Filmmakers Gayatri & Pushkar and Director & Screenwriter Sudha Kongara Pledge Their Support to Improve Female Representation in Indian Entertainment on the Back of O Womaniya! Report 2023

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Filmmakers Gayatri & Pushkar and Director & Screenwriter Sudha Kongara Pledge Their Support to Improve Female Representation in Indian Entertainment on the Back of O Womaniya! Report 2023

Alia Bhatt, Daggubati Suresh Babu, Supriya Menon, Supriya Yarlagadda, Shobu Yarlagadda, Vikramaditya Motwane, and more entertainment personalities voice their support for diversity in the industry

 Spearheaded by Ormax Media and Film Companion, and championed by Prime Video, O Womaniya! is India’s most definitive report on female representation in Indian entertainment

 Access the complete report here: www.owomaniya.org

 Chennai, Prime Video, India’s most loved entertainment destination, today released the latest edition of O Womaniya! report, the most definitive study on female representation in Indian entertainment. Researched and curated by media consulting firm, Ormax Media, India’s leading entertainment journalism platform, Film Companion, and championed by Prime Video, the study evaluates the statistical journey of women in various facets of content production, marketing and corporate leadership within India’s entertainment industry.

On the back of the report, various leaders from the industry voiced their support and took pledges to improve female representation in entertainment. Gayatri & Pushkar, filmmakers said, “We pledge to continue to promote diversity in our projects, to continue to include women in writer’s rooms, and to continue to follow the government mandated PoSH guidelines and have an ICC within the organisation.” Pledging her support, Sudha Kongara, Director & Screenwriter said, “I pledge to ensure that my producers comply with the government mandated PoSH guidelines and have an ICC in place.” 

Alia Bhatt, who has recently won the National Film Award for a female-led film Gangubai Kathiawadi, and has also turned a producer with another female-forward narrative Darlings said, “I pledge to continue to promote diversity in my production projects.” Supriya Yarlagadda, producer & executive director, Annapurna Studios said, “We at Annapurna, are the first studio and production house to establish an ICC in the Telugu film industry. We shall continue with our endeavor to promote diversity in our productions and include women in writer’s rooms. Our environment is constantly evolving to support more women in the workplace.” Aparna Purohit, head of Originals, India & Southeast Asia, Prime Video pledged, “I pledge to include women in writer’s room and to work towards at least 30% women HOD’s in all of our productions.”

View all the pledges here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1l9S6ENy3KWnZcxfRuyuBmmaEEiG1zbPQ

This year, the report analyzed 156 films and series, across streaming and theatrical released in 2022 in 8 Indian languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali and Gujarati) to arrive at a comprehensive picture of the change that the industry has seen since 2021.

Along with Prime Video, the report has been supported by other partners from the industry including Clean Slate Filmz, Emmay Entertainment, Excel Entertainment, Jio Studio, Producers Guild India, RSVP, SonyLiv, Tiger Baby, and Zee5.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Creative Talent – Only 12% of the 780 HOD positions analyzed across key departments of direction, cinematography, editing, writing, and production design were held by women.
  • Content – While in 2021, 55% of the properties analyzed passed the Bechdel Test1, the number has gone below the half-way mark to 47% now. Series and films like Guilty MindsFour More Shots Please! Season 3, Delhi Crime Season 2, Maja MaGangubai Kathiawadi, among others, emerged as the properties with maximum scenes to pass the Bechdel Test.
  • Marketing – Women still get only 27% talk time2 in trailers; the number is the highest for streaming films with 33% talk time in trailers being allocated to women. Series and movies like Hush HushGehraiyaanThe Fame GameAmmuA ThursdaySita Ramam, among others, performed the best with at least 50% of talk time in trailers given to female leads.
  • Corporate Talent – Of the 135 Director/ CXO positions studied across 25 top M&E firms in India, only 13% were held by women.

Sharing his thoughts on the latest findings in O Womaniya!, Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO, Ormax Media said, “While there has been a slow but steady improvement in a few key parameters, the report has thrown light on the need to take a look at inclusion with a serious eye. Like the previous edition of the report, streaming continues to pave the way for female representation, however, the sub-par performance of theatrical films should serve as a wake-up call for the industry. I am glad to see the industry take note of the data and come together to pledge better representation, underscoring their genuine desire to see a positive change.”

Speaking about the report, Anupama Chopra, Founder & Editor, Film Companion said, “Entertainment is a powerful medium which can and must highlight inclusivity and diversity. O Womaniya! is our attempt to push the needle to move faster. We are thrilled to see greater participation from the industry, with key individuals taking on specific targets and actions to take this conversation forward. The steps taken to bring change may seem small but each step, each action matters, and with every edition of the O Womaniya! report, we believe we are moving a step closer to a more equitable ecosystem. I am grateful to Prime Video and Ormax Media for partnering with us on this unique initiative.”

“At Prime Video, we believe that diversity, equity and inclusion, is not just needed, it is essential. As an organization, we have always believed in equitable representation, not just within Prime Video and in our content, but also within the wider creative industry. By nurturing and empowering talented women within our industry, we can create a ripple effect of positive change in the wider ecosystem,” said Aparna Purohit, head of Originals, India & Southeast Asia, Prime Video. “O Womaniya! represents a collective effort to unite the industry and collaborate on enhancing female representation. The latest edition of the report strongly underscores the urgency of accelerating these transformative efforts. It’s heartening to witness not only the committed support of partners but also the active participation of influential figures from the industry, including both men and women. They have not only pledged their personal commitment but also made broader corporate level commitments to champion greater female inclusivity.”

1 The Bechdel Test, conceptualized by Alison Bechdel in 1985, is seen as an internationally-accepted yardstick on gender representation in content. A film is considered to have passed the Bechdel Test if it has at least one scene in which two named women are speaking, and the conversation is about something other than men/ a man. For streaming series, the criterion was modified to include three scenes, given their longer runtime.

2 Trailer Talk Time is a test created exclusively for O Womaniya! In this test, the main trailer of the film or series is analyzed and classified by the speaking time allotted to the male and female characters. The test reports % speaking time that was owned by female characters. The test gives an insight into how producers and platforms are marketing content. At 73% trailer talk time being controlled by the male characters, the results suggest that properties are being pitched from a male POV in their marketing.