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NEW DELHI – India is the latest country to join the Women In Film & Television Association’s global network which supports women filmmakers and technicians through various programmes and mentorship schemes. WIFT Mumbai was co-founded by its president Petrina D’Rozario, a journalist-turned-documentary film-maker, while vice-president Uma da Cunha is a respected industry veteran whose work spans various disciplines including casting director (Monsoon Wedding), film festival organizer, critic and editor of quarterly magazine Film India Worldwide.
The WIFT Mumbai advisory board includes film-maker Kiran Rao (Mumbai Diaries), leading Hindi entertainment channel Colors (run by Viacom18 Networks) head of programming Ashvini Yarde, journalist and film critic Anupama Chopra, screenwriter and director Sooni Taraporevala (writing credits include Mississippi Masala), leading broadcasting group Network 18 executive director Vandana Malik and Walt Disney-owned diversified media entity UTV Group co-founder and chief creative officer Zarina Mehta, among others.
Originally founded as Women in Film in Los Angeles in 1973 by Tichi Wilkerson Kassel (former publisher and editor-in-chief of The Hollywood Reporter) and a group of women who represented various facets of the film and television industry, WIFT was created to recognize, develop, and actively promote the unique visions of women in the field of communications.
“Having been part of the WIFT New Zealand chapter, I have experienced the importance of a support system that helps newcomers to the film industry. This platform already existed but we needed to become part of that global support system. I approached the chairperson to set up an India chapter. I believe that WIFT is a gateway to global networking opportunities and interacting with leading professionals from the industry through activities like workshops, seminars, screenings and exchange programmes,” said D’Rozario.
WIFT Mumbai’s plans include a mentoring scheme which will look at matching up to 10 full members with experienced industry practitioners for mentoring over an eight month period or ask designed by the mentor.
Promoting women film-makers globally is also a major focus for WIFT Mumbai which recently submitted short film Green Bangles, written and directed by Archana Shinde, for the Showcase 2012 organised by WIFT International resulting in the film being selected for screening across 44 chapters worldwide.
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