May 31, 2022 10:45:17 am
Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar says she and her brother Farhan Akhtar were brought up equally. “When I entered the room, I was equal in my head, and in my demeanour,” she shared. Daughter of Bollywood icons Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, Zoya revealed that coming from a film family ensured she didn’t face any kind of harassment on her movie sets, but there were other issues.
Zoya, who started as an assistant director, made her directorial debut with Farhan Akhtar starrer Luck By Chance (2009). Her other projects include Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Talaash, Bombay Talkies, Dil Dhadakne Do and Gully Boy. She’s also helmed web show Made in Heaven and anthologies Lust Stories and Ghost Stories.
The filmmaker stated that despite “not wearing your gender on your sleeves”, she had to initially deal with representation on her sets too. She told The Hindu, “When I started directing (Luck By Chance), my brother was my lead actor, and he was an established filmmaker already. So, I had certain technicians ask him if the shot was okay, and he had to be like, she is the director.”
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Zoya revealed that she had to warn her Steadicam operator about taking instructions. “I said, ‘I don’t think we can work together if you won’t speak to me.’ And he (the cameraman) responded saying, ‘But you’re like my sister.’ I said, ‘I’m not your sister, I’m your boss!’ We subsequently became friends, because it was a chat without any angst involved.”
Recalling how gender representation in the 80s and 90s impacted the storytelling process, she opined, “In the 80s and 90s, you never saw tenderness, you never saw consent. But we had molestation scenes. That affects the psyche of a nation.”
Zoya is now gearing up for her latest directorial The Archies. Stating her childhood love for the comics, she shared that its global popularity is keeping her nervous. “I have to make sure the film stokes the nostalgia of a generation that grew up on the comic, and yet resonates with young adults today,” she told the publication.
The Archies marks the Bollywood debut of Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor and Agastya Nanda. It also stars Dot., Mihir Ahuja, Vedang Raina and Yuvraj Menda.
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