Toronto–High-profile celebrities from the film world, including Indian actress-director Nandita Das, called for gender equality in showbiz at a rally at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Director Geena Davis and Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman were among the several others who on Saturday spoke about the need for gender parity. It was the first TIFF since movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was toppled by sexual assault allegations.
Before the ‘Share Her Journey’ rally, artistic director Cameron Bailey pledged TIFF’s support for a broader industry gender parity movement called 50/50 by 2020.
The Directors Guild of Canada also used TIFF to launch a national campaign called “So Not Cool,” which encourages bystanders, actors and film crews to build safe, respectful environments on and off movie sets.
On her part, Nandita, whose forthcoming drama “Manto” had its North American premiere here, said she was now proud to be called as a woman director and wanted to see more women stepping into filmmaking.
“I used to get upset about with how people called me a ‘woman director’. But for the past few years I have begun owning it. I would like to be just called a director but for the last few years I love to be called a woman director.”
The 48-year-old Nandita also raised concerns over the skewed man-woman sex ratio in South Asia.
“We are still struggling with sex ratio. There are little girls who are not being allowed to born. There are many missing girls. It is a land of paradoxes.
“We all should have a collective will to see the world as more equal and more peaceful place. It is up to us on how to change this world and make a better place to live in,” she added.
Earlier this year, Nandita attended the Cannes Film Festival where she, along with a host of other women celebrities, protested against the gender gap.