As a major component of the cultural industry, no doubt cinema has a significant impact on the subconscious mind of the common masses across the world. Prior to the journey of cinema in 1896, it has been considered as an influential medium reflecting the social identities and cultural values. Film makers’ portrayal of the conventional images and gendered stereotypes has also been subjected to continual evaluation for a couple of decades. Positive changes regarding gender roles in cinema are still phenomenal with usual typecasting.
Significance of woman’s film as a certain genre therefore lies in identifying the women-centered narratives, female protagonists and also designed portrayal of women’s concerns regarding domestic chore, motherhood or the stories of self-sacrifice, romance. Rather than encompassing women filmmakers, women’s films usually mean the films specially made for women, predominantly by men screenwriters, directors or producers.
Although women’s cinema in both Hollywood and Bollywood in the second half of the twentieth century tried to address ground reality of women’s lives; the continuity of this trend disappeared in the sixties. Although productions of the films are done in different countries, so is the exhibition but as a whole mainstream cinema portrays the same stereotype of women. Bollywood along with Hollywood -undoubtedly are two major sources of these stereotypes—which remain prevalent in films of many other countries.
Women in Hollywood and as well as in Bollywood cinema are mostly portrayed as passive objects of desire characterization and it is no different in Bangladeshi films. Exposures of physicality, beautification of girls as sexual objects are the major trend of portrayal of women in these films.
Although glamorization of the female body is the major trend of mainstream cinema in this part of the world, there are independent filmmakers in many countries who made films which portrayed women’s potentiality as human beings. Independent filmmakers of the South Asian region have also made some good films on women.
The content of the films based on women requires having more discussion as well as interaction among the scholars, activists, film critics and also the filmmakers themselves. To serve this very purpose of making women-based cinema better and more relevant the festival has decided to arrange a two day long international conference on women cinema.
A two daylong conference organized by Rainbow Film Society in association with the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Dhaka University will be held on Sunday 16 January and Monday 17 January, 2022 at the Dhaka Club Samson Lounge 2nd floor, Shahbag, Dhaka-1000.
To improve the standard and content of women-based cinema and also to create an interaction among the women who are involved in the medium of cinema through exchanging ideas and sharing diverse experiences.
Ms. Sydney Levine
Ishrat Khan Barsha
She has 40+ years’ experience in the film industry where she currently is a trainer/ educator, writer and consultant for festival, international sales and financing strategies. She was the first woman in international distribution, with 20th Century Fox, became an acquisitions executive and created the industry’s first database in 1988 which later was the basis for Cannes’ Cinando.com and was then acquired by IMDb in 2007. Her blog SydneysBuzz appears on IMDb and at Blogs.SydneysBuzz.com.
She is a faculty at the Department of Women & Gender Studies, University of Dhaka. As a Commonwealth Scholar, she is currently doing her PhD at the University of Sussex, UK. Her earlier professional exposure at development organizations and later involvement in multiple research with Promundo US (MenCare Project), NWO-WOTRO (Dutch Govt funded SRHR research), UNDP, WHO, CMMS (Centre for Men and Masculinities Studies) have contributed to the knowledge generation in the field of Gender Studies in Bangladesh