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Freida Pinto wants to produce films from women's perspective


Pinto believes stereotypes around women directors need to be debunked.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

IANS

India-born and internationally acclaimed actress Freida Pinto, who rose to stardom with Slumdog Millionaire (2008), wants to encourage women-driven projects through her banner. Pinto believes stereotypes around women directors need to be debunked and more stories need to be told from a woman's perspective globally.

Asked if women producers or directors add more compassion and an emotional touch to a film, Pinto told the IANS news agency: "I wouldn't like to say that men are not compassionate, but there are two different perspectives to look at it. The way we [women] look at things and objects can be different.

"I don't believe that men don't lend themselves to that compassionate side, but certainly the female perspective, when it comes to films because we are so few of us... has not been fully explored. There are too many stereotypes around female directors as well... Like they don't have stamina, they don't have experience, and so on.

"Those are the things that we need to debunk and not who is more compassionate," said the actress, who was in the city last week.

In a short span of time in the entertainment industry, Pinto has carved a niche of her own in world cinema through her roles in films like Miral (2010), Day Of The Falcon (2011), Immortals (2011), Desert Dancer (2014) and, of course, Slumdog Millionaire. Now with her production company We Do It Together (WDIT) that aims to produce films and TV that boost the empowerment of women, she hopes to give new perspective to women-driven cinema.

Asked if she is enjoying taking charge of the filmmaking process, Pinto said, "Absolutely! I have control of the kind of material I pick up, the kind of writer that I want to work with, and I am very pro getting female-driven stories, a female director and writers on board. In fact, my first production is about women, made by women, written by a woman and has a woman actor... so, it's amazing.

"I do enjoy that sense of empowerment that I have now," said the 32-year-old who was born and brought up in Mumbai.

A proud supporter of women's rights and someone who is known for her humanitarian work, Pinto said she has enjoyed watching some woman-centric Hindi films like Queen (2014), Piku (2015) and Pink (2016), which did not objectify women but genuinely spoke of common issues women face.

"I feel that the films that I watch, specifically the Indian films that I watch, are always the ones that have lent themselves to a little more deeper questioning about a woman's representation in society. I really enjoyed Queen when it came out. Pink and Piku were also great films," she said.

Pinto also feels that "for any change to happen in society, people need to be a little more patient. Of course you are not going to overthrow everything as some sections of society probably still like the item song and dance. I feel some of them are done very respectfully these days. But I also feel that every society can have this and that.

"It doesn't have to be one way or other and certainly not with art. One can't look at something as art and the other thing as not art. I mean, who makes those rules at the end of the day?"

So, is she going to do any Hindi films soon? "First of all, I never started doing Hindi movies," she clarified. "I always started on an international platform, so what I really miss is having more Indian stories on international platforms. I am really happy with whatever I am doing right now. But yes, I would like to see more stories about Indian men and women on international platforms."

And is she going to produce a film with an Indian story?

"Absolutely... that is one of my biggest goals," she said.