Life & Living of sex workers as portrayed in films is just about as far as you can get from the truth.
Bandra Film Festival (BFF), a digital film festival presented by Filmkaravan in collaboration with YouTube will be showcasing two poignant films based on life & vicissitudes of sex workers under the theme ‘Broken but Beautiful’.
The first film is Tikli & Laxmi Bomb stars Chitrangada Chakraborty, Vibhawari Deshpande, Saharsh Kumar Shukla and directed by Aditya Kripalani. The 2 hours 13-minute-long film is about two sex workers who decide to kick men out of the system and form a cooperative that runs the business for women and by women.
Speaking about the lineup of films, Pooja Kohli Taneja, Artistic Director of Bandra Film Festival, stated, “Broken but Beautiful captures feminism. It is a theme that showcases lives of perhaps the most oppressed women in our society yet how empowered they are to really fight the system. We are really a lucky lot, to sit back, sip our coffee and talk about feminism. The women who face oppression on a regular basis, standing up for their rights is a very different ball game. Through Broken but Beautiful we would like to salute these women for their exemplary resilience and strength to not only endure but to strive for change”.
The second film Bahadur: The Accidental Brave is a Nepali film acted and directed by Aditya Seth. The film talks about labor migration to India. Many Nepalese migrant workers are susceptible to high risk sexual behavior and end up contracting HIV. Far West Nepal from where maximum labor migration to Mumbai happens is reeling under the impact of an HIV micro epidemic. This documentary is an in depth look into the brave Nepalese migrants’ life in a social, economic and political context.
Based on the book by the same name, Aditya Kripalani’s Tikli and Laxmi Bomb is the story of two sex workers in Mumbai who decide to kick men out of the system. And the project is now looking at the crowdfunding route via Wishberry to enable completion.
What’s the film all about?
What if sex workers decided to kick men out of the system and take over each job that men traditionally have performed, as pimps, protectors, owners etc. and did these same jobs themselves? What if women started a sex industry run by women, for women, that safeguarded their interests? Tikli and Laxmi Bomb, the film, inspires women in each industry to ask themselves this question… ‘What if we started something of our own, by women, for women?’ be it advertising, teaching in schools, fishing or banking.
So why is the book worthy of a movie?
A film is a medium that has always had a lot more reach than a book. Simply because it takes less investment in terms of time, less patience and you don’t need to be able to even read, to experience the same story. To be able to get the message of this story to reach far and wide is why we’re making a film on it. With absolutely no dilution in the content and depth of it.
Why female sex workers?
Because they are the worst affected by patriarchy as they’re not even allowed to legally practice on the streets. And so they have no recourse to justice from the law.
What’s the status of the film so far?
The screenplay is in its 5th draft. The crew has been finalized. The budgeting and scheduling has been done. The casting is being done as this gets launched. Five songs have been composed. The lyrics have been written. The arrangement and recording has begun as this goes live.
Why go in for crowdfunding?
When we see any one type of film becoming the only kind of film made, for example a Dabangg, it’s because films are driven by market forces. And one successfull blockbuster ends up in another hundred copies being made. But on a platform such as this, you can choose stories that engage your mind and leave you with not just entertainment which is primary, but also something to think about.