IAS Association, Rajasthan organized ‘Filmy Baatein’ with journalist turned filmmaker, Ms. Divya Unny on their Facebook page today. The session focused on the filmmaker’s life, career as a journalist, her transition to acting and filmmaking as well as the various societal taboos plaguing the nation. She was in conversation with IAS Literary Secretary, IAS Association, Rajasthan, Ms. Mugdha Sinha. The talk was followed by the screening of the short film, ‘Her First Time’ directed by Ms. Unny.
Sharing her journey into filmmaking, Ms Unny said that as a journalist she always found passion in the art of storytelling. After her mother’s demise, she delved into theatre and did many workshops. This helped her mind and body open up to many possibilities. This was also her first acquaintance with art. She then travelled across the world doing Hindi and English plays. She also got into acting but found that she wanted more than translating other people’s stories. She considered it constricting and limiting. It was then that she decided to tell stories close to her heart as a filmmaker.
She further said that a filmmaker has a horde of choices of the kind of stories they wish to tell. It is the individualistic perspective that makes the story really stand out and worth telling. “I have always found myself attracted to the genre of drama. I find interest in telling the stories of my culture and the life of Mumbai. The power of this city to convince an individual to leave their lives and set up here, seeking to fulfill their dreams has always amazed me. My stories have also had a strong mother-daughter reference which I owe to my own strong connection with my mother”, she said.
Talking about the existing taboo surrounding menstruation, Ms. Unny said that women are empowered to have children which is essential to creating life. This cannot be considered impure. In the past, women were asked to not interact in a social gathering or go to temple or the kitchen so that they can get rest. That idea has turned into something that restricts them today. There is need to address the economic and educational disparities in society. Communication is key to figuring out where one is heading as an individual and as a member of the society. The women need not be shamed or looked down upon. They need to be given the respect and dignity they deserve.