In an apparent effort to change mindsets around women entrepreneurship, GIZ India’s Project Her & Now, which has been working create a more enabling environment for women-led businesses in India since 2018, have commissioned four short films, which have now been released online. During the last couple of years, the films have been screened 77 times across small cities in the North Eastern Region, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR as well as online, with the goal to start open conversations with the audience around the role of women in the economy and society.
Julia Karst, Project Head of Her & Now, while talking about the short films’ online release and their contribution to a mindset change, said: “Film is a powerful medium that both reflects and shapes dominant discourses and perceptions about gender norms in a society. We hope the short films and the discussions around them will contribute to a positive mindset change and increase the visibility of the entrepreneurial spirit of women in India.”
The four Her & Now short films on women’s entrepreneurial journeys comprise ‘B. Selvi & Daughters’ (25 minutes, fiction, Tamil) directed by Drishya and starring Gayathrie Shankar and Kalairani, ‘Kashmakash – The Dilemma’ (20 minutes, fiction, Hindi) directed by Manav Rath and with Dipannita Sharma-Atwal in the leading role, ‘Pahal – An Initiative’ (12 minutes, animation, Hindi) directed by Swarup Deb, Anuj Kumar and Avinash Medhe, and ‘Ritu Goes Online’ (16 minutes, documentary, Hindi) directed by Vrinda Samartha.
Drishya, Director of the film B. Selvi & Daughters, while elaborating about her film’s role in the Her & Now film campaign, said: “I hope that the film starts a real conversation at many levels about women’s motivations and challenges, specifically with regard to their careers and entrepreneurship. To that effect, the great majority of the film’s crew was female, hopefully, a step towards the long overdue shift to the female gaze”.
Vrinda Samartha, Director of the film Ritu Goes Online, said: “Through our film, I hope the society sees value in the financial benefits and change in mindset women entrepreneurs can bring to their homes and societies. I also hope it inspires more families to come forward and support them. I hope to see many more women entrepreneurs out there breaking the ceiling and creating their own unique success story.”
In addition to their crucial role in the Her & Now campaign, the short films were also showcased at 17 national and international film festivals – among which the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, New York Indian Film Festival, Arthouse Asia Film Festival – and bagged five awards as well as prestigious nominations at the Critics Choice Awards! All four short films can be watched on the #HumarMovie YouTube channel as well as on the #MovieSaints film platform.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in alliance with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, to support aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India.
The project has been creating an enabling environment for women-led enterprises in India, ever since its inception in 2018. It is working on it through the following touchpoints:
- Incubation and Acceleration support programmes for women entrepreneurs in tier II and tier III cities in the North Eastern Region, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. So far, these programmes have supported over 900 women entrepreneurs. In the North East and Rajasthan, the project has facilitated women entrepreneur-led networks like WE Manipur, WEN Nagaland, AWARE in Rajasthan and MeraBizNet in Uttar Pradesh
- WINcubate, a gender-sensitive entrepreneurship support training, (developed in collaboration with Dhriiti- The Courage Within) equips incubators to adopt women-centric incubation practices and 18 Atal Innovation Mission incubators and 12 Government of Gujarat incubators in the country have undertaken this training so far.
- The Film-and Media Campaign celebrates women entrepreneurs and their contribution to society and the economy. In order to stir a positive mindset change, the project has produced four award-winning short films being screened in over 40 cities of India.