Vidya Balan, an esteemed actress and champion of women’s rights, expressed optimism for the advancing gender representation in Hindi cinema during the launch of an extensive research report on the topic.
The report release event saw the presence of numerous industry luminaries like Nandita Das, Guneet Monga Kapoor, along with Balan. Fielding questions on gender issues in the Indian film industry, Balan emphasized the universal nature of such challenges but also acknowledged the progressive shift underway.
She remarked, “While these issues are globally prevalent, change is happening. The more we discuss it, the more awareness we generate, prompting further positive transformations. I’m hopeful about the evolving landscape.”
On the subject of the relatively fewer empowering women-centric stories, Balan noted the limitations in mainstream cinema. She, however, highlighted the opportunities provided by over-the-top (OTT) platforms. “Despite limitations in cinema, we’re leveraging OTT platforms to tell diverse stories. It’s disheartening when certain narratives are deemed unviable for films, but we’re able to share them on OTT,” she explained.
Addressing the need for grassroots changes, Balan affirmed that change should be initiated at every level, irrespective of the starting point. “The shift should ideally come from the grassroots, but we are open to change from the top down if the inverse doesn’t happen,” she added.
In her professional sphere, Balan will soon star in “Neeyat“, a murder mystery thriller directed by Anu Menon. The film boasts a stellar ensemble cast including Ram Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Dipannita Sharma, Shashank Arora, Shahana Goswami, Neeraj Kabi, and Amrita Puri, with its theatrical release scheduled for 7 July 2023.