This panel will examine the evolution of contemporary Indian Cinema to become more inclusive in content and in the filmmaking process by including women and LGBTQ+ filmmakers.
After receiving a Bachelor's degree in English Literature in Mumbai, Tanuja Chandra completed further studies towards a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Direction and Writing in the USA. She returned to India and directed the television shows, Mirch Masala and Zameen Aasmaan. After this, she co-wrote the screenplay and dialogue for Mahesh Bhatt’s films, Zakhm and Tamanna, both of which won National awards, and co-wrote Yash Chopra’s Dil To Pagal Hai. She began independent film direction in 1998 with Dushman and directed Sangharsh, Sur - A Melody of Life, Zindaggi Rocks, and the English language film, Hope and A Little Sugar in 2008, amongst others. Several of her films received awards in different categories and her English film received recognition in international film festivals. In 2017, her most recent film, Qarib Qarib Singlle released, and a collection of short stories by her, called Bijnis Woman was published by Penguin Random House.
Kausar is a contemporary award-winning lyric, dialogue and screenwriter for the Indian film and television industry. An English Honours and Film Studies graduate from Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College and Bombay University, Kausar grew up in Mumbai and her career in the media began early. She earned her television stripes as ‘screenwriter’ for the popular TV show Jassi Jassi Koi Nahin. Her TV writing credits include fiction and nonfiction shows for all the leading channels. Her scripting credits range from film events like IIFA, to knowledge based shows like Ted Talks India, and grand Bollywood musicals for the international stage such as ‘Jaan E Jigar’ at the Bollywood Parks and Resorts, Dubai. Kausar first made an impression as a lyricist with the song Falak Tak in Tashan, produced by YashRaj Films. Her film list as lyricist include hits like Ishqzaade, Ek Tha Tiger, Dhoom 3, Main Tera Hero, Dear Zindagi, Meri Pyaari Bindu, Secret Superstar, Padman, Gehraaiyaan, 83 and many more songs in over 100 films. She has won every major award, and in 2022 she became the ‘first woman’ to win the Filmfare Award for Lyrics. As script and dialogue writer, some of her are Phantom, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Begum Jaan, Salaam Venky and OTT shows Rocket Boys.
Konkona Sen Sharma
Konkona Sen Sharma is the poster girl of Indie cinema and is one of the most respected actresses in India with a career spanning more than two decades. She is also a writer, director and producer and has appeared in over 50 films winning 2 National Awards and 5 Filmfare awards among several other accolades. In 2016, she wrote and directed ‘A Death in the Gunj’ which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and won several awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director and Filmfare Critics Best Film. It also won awards at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, New York Indian Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival among others. Konkona’s highly acclaimed directorial venture ‘Mirror’ is part of the popular Netflix Anthology 'Lust Stories 2'. She will be seen next in a hard hitting social drama ‘The Rapist’, directed by Aparna Sen. ‘The Rapist’ premiered at The Busan International Film Festival winning the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award. Her upcoming releases are 'Soup' on Netflix , and ' Mumbai Diaries Season 2' on Amazon. She is also shooting for ' Metro - In Dino ' directed and produced by Anurag Basu.
Anjali Arondekar’s work engages the politics and poetics of sexuality, race and historiography, with a strong focus on comparative empires within South Asian and Indian Ocean studies. Anjali reads and writes within established disciplines (history, literature, law) and field formations (area studies, queer/sexuality studies), mobilizing South Asia through its multilingual and divergent colonial and national formations. Her first monograph, For the Record: On Sexuality and the Colonial Archive in India (winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award for best book in lesbian, gay, or queer studies in literature and cultural studies, Modern Language Association, 2010) considers the relationship between sexuality and the colonial archive. Her second book, Abundance: Sexuality’s History (Duke University Press, 2023), marshals its archival materials from a range of multilingual historical and literary sources in English, Marathi, Konkani and Portuguese. It extends Anjali Arondekar’s concerns with the connections between critical race studies and queer studies, between historical forms and literary narratives.