The JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival has instituted an award for ‘Best Film on Gender Equality’ to honour sensitive depiction of women in cinema.
The award has been announced by the festival organisers with Star in partnership with Oxfam India.
“We are honoured to partner with Oxfam India for the award that recognises the importance of positive gender representation in cinema. We hope the award will add to the discourse on women in film in India and encourage filmmakers to create and audiences to seek more nuanced portrayals of women onscreen,” Anupama Chopra, Festival Director, MAMI, said in a statement.
The award is open to the latest Indian films programmed in the festival. The nominees will be chosen by the curators of MAMI and a special jury that will choose the winner.
A prize of Rs 1 million will be awarded to the ‘Best Indian Film on Gender Equality’ that breaks stereotypes pertaining to women and challenges social norms that devalue them. It will be given out at the official closing ceremony of the festival, which will begin on October 20 and will end on October 27.
Nisha Agrawal, CEO Oxfam India, said: “Professional filmmakers across all genres have the ability to make cinema that can contribute to positive gender representation. Over time, popular culture can change people’s thinking and behaviour.”
The award is also supported by Oxfam Global Ambassador and actor Rahul Bose, who said: “One should keep in mind just because there is an award for being gender sensitive, it doesn’t mean people will be running to make gender balanced films. I think more realistically, people will be alert that there is something called gender sensitivity in a movie.
“I don’t think most filmmakers have that consciousness as yet.”