Being a woman in an industry dominated majorly by men isn’t an easy thing. Women have to prove themselves every point and the challenges sometimes get really difficult.
Qarib Qarib Singlle director Tanuja Chandra says she has never faced issues in showbiz on the basis of her gender.
Asked if it’s difficult for female directors to function in the industry, Chandra said,
“It’s not so much the gender as the type of subject a director chooses to make, which poses a problem most often. I’ve never really faced issues because I’m a woman. It’s the unusual subjects I’ve chosen for my films that have had resistance. So if you want to make anything that doesn’t fit into a certain box or label or genre, you will find the road difficult.”
Chandra, who has directed films like Dushman, Sangharsh and Sur – The Melody of Life, feels that there aren’t enough female directors in the country. She added,
“The number has grown since when I started out, but only by a small amount. When there will be many, many more women directing movies, I truly believe storytelling will get better.”
Chandra’s directorial starring acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan comes after nine years. She helmed Hope and a Little Sugar in 2008. Why such a long gap? “For a director, the journey is far longer than for an actor or even a writer and producer. One has to work on scripts and then pitch them to potential producers and actors — all this takes longer than people realise.
It only catches peoples’ attention at release time! So I was, in fact, working on screenplays throughout the time you call a ‘gap’ — and a couple of projects had reached the shooting stage but then were stopped for various reasons. ‘QQS’ fortunately, was not one of those! It reached the production stage and was successfully released.”
Qarib Qarib Singlle also stars southern star Parvathy. Chandra says it was exciting to work with the actor. Talking about the same, she said,
“She is disciplined and hard-working, which is basically the South ethic on set. She was able to match my manic energy! She also has a fairly good command of the language because she has studied in Hindi medium schools. She is very smart and is fun to work with.”