Sixth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema

Culture Desk
As a major component of cultural industry, no doubt cinema has 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 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 selfsacrifice, romance. Rather than encompassing women film makers, woman’s films usually mean the films specially made for women, predominantly by men screen writers, directors or producers.
Although woman’s cinema in both Hollywood and Bollywood in the second half of twentieth century tried to address ground reality of women’s lives; the continuity of this trend disappeared in 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 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 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 recently organized by Rainbow Film Society at the Dhaka Club in the city.