Bollywood director Reema Kagti, who has made films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd and Talaash: The Answer Lies Within, feels Hindi cinema is doing “much better” than Hollywood on the issue of diversity.
Hollywood has been abuzz over the racial and gender diversity issue, with several prominent names expressing their views about the disparity in roles and pay structure for women.
Kagti feels the Hindi film industry is gradually moving towards projects with strong women protagonists.
“There is an attempt to diversify movies in Bollywood now, but producers also have to think about recovering their cost because of which a superstar like Priyanka Chopra is cast in the role of Mary Kom,” Kagti said.
“However, I feel that we are doing much better than Hollywood when the issue of diversity comes. They are either making these big money-making franchises or some small films,” she added.
Kagti was one of the panelists at the “Rise of Diversity in Bollywood: Chennai Express to Mary Kom” panel discussion of the recently concluded fourth edition of Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival (BVFF), which was held from July 22-24.
During the discussion, Kagti was joined by production designer Vandana Kataria and screenwriter Ritesh Shah. The discussion stressed on the fact that Bollywood is finally catering to stories outside the Hindi heartland and reaching out to a larger audience.
Shah, who has penned the screenplay of movies like Kahaani and Airlift, said: “A key reason behind Bollywood getting diverse is the fact that in the last ten years, a lot of technicians and storytellers have come to Bollywood from smaller centres.”
“For example, I myself have come from Anantnag in Kashmir where people can’t even pronounce Hindi properly.”
Six short films and six full-length films from northeastern states like Manipur, Assam, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh were presented at the three-day fest, organised by Tattva Creations.