Rohena Gera: I don’t take extra responsibility of a ‘female filmmaker’

Mumbai, March 18 (IANS) At the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, Rohena Gera’s “Sir” was selected to compete in the International Critics’ Week section. The same year, Nandita Das’ “Manto” was in contention in Un Certain Regard section of the festival. It was a rare and interesting year when two female filmmakers from India vied for honours at the prestigious film festival.

Gera underplays her tag as a female filmmaker, saying that she does not carry any extra responsibility while representing the group.

Have female filmmakers contributed in changing the image of actresses in cinema in the recent times? “I definitely think so, because as a woman I do not have to think that I will portray the woman character in the film in an interesting way. I will automatically do so because as a woman we understand certain nuances and complexity from experience. We just get it right. So, if we are just honest about the reality and the people we know in our lives, we can naturally add some nuances to that. That is why I think the change that we get to see now has had to do with the fact that women’s voices are being heard more these days,” Rohena told IANS.

“Sir” revolves around an unlikely romance that develops between a live-in maid, played by Tillotama Shome, and her employee (Vivek Gomber). Apart from being screened at Cannes, the film has also won awards at a few international festivals. “Sir” also features Geetanjali Kulkarni, Ahmareen Anjum, Rahul Vohra among others.

Does Gera feel an added responsibility as a female filmmaker at a time when the female voice is increasingly being heard in the realm of entertainment? “I do not like to think about it as extra responsibility for being the ‘woman’ filmmaker. I think since I am a woman there are certain stories I will say because they matter to me. Having said that, I do not want to work with categories. As an audience, when I watch a film I am not bothered by gender of the filmmaker, but the film. My likes and dislikes are not dependent on the gender of the filmmaker. I liked the film ‘Lady Bird’ which was directed by a female director. But I also liked the film ‘Boyhood’ which was directed by a man!”



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