We're in the middle of gender catastrophe: Madhureeta Anand

Mumbai, June 27 (IANS) Independent filmmaker Madhureeta Anand has just finished "Kajarya", a film that deals with women-related issues and stars some real people, and says in the current scenario as a storyteller it seems imperative to bring such stories on the screen.

Co-produced by Q, which previously made multi-award winning "Gandu", Starfire movies and Ekaa Films (Anand's production company), "Kajarya" is written by Anand who feels strongly about the topic and this was what convinced her to tell the story.

"I feel very strongly that we are in the middle of a gender catastrophe and as a director and storyteller it seems almost imperative to tell these stories," Anand told IANS.

"Also, we have seen so many films made about women, but we need to see films where we see the world in which women live. What society surrounds the crimes against women? What sort of social structure allows and breeds these crimes? It is important to show it like it is," she added.

Anand, who went behind the camera to direct feature film "Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye" in 2009, has shot "Kajarya" at real locations with real people.

"Documentary is about peeling off all layers till you reach the essential truth, and fiction is about layering it on one by one till you get the film you want. I enjoy both very much," she said.

"While documentaries help me stay close to the ground, fiction allows me to fly...in that sense 'Kajarya' is absolutely perfect because it has the right combination of the both," she added.

As the film is based on the struggles faced by women, the director wanted it to be as realistic as possible.

" 'Kajarya' is about two women from two different milieus who collide in a world where girls are better off dead. Having made documentary films in Haryana villages on the similar topics earlier, I wanted to shoot the film on real locations. Many of the extras used as villagers in the film are real people and not professional actors," she informed.

Shot in villages of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh with women and villagers from Jhajhar (Haryana), "Kajarya" combines highly trained debutante actors with real people to create a unique and fresh look for the film, said the director.

The director feels films effect society in many ways, so it is important to show men respecting women on the screen.

"I would like to make an appeal to all filmmakers in India - if just for two years all India filmmakers make films that show men respecting women they love..."

She feels, if women are shown to be illiterate in films, then they should also be shown rejecting men who "beat, stalk or badly treat them".

"Films are a force in the country and it is bound to have an effect. Women have to be shown as consistently choosing men who treat them well," she said.

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