New Delhi, 15th November, 2022 – GIZ India’s Project Her&Now has been working to create a more enabling environment for women-led businesses in India since 2018. As an effort to change mindsets around women entrepreneurship the project had commissioned four short films, which have now been released online. During the past two years, the films have been screened 77 times across small cities in the North Eastern Region, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi NCR as well as online, with the goal to start open conversations with the audience around the role of women in the economy and society.
Talking about the short films’ online release and their contribution to a mindset change, Julia Karst, Project Head of Her&Now, said, “Film is a powerful medium that both reflects and shapes dominant discourses and perceptions about gender norms in a society. We hope the short films and the discussions around them will contribute to a positive mindset change and increase the visibility of the entrepreneurial spirit of women in India”.
The four Her&Now short films on women’s entrepreneurial journeys comprise ‘B. Selvi & Daughters’ (25min, fiction, Tamil) directed by Drishya and starring Gayathrie Shankar and Kalairani, ‘Kashmakash – The Dilemma’ (20min, fiction, Hindi) directed by Manav Rath and with Dipannita Sharma-Atwal in the leading role, ‘Pahal – An Initiative’ (12min, animation, Hindi) directed by Swarup Deb, Anuj Kumar and Avinash Medhe, and ‘Ritu Goes Online’ (16min, documentary, Hindi) directed by Vrinda Samartha.
Speaking about her film’s role in the Her&Now film campaign, Drishya, Director of the film B. Selvi & Daughters said, “I hope that the film starts a real conversation at many levels about women’s motivations and challenges, specifically with regard to their careers and entrepreneurship. To that effect, the great majority of the film’s crew was female, hopefully, a step towards the long overdue shift to the female gaze”.
“Through our film, I hope society sees value in the financial benefits and change in mindset women entrepreneurs can bring to their homes and societies. I also hope it inspires more families to come forward and support them. I hope to see many more women entrepreneurs out there breaking the ceiling and creating their own unique success story. ” said Vrinda Samartha, Director of the film Ritu Goes Online.
Apart from their crucial role in the Her&Now campaign, the short films were also showcased at 17 national and international film festivals – among which the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, New York Indian Film Festival, Arthouse Asia Film Festival – and garnered 5 awards as well as prestigious nominations at the Critics Choice Awards!
All four short films can be watched on the HumaraMovie YouTube channel as well as on the MovieSaints film platform for free.