Oscar-Winning Producer Guneet Monga Kapoor to Lead Women In Film India Chapter – Cannes

Women In Film (WIF), Los Angeles, is launching an India chapter, it was revealed at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday.

Guneet Monga Kapoor, Oscar-winning producer of “The Elephant Whisperers,” will lead WIF: India. The announcement was made at a Cannes event hosted by Film Paris Region and WIF. The initiative, part of the global WIFTI (Women In Film & Television International) network, is committed to advancing gender equity in Indian screen industries.

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WIF: India aims to bring parity and opportunities for women seeking careers in the screen industries. An advisory council of industry leaders will be assembled with representation from across India to support the programming and advocacy of WIF: India, including research, mentorship and creative labs for women filmmakers. WIF: India is an independent chapter but will collaborate with Los Angeles-based WIF, which is the founding chapter of the WIFTI network.

The Cannes announcement is timely. 2024 is a landmark year for India at Cannes with nine films from the country across the festival’s various strands, with the majority of them by or about women. This includes Payal Kapadia’s “All We Imagine as Light,” the first Indian film in competition in three decades.

Kirsten Schaffer, CEO of WIF, said: “With an ever-expanding global market and deeper connections between the film industries in India and the U.S., this is a natural next step in the evolution of our gender
parity work. We realize the immense value in creating community and resources for women filmmakers in India and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Guneet in this initiative.”

Monga Kapoor added: “From being in rooms where male colleagues have had to communicate on my behalf so I’d be taken seriously, to leading international co-productions and studio-scale projects, I’ve seen and been actively involved in the progress over two decades. Yet comprehensive studies like the ‘O Womaniya! 2023 Report’ still suggests a lack of gender diversities across key filmmaking departments. The study of 156 films reported only 12% of head-of-department positions were occupied by women.”

“Throughout its 50 years, WIF has worked to transform the culture in Hollywood by helping build the pipeline of emerging women creatives. My hope for WIF: India is to help lower the systemic barriers in accessing these jobs for women, as well as excite a new era of transformation – by offering mentorship, networking, and opening up fellowships, workshops, and an industry helpline to help sustain the careers of those currently in the industry,” Monga Kapoor added. “Women are truly the future and alongside WIF and WIF: India, we hope to tap into that limitless potential, building parity and opportunities for women seeking careers in the screen industries.”

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