Features & Interviews

CHANGEMAKERS: 20 WOMEN TRANSFORMING BOLLYWOOD BEHIND THE SCENES

By Riddhima

Changemakers introduces you to a Bollywood we hear little about. It is the story of 20 women who work behind the scenes and have cut through the ranks of the traditionally male dominated field of Hindi cinema to establish themselves as leaders of their craft. You have most likely seen their work but don’t know it. And you probably don’t know their names. Yet these individuals are helping to shape India’s gender equality movement within the Hindi film industry.

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The women we profile are disruptors. Charu Khurana won the right for women to work as make-up artists in Bollywood – a right they were denied by a trade union for six decades.

Priya Seth is a Director of Photography on commercial blockbusters.

Stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania changed the way a generation of Indians dress.

Geeta Tandon overcame years of sexual abuse to become one of the few women stunt artists in the industry.

Anupama Chopra redefined film journalism.

Kiran Rao resurrected a languishing film festival and turned the spotlight on indie cinema.

Gauri Shinde’s films place female characters centre-stage and makes audiences re-think conventional wisdom.

Juhi Chaturvedi writes screenplays that make uncomfortable subjects like sperm donation national conversation.

Anvita Dutt Guptan conjures up haunting lyrics.

Geeta Kapur puts the oomph in our dance moves.

Rohini Iyer the founder and director of Raindrop Media, the country’s biggest name in the Reputation Management business.

In her foreword to Changemakers, choreographer and director Farah Khan writes, “We took a photo of the unit on the last day we filmed Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, for which I had done the choreography. That was in 1992. That picture is an accurate portrayal of the times. Amongst a crew of 75-80 people, there is just one woman – me.” Today, a film set looks dramatically different. Anil Kapoor, who has been acting for close to 40 years says, “There is no comparison from the earlier days. These days, some units I go to have only women.”

Written as a defining documentation of this period, Changemakers relies on extensive research and 120 exclusive interviews with industry stalwarts to paint portraits of women shattering the glass ceiling through merit, resolve and talent. These women deserve to be applauded and their journeys acknowledged. They are transforming Bollywood and in the process, creating a new India. They are Changemakers.

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