This year eight films were shortlisted for the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality Award.
The 20th edition of Mumbai Film Festival came to close last evening. And women made space to be heard both on and off screen at the fest.
Encouraging the theme ‘Cinema Beyond Stereotypes’, the Oxfam Award on Gender Equality in its third edition was bagged by Hindi film ‘Soni’. Directed by Ivan Ayr, the film is an attempt to understand the rage policewomen feel against the sexual violence in the capital of the country while at the same time being saddled with the responsibility to enforce and uphold the law.
The filmmaker spent considerable time with the Delhi Police Department in order to understand the dynamics between various ranks of female police officers. He shot the film in real locations in Delhi and that added to the challenges he had to face.
“Winning the Oxfam Best Film On Gender Equality award is a big honour and brings a great amount of credibility to the film's intentions and its achievement. As a filmmaker it encourages me to continue to tell stories that are about the human condition and human experiences, oblivious to the gender of the character,” said Director Ivan.
The three-member jury of director Rima Das, director and screenwriter Anjali Menon and CEO of Doha Film Institute Fatma Al Remaihi selected ‘Soni’ from the eight films shortlisted for the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality Award 2018.
"Soni is a very hard hitting and realistic depiction of the constant dilemmas and more importantly, the rage that women feel towards sexual crimes. What the film also shows is the vulnerability of women police officers who have to be law enforcers at work but off duty are just like other women with fears and apprehensions of being potential victims. It’s a very topical film given the current narrative on gender dynamics,” said jury member Anjali Menon.
Speaking on the Oxfam Gender Equality category, Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, MAMI, said “We are in the 3rd year of our partnership with Oxfam and are extremely proud of what this platform has grown to represent. This year saw 8 films, directed by men, that showcased the nuanced portrayals of women onscreen. Juxtaposed was the Jury panel of truly powerful women who have been shaping the film industry not just in India but globally as well.”
An Oxfam special jury mention went for 'Sivaranjani and Two Other Women' by Vasanth S Sai for representing gender equality. 'Jonaki' by Aditya Vikram Sengupta received the second Oxfam special jury mention for gender equality.This year eight films were shortlisted for the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality Award. The films that were shortlisted this year were ‘Imago’, ‘Hamid’, ‘Soni’, ‘Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil’, ‘Light In The Room’, ‘Nathicharami’, ‘Sivaranjani And Two Other Women’ and ‘Jonaki’. Last year Rima Das' Assamese film 'Village Rockstars' had won the award.