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Through the experiences of two independent women filmmakers, this talk explores multiple approaches to spotlighting the narratives of women in diverse urban and rural spaces, as well as the process and craft of non-fiction filmmaking. The session features Nishtha Jain (Director of City of Photos, Laxmi and Me, At My Doorstep and Gulabi Gang) and Shikha Madan (Director of Bachelor Girls) in conversation with author and independent journalist Kaveree Bamzai.
In collaboration with Museum of Art & Photography as part of MAP Talks: Women in Art and Culture series
Nishtha Jain is an internationally-recognised filmmaker based in Mumbai best known for Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007) and City of Photos (2004). Her films interrogate lived experience at the intersection of gender, caste and class. They explore the political in the personal and uncover the mechanisms of privilege.
Currently she’s working on three projects including The Golden Thread (post-production) on lives of jute people; Inquilab ki Kheti (Production) on Farmers protests at Delhi borders (production) and Summer with Roxanne (post production).
After postgraduate training at Jamia Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi, she pursued Film Direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune prior to launching a career in independent cinema.
She has been working across various platforms – documentary, narrative, virtual reality and TV series. Her films have been widely screened at film festivals and art-house cinemas and broadcast on TV. She has won over 25 international awards and her films have been reviewed by print-media and academic journals. Nishtha is a Chicken & Egg Award winner (2020); Member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS); Film Independent Global Media Maker Fellow (2019-20); Recipient of Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship (2019).
Jain has served as a juror at IDFA, ZFF, Cinema Verité and IDSFFK and has given lectures and master classes at numerous universities internationally.
Filmmaker and screenwriter Shikha Makan is a prominent ad-film director in Indian advertising and one of the first women directors to have forayed into the ‘automobile/bike’ category. She is the co-founder of India’s leading ad film production house, Kiss Films. She is popular for her lyrical, musical, humour oriented treatments and working with India’s top celebs. An erstwhile Radio Jockey, she is known for her short experimental film “Linger” and critically acclaimed feature length documentary ‘Bachelor Girls’. Her writing credits include the show Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.
A Masters graduate in Psychology, she has previously worked on a film series for BBC Channel 4 and is also an alumni of Japan Foundation’s JENESYS programme, hosted by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Tokyo, Japan.
Kaveree Bamzai has spent over 30 years in journalism. The first woman editor of India today, she has also worked in Indian Express and the Times of India. She is the author of No Regrets: The Guilt Free Women’s Guide to a Good Life and Bollywood Today.