Many new female faces and talents are being discovered by the audiences, thanks to the initiatives taken by OTT platforms which are also providing opportunities to smaller female actors to showcase their skills.
We just celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, a day that many feel is a tokenism as opposed to undertaking the true upliftment and empowerment of women all year round. A recent trend – and a very positive one at that – is the increasing visibility of women across OTT platforms in various roles from actor to director to producer to editor and more. It looks like women are finally being given their due and recognition in the digital entertainment space which they were struggling to find in the Indian film industry.
With inclusivity being part of their policies, international OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon are bringing a welcome change to the entertainment industry here. And it’s not just about including women but also about telling the real stories of the women today. Take a look at the latest Netflix series ‘Bombay Begums’ which looks at the lives of five female protagonists. It is written and helmed by Alankrita Shrivatava and Bornila Chatterjee along with Iti Agarwal. The leading ladies are at various stages in their lives and struggle with their ambitions, desires, love and more, and try to find and forge their own paths in this male-dominated world.
On the other hand, Amazon Prime Video’s upcomig series ‘Hush Hush’ features not just female protagonists like Juhi Chawla, Soha Ali Khan and Shahana Goswami, but is also helmed by an all-women crew – Tanuja Chandra, Shikhaa Sharma, Juhi Chaturvedi and Kopal Nath. These series follow a long list of others where we see women shining – ‘Aarya’, ‘Scam 1992’, ‘Four More Shots Please’, ‘Hello Jee’, ‘Choked’, ‘Criminal Justice 2’, ‘Hundred’, ‘Raat Akeli Hai’, ‘Sir’, ‘Flesh’, ‘Masaba Masaba’, ‘Lust Stories’, ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamatke Sitare’, ‘Tribhanga’ and more.
Web series and films with strong leading ladies and characters where different layers are being explored are slowly changing the narrative on screen. And it is a refreshing change to discover that these actors are real and characters with whom you can instantly connect with unlike the silverscreen where they are mostly larger-than-life and OTT. Many new female faces and talents are being discovered by the audiences thanks to the initiatives taken by OTT platforms which are also providing opportunities to smaller female actors to showcase their skills. Rasika Dugal, Amruta Subhash and Tillotama Shome are some of the actors whom the digital platforms have made stars of.
However, it is also important to understand and recognise that unless women with privilege uplift other women, the attempt to provide equal and better opportunities will be an uphill battle. On Women’s Day this year, producers Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana got together to form ‘Indian Women Rising’ and this initiative is likely to be a fillip for giving women a respectful and legitimate space in the entertainment industry.
More such initiatives in the entertainment space around the country will definitely help pave the way for women across all fields in the entertainment space. Perhaps, woman power will then spill over from the OTT platforms to the film industry as well. As Women’s Day passes and everyone gets back to the regular grind, this should not just remain a thought but be put into action. Let women rule the digital space and more!