India's first women's film company Firehorse Films launched

MUMBAI: A need to create a platform for women filmmakers to express themselves in a male dominated environment as well as the desire to move beyond the commercial scene has given rise ot India's first all-women film company Firehorse Films.


The company was founded by established filmmakers Venita Coelho and Deepti Datt.

They say, "The philosophy behind FireHorse Films is simple: women first. In the subjects we explore, in the films we make, in the technicians we choose to work with, always women first. Our goal is to become a self-funded, successful, commercial, film production company. We believe in success by the high standards that we set for ourselves. As such, we are an organisation that will seek, always, to work with women professionals of the highest caliber. We believe in raising the standards. Not conforming to them.

"It became apparent, from our experience as women in the film industry, the kind of subject matter - social issues important to us as women - that we would want to explore through film, would not be received well by a largely male-dominated Indian film-finance world. Having considered the hard fact that there are no commercial film companies in India run by women, we concluded what we needed was to create our own platform.

"Our primary aim is to make commercial and documentary films of our choice, dealing with issues important to women, by women filmmakers."

An official release informs that two such projects at FireHorse are Monsters Under the Bed and Bombay Stories. The former written by Coelho is based on her personal experience with paedophilia. The other film is a documentary by Datt, on the reality of five women's lives in a small suburb of the city. Bombay Stories explores the status of women today in the different economic and class segments of urban, post-liberal, Indian society, as represented by a small suburb in Bombay.

Elaborating further on the company initiative they say, "We want to, both, directly and indirectly impact our industry by using part of the profits we accrue from FireHorse Film projects towards providing: a platform for women professionals in the Indian Film Industry; start-up funding and seed money towards developing and realizing projects by women filmmakers; and facilitating internships to encourage women filmmakers in the Indian film industry."

FireHorse Films will participate in and co-organise the Goa International Women's Film Festival. The event will take place from 6-8 March 2004.

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