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Writing on cinema, whether with a woman's point of view or otherwise, has improved: Shoma Chatterji

The veteran journalist won the Laadli Media Award for Consistent Reporting on Films From a Gender Perspective earlier this month. 

Our Correspondent

Veteran journalist Shoma A Chatterji's selection for the Laadli Media Foundation award for Consistent Reporting on Films from a Gender Perspective is a product of years of dedicated reporting on cinema and the use of gender.

Chatterji, who writes occasionally for this website, said she cherishes this prize more than many of her previous awards. "I won this award some years ago but only at the regional level (West Bengal), but this is really, really different," she said in an e-mail. "I am really happy to underline that organizations like Laadli / Population First have made it possible to strip journalism of its oft-rumoured mercenary tendencies. I have won 10 awards till date for my writing as a journalist and some of them are Lifetime Achievement, but I must say I cherish this the most right now because it covers the whole of Southeast Asia."

While she was unable to receive the prize in person, Chatterji said, "The initiation of the media awards has given a fillip to the movement in the sense that it has been able to channellize the advertising world towards positive and pro-gender work in advertising, films and so on.

"Its most outstanding work till now in the field of women is its report on the Katha rape case. It is comprehensive, neutral and excellently put together by some wonderfully dedicated people within the organization headed by none other than AL Sarada who has been the driving force behind every project since the beginning." 

Talking of the changing perspectives now visible in writing about gender in cinema, the Kolkata-based writer said, "I think the writing on women, gender taken democratically to include both men and women, has sharpened over the years and some very observant critics like Ramanathan are proving it every day. Writing on cinema, whether with a woman's point of view or otherwise, has certainly changed for the better and I am happy to be part of this change for 40 long years." 

Chatterji was one of four women honoured at the recent Laadli Foundation Media awards earlier this month, with famed composer Coomi Wadia, the late filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, and famous Hindustani vocalist Prabha Atre being the others. 

The awardees were selected from a list of 1,700 entries in 2018 from across various public domains. The awards ceremony took place on 12 October, with veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta presiding.