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Vitamin Stree measures female representation in 2018’s top Bollywood films

Vitamin Stree is back with its annual edition of the Bollywood Bechdel Test, where we measure female representation in 2018’s top blockbuster films.

The rules of the test are simple-

A film must have at least two women, both (preferably) named, having a conversation about anything except a man. Pretty low bar, right? We thought so too…

The results, however, were disappointing. Only 5 out of 15 films passed this year’s test, scraping by with a couple of token conversations. Compared to 2017, where only 3 out of 10 films passed the Bechdel test, there is statistically, only a 3% per cent improvement. Make of that, what you will.

Sure, the quality of cinema is improving — 2018 saw a lot of content-driven films which also did well at the box office. Movies with progressive plots that tackle social issues, like Stree and Padman, were received well. Thrillers like Andhadhun and Raazi set the bar in their genre. All of this just points in one direction — Bollywood is evidently progressing..just sans women.

One year and many more hits later, we are still left asking - Where them girls at? If the future of Bollywood is female, we are waiting for it to transition into the present - whenever that happens.

Most importantly, we are not losing hope. Let’s see how Bollywood fares in next year’s edition of the Bechdel Test.

Padmini Vaidyanathan, Executive Producer: “The question that we are asked all the time - can creativity be held accountable to standards of feminism & female representation. And we want to state, unapologetically, absolutely yes. The Bechdel is the bare minimum ask. And Bollywood, and other storytellers, need to take a moment & ask themselves if they are doing enough. They are not. And we hope, when put like we have in this video, viewers start looking at movies through this lens and filmmakers will make a more conscious effort to ensure inclusiveness & representation.”

 

Credits:

Conceptualised and Produced by Vitamin Stree
Executive Producer: Padmini  Vaidyanathan
Creative Director: Anisha Sharma
Scriptwriter: Nandini Godara
Director: Srishti Jayin
DOP: Anuj Hakked
Lead Producer: Pankhuri Ranjan
Asst. Producers: Akshat Gupta
Art Design: Sanika Naik
Edit: Akshat Gupta, Akhtar Shaikh
Grade: Akhtar Shaikh
Sound Mix: Akrti
Title & End Slate Graphics: Alafiya Hasan
Title Animation: Shikha Sharma
Camera Attendants: Sarvar Sayyed, Vipul Chauhan
Spot Boy: Hussain
Special Thanks: Supriya Joshi

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