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BY SIDDHI JAIN
‘Four More Shots Please’ actress Sayani Gupta feels that portrayal of women in the Hindi mainstream cinema is moving in the right direction, thanks to more women storytellers coming to the forefront and bringing with them a “female gaze” that counters a “male gaze” prevalent for the longest time.
Sayani, 34, is known for the strong roles she plays. She made her feature film debut in 2012 in ‘Second Marriage Dot Com’ and has appeared in supporting roles in films such as ‘Fan’, ‘Jolly LLB 2’, and ‘Article 15’. Her latest web series, which was a popular success, has recently been nominated at the International Emmy Awards.
Asked about the critique of how women are portrayed in the mainstream cinema, and if she finds it changing at all, Sayani tells IANSlife: “It is, and it should be critiqued, especially in Bollywood and in Hindi mainstream cinema. It’s extremely problematic, you don’t have a representation of all kinds of women. It’s only a very skewed version of what a woman should be, and what she’s doing.”
She adds: “Often she doesn’t have a valid agency of her own life, and often decisions are being made for her. Her only motto in life is to make the hero happy or romance the hero or wait for the hero to save her from the villain, and so on and so forth. Of course, it’s changing, it’s moving in the right direction and that’s only because there are many more women storytellers who are coming to the forefront — the women directors, technicians, cinematographers. When you have women telling their own stories, then it makes a huge difference in terms of what woman’s gaze is. For the longest time, the gaze has been extremely male and that needs to change. Of course, it’s changing for the better, but we have a long, long way to go. Until we change our society, how we think, how we look at the girls, how we bring up our children – the girl child and the boy child, it’s not going to change much.”
Sayani is hosting a virtual acting workshop on ‘Getting into Character’ in the series ‘Femmes in Film’ by Bumble and India Film Project, on Saturday, October 3. Developed exclusively for the Bumble Community, ‘Femmes in Film’ is a series of virtual workshops to be hosted by women artistes including Sayani, Aranya Johar, Kanika Dhillon, and Anjali Menon. These weekly workshops will focus on acting, screenwriting, storytelling, and filmmaking.
Calling ‘Femmes in Film’ a great initiative, Sayani gives a sneak peek into her workshop. “It’s a workshop that I’m taking on acting and approaching characters, building characters. It is something that we do as actors very regularly, every day. It is something that I’m more than happy to be sharing with the Bumble community and whoever is attending the workshop. It’s something I’m really passionate about and I hope that I’m able to impart something or at least share something of interest and value to whoever is attending the workshop, I would hope so. As a concept of what IFP and Bumble are doing is really brilliant. You need more and more women creators, filmmakers, storytellers, actors, writers, comedians to come at the forefront and share their story, share their process. It is also very interesting because we need to amplify the voices that need to be heard more, especially today.”
Stories by women, or stories featuring strong women leads, are often put in the box. Does she agree? Sayani answers in an affirmative.
“Of course, they are put in a box. We have to try to break those molds and break those stereotypes. I don’t think a movie was written or directed by a woman has to be essentially ‘female-centric’. That’s a problem in itself, when you make a movie with a male protagonist, it’s not called ‘male-centric’ but when there is a female protagonist it’s called ‘female-centric’. Why? These are universal stories, these are stories about people. Why this gender demarcation and putting different genders in different boxes? That’s not necessary, and that’s extremely problematic. That I feel is something one needs to do away with but that’s not going to happen overnight.”
Asked what is the one thing she thinks is not taught enough in cinema education, but should be, Sayani, who is a graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) – one of India’s top film schools, points to the ability to monetize one’s creative passions.
“One thing that FTII doesn’t teach you is to go out there and look at commerce and project yourself as a commercial creator. How to make money, basically, and how to sell. Because there are a lot of brilliant people who come out of FTII and they’re often struggling with how to really marry the two — creativity and commerce. That is something that I wish somebody taught us but nobody did. (Laughs) We are obviously left to ourselves to fend for ourselves, as it happens in most art schools. So, how to monetize because filmmaking is an extremely expensive medium – it’s business, after all – one needs to understand all of that, so that needs a little more focus.
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Coming back to the basics, she also feels the need to teach better writing. “I think the first is to write better, to write better characters, to write better women characters, to write with all kinds of representation – be it, women, be it the marginalized of the population, be it the trans community, be it the LGBTQ+ community. There needs to be more unapologetic representation in our cinema, so I think writing is something that needs to be given more importance.”
According to Samarpita Samaddar, Bumble India PR Director, Sayani is an incredible artist whose session will be focused on acting and how to approach characters in cinema. “The weekly series, Femmes in Film, will focus on acting, screenwriting, storytelling, and filmmaking. We look forward to kicking off the series with Sayani Gupta on October 3,” she shared.
Other discussions in the series are: ‘Pitch-perfect poetry’ by Aranya Johar (October 10), ‘The art of character development’ by Kanika Dhillon (October 17), and ‘Things they don’t teach you at film school” by Anjali Menon (October 24). The workshops are free to attend. To attend the workshop, one can download Bumble, match with the India Film Project profile on the Date, Bizz, or BFF modes, and apply to book a spot. (IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord