I met a potential producer-cum-director recently. Who thought the ultimate manner in which to interest me for his project was to say it is a woman-centric project.
“Really,” I say. “What is the subject?”
“Woman-centric,” he says emphatically.
“But which woman-centric subject are you exactly referring to,” I further prod.
“Please read this madam,” he says and hands me am A-4 size paper.
“The woman is bold, and centre of this movie.” It says. “She is mother nature, the mother and all other roles wrapped into one. She is a strong woman and will be lead in this film.” And similar other platitudes.
So I hand the paper back and go back to what I was originally saying. “I am not really a film person and won’t be able to help you.”
” But madam, it is woman-oriented,” he plaintively exclaims.
“But you are not telling which women’s issue..” , I say.
“You may steal my story so I cannot tell you the story,” he says. That I understand, up to a point.
“Well.. it’s about rape, hunger, motherhood and poverty.. it’s a ground-breaking film.. with a strong woman character..” he adds.
“That really says nothing..” I say, trying to end this futile conversation..
He lets it go.. starts talking possible cast. I am suggesting women who I think can play strong characters.. Nandita Das?
“No Madam, she is old now. How will I sell my movie if she is in it?” His reply.
My expression tells him it’s the wrong reply.
“It will be a festival film, no? We won’t be able to afford her plus she already has Bawandar.”, he backtracks.
My eyes have glazed over. I now get what most of film maker friends say when they say that the real film industry has to still catch up with the rest of the world.