As the world celebrates International Women’s day, In India, many celebrities have employed different methods to celebrate the spirit of the women. While the most talked about is the Prime Minister’s move to give up his social media accounts to women achievers, the most creative has been Ideeria’s #BreakTheSthreeotype spearheaded by filmmaker Puneeth BA.
The #BreakTheSthreeotype campaign is an attempt to create awareness about the need for an inclusive society and the necessity to break gender stereotypes. The campaign involves two short films, both directed by Puneeth himself, each of which is aimed at fulfilling the objectives of the campaign.
The two films spanning over a minute and a half each stars Bhoomi Shetty of the Big Boss fame and Sudharani, the popular actress.
The short film starring Bhoomi Shetty begins with a pagade aata involving Bhoomi and a small kid. The long-shot establishes the indoor setup. With good sound design, we get to hear the tamate from outdoors as both the kid and Bhoomi begins to groove their head to the beat. The beat intensifies and so does their involvement until, in a fraction of a second, they decide to join them in the streets. Just as they are on their way out of the home, a mirror stops her. The mirror is beautifully used as an element symbolizing the societal norms and the imposed stereotype. With a frequent cutting to visuals representing her mind, the gap between what a woman wants and what she is compelled to do is conveyed without uttering a single word.
The other short with Sudharani is simple yet delivers a strong message. Although the message it delivers has become quite a recurrent theme in transgender based shorts, the fact that despite that we continue to alienate a community have propelled this short to be relevant. The key element Puneeth has chosen in the shorts is to combine the message with the local culture. While it was pagade aata and tamate in the previous short, in this, it was the traditional baagina that a woman hands over to another woman as a part of the festive rituals. The use of portraits has clearly worked. Even though the message isn’t delivered in an impactful way, the blend of the culture hits close to home.
#BreakTheSthreeotype is an important campaign and is beautifully shot. It serves as a reminder for us to get back to basic human traits from which we go far away with every opportunity.