making it.”

Besides the struggle to make a feature movie, Ruchi says the kind of films she was making were not spinning money at the box office, so she had to figure out a livelihood for herself.  “I started doing ad films, I am an advertisement director, I have my own production house,” she says.

In the meantime, she continues to pen stories and is hopeful things will work in her favor as the tide is changing in the film industry, when it comes to content driven cinema.

“I am trying to get my projects rolling but it is not easy for many reasons. At one point I was told we can’t cast for your film because you are a woman and that the male stars did not want to work with me. I want to make films but I am not ready to have sex change just to be able to make my film.” PTI