Have you commenced the second phase of your career after a career break? Share your story & get featured at Women in Corporate Allies 2022.
Nandita Das recently spoke to Anupama Chopra about her experiences as a director, about life, and about everything she has been doing so far.
A decade after directing Firaaq, Nandita Das is back with her second directorial venture, Manto. As a part of the Women at Work series by LinkedIn, she recently spoke to Anupama Chopra about her experiences as a director, about life, and about everything she has been doing so far.
Nandita Das talked about the challenges of directing and how it has been a learning on the job experience for her as neither did she go to a film school nor does she watch a lot of movies. The only thing that kept her going, she said was not having the fear of failure. “If you fear or feel the pressure of whether your work will succeed then we’ll never try anything new.”
Nandita discussed the difference in treatment meted out to male and female directors in the Indian film industry, even to this day. Her direction style is collaborative, where she thinks out aloud and is open to opinions and suggestions. “Sometimes people see that as a sign of weakness and when you’re a woman it happens a little more than not.” she said. “People think, “Oh you don’t know so you’re asking around.” However, she added that if a male director did the same thing he’d be considered democratic.
She talked about how as a woman it is still harder to work as a director than as a man. “It is harder because they make you feel you’re a woman director. There’s a lot of unconscious bias. It’s very subtle. When it’s subtle difficult to counter it.”
She went on to say how the same kind of behavior by a female director might stamp her as being “bossy” or “aggressive” but when it comes to a male director, he would instead be termed as being “assertive” or “clear headed”.
However, despite all this she enjoyed the entire experience of direction immensely.
She also talked about the kind of life she leads and how whatever she does makes her come alive. For the thirty years of her adult life, Nandita has donned various hats from doing a fellowship at Yale, to speaking engagements, to writing a column for 8 years, to being a Chairperson for the Children’s Film Society, along with being a hands-on mother for seven and a half years. She has acted in 40 films in 10 different languages and also traveled extensively.
She went on to explain how the popular definition of work is flawed as in that definition, money defines work and whatever we’re not earning money from is not considered ‘work’. Some of the most engaging work for her has not given her monetary returns and yet she found them extremely meaningful. She stated how her social advocacy work is at the core of everything she does, be it film, acting, writing; for her, all these activities have been a means to an end – the end being the desire to share, connect with other people, and to find the means to say what she’s concerned about, what her thoughts are.
Nandita Das ended the conversation by some advice to her younger self, “Just do your bit but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
You can watch the interview below:
Image via the video
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by Half Baked Beans Publishers.
She won the Runner Up Position in the Orange Flower Awards 2021 for Short Fiction.
Her read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Story - Beauty: Shreya wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’ ‘But what is the use of inner beauty if the exterior is unattractive?’ Ravi asked. Her heart skipped a beat, and now she listened with the utmost alacrity.
‘Beauty is skin deep, Ravi. In the long run, it’s the inner beauty that matters. I know Shreya is smart and I find her attractive.’ It was Chetan’s voice.
Shreya had paused for a moment on the open door of Ravi’s flat when she overheard him. It was the morning of 27th March, and she had come to give Ravi his surprise birthday present. She didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the conversation had caught her curiosity.
She wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’
There was a dainty figure sitting on a bench. A girl bundled in a black shawl. And then a shadow emerged from the darkness. He stopped, as he spotted the girl. He approached her, hovered around her.
It was a cold, foggy night, and a stunned silence stretched across the deserted railway station. The only working yellow light seemed like a blotch in the air. There was no hint of life except a black dog that just lumbered past as though it sniffed some danger.
No, wait! There was a dainty figure sitting on a bench. A girl bundled in a black shawl. And then a shadow emerged from the darkness. He stopped, as he spotted the girl. He approached her, hovered around her.
‘Hey!’ The man said and settled beside her.