Gender labels are used because it's not level playing field yet: Ruchi Narain

Mumbai, Mar 8 (PTI) Gender of an artiste should not define the art, says writer-director Ruchi Narain, who believes the imbalance in the opportunities between men and women is the reason why labels exist.

Ruchi is best known for writing screenplays of films 'Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi' and 'Calcutta Mail' and has directed movies 'Kal: Yesterday and Tomorrow' and animation feature 'Hanuman Da Damdaar'.

'For any artiste creating any kind of work, the lens should be of a creator, regardless of gender. Because there have been fewer women, the current scenario tends to be more of men. But as more women come in, it will automatically change,' she told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of Netflix roundtable for Women's Day.

'The balance is not very equal. Hopefully, in the next 20 years or less, we won’t need to put these labels on anything. Right now, it is done because it is not a level playing field. That's a fact,' she added.

The director's latest work is Netflix's 'Guilty', starring Kiara Advani. The film, co-written by Atika Chohan, has dialogues by Kanika Dhillon.

An incisive look at the post #MeToo era, it touches upon various topics such as patriarchy, inherent biases and class divide through a campus-set rape allegation story.

Ruchi said she has sensitively handled all the characters in the movie, regardless of gender.

'In my film, there is an allegation of sexual assault. I can portray the point of view of the accuser and the accused. You have to understand the complexities of everyone, not just the boy and girl. You need to stay true to the character and their flaws and treat each of them as a person and not as a man or woman.

'It is an older style of storytelling, which makes things more black and white and that gets segregated into male and female. If you deal into grey, that is a newer way of filmmaking, then all these things will start to lose. The categorisation and labels, they will all become complex people,' she said.

The roundtable discussion, titled 'The Female Lens', was also attended by writer Anvita Dutt Guptan, filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala, casting director Seher Latif among others. PTI KKP SHD RDS SHD