In the world of cinema, over the years women have carved a niche for themselves not just on-screen but behind the camera as well. They are taking over the director’s chairs and calling the shots as a producer as well. There is more women-led content, stories are being explored from a female lens and interestingly more and more actors are turning producers to facilitate storytelling that they believe in.
Continuing in this endeavour, of focussing on women in entertainment, Amazon Prime Video, India has partnered with Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) to launch Maitri: Female First Collective.
Maitri endeavours to bring women together to nurture conversations and collaborations and serve as a safe space for women to share their aspirations, learn from each other’s experiences and work towards unblocking challenges within the industry.
It aims at building a community for women from media and entertainment where they can come together on a quarterly basis to discuss their experiences, challenges and successes, and offer their perspective and advice on how to bring about a positive shift. “At Amazon, we believe that diversity, equity and inclusion, is not just needed, it is essential, and we are constantly trying to go beyond intention to institutionalise processes and mechanisms to create an ecosystem that mirrors true diversity,” said Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video on this initiative.
Adding, “Maitri means friendship or kinship, and the idea behind this initiative was to create a space for women to get together as friends, contemporaries and colleagues to collaborate, communicate and pave the way for others to follow. I believe that making an impactful change takes time, and can only happen when we begin to have a conversation regularly and repeatedly. I am glad that we have taken this small, yet significant step with the help of MAMI. It was incredible to sit at the same table as other strong women from the industry. I am certain that each one of us will be able to identify the learnings we had from the session and translate them into more actionable initiatives that make the industry a better place for other women.”
The first episode featuring 16 women who participated in the debut session goes live today. These women include Amrita Pandey, CEO, Junglee Pictures & Times Studios Originals, Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon, Screenwriter & Hairstylist, Bhavani Iyer, Screenwriter & Author, Gayathri, Filmmaker, Jeeva, Filmmaker, Juhi Chaturvedi, Screenwriter, Kunjila Mascillamani, Filmmaker, Mini Mathur, Actor & TV Host, Nupur Asthana, Filmmaker, Richa Chadha, Actor & Producer, Rintu Thomas, Filmmaker, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Actor & Producer, Sumukhi Suresh, Comedian, Actor, Writer, Creator, Founder & CE-HOE, Motormouth, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Filmmaker & Author, Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video, and Smriti Kiran, Artistic Director of MAMI who curated the room and moderated the discussion.
Smriti Kiran, Creator and Curator, Maitri said, “I have immense faith in collaboration, community building and shared experience. I have consistently built platforms that bring creators together, encourage a sense of community amongst diverse filmmaking cultures within India and also tap into global talent. It was invigorating to bring the first room for Maitri: Female First Collective together. The idea behind Maitri is togetherness. It stands for unity and strength by building bridges that connecting, enable reaching out for help and empower all of us to take ownership of the ambit of power we have, however small or big, to bring about change. The conversation that will lead to sustained conversion will never stop at Maitri. This will be a 24/7 space that will keep growing and evolving. The work in front of us is enormous. Our effort is to start at the foundation, bring mindfulness of the very basics, address our own biases, and begin by making the industry a far more humane and equitable place to work. Very grateful to Aparna Purohit and Amazon Prime Video for seeing value in this vision and giving Maitri the support that it needs to soar.”
With Maitri: Female First Collective, Amazon Prime Video, in association with India’s prestigious film academy MAMI, aims to raise awareness on the pivotal role women play within the entertainment industry.
Maitri: Female First Collective March 2022 Edition -Watch Here.
This article has been posted in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video.
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