Filmmaker Vibha Bakshi is a National Award-winning filmmaker who has conferred the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters due to her work as a journalist and filmmaker from the Boston University. Bakshi has previously filmed 'Daughters of Mother India' based out of the country, which was a winner at the National Film Award from the then President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. As per the Global Creative Index, her film 'Daughters of Mother India' was the most awarded social campaign in the world.
(From left Dr Rebecca Tavares UN Women’s representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka, National Award winning Director & Producer Vibha Bakshi &UN Under-Secretary General Madame Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka)
With the UN Women celebrating International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women From 25 November to 10 December, Human Rights Day. As a part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which aims to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world on Friday, in Delhi at the UN House, Vibha Bakshi is all set to release another compelling documentary film named 'Son Rise' which is not just a film but a movement where men stand up and take a pledge to build a safer society for women and children.
The documentary film is set against the backdrop of rural villages of the northern state of Haryana, India. It is situated less than 100 miles from the Capital, New Delhi. Despite being one of the wealthiest states in the country, Haryana plays host to a dark underbelly of patriarchy and gender biases.
Ahead of the release of 'Son Rise', Republic TV got in touch with the award-winning filmmaker Vibha Bakshi and asked her a few questions.
1. The #MeToo movement that started with Hollywood recently created waves in the Bollywood Industry too. What are your thoughts on that?
I personally feel that it was about time that such a movement did come out and but what was happily surprising and motivating was that the kind of strong voices that came out, the women who spoke out did not deter, which is great because, for a large extent, they are responsible for breaking the conspiracy of silence which has always encompassed the issue.
2. What would you like to convey through Son Rise?
My first film 'Daughter's of Mother India' dealt with violence, and now 'Son Rise' is basically taking my film to the next level, as we go into deep issues as to what is exactly causing the problem. We focussed mainly on the whole concept and mentality and went into the darkest corners, where we found men taking a step forward to help the women fight gender inequality.
3. What changes are you hoping to bring in through your short film?
What is very important is that when we talk about gender inequality or gender violence, it should not be Men Vs Women, it should always be the two joining hands and putting up a united front to deal with the social evils of society, and those are the changes I am hoping to bring in through this documentary.
4. What is your sole aim as a filmmaker?
My sole aim as a filmmaker was to show the change that came. The perspective that I took was of hope. We focussed on the men who were going a extra mile to fight for their women and bring in a change.
5. What triggered you to make a film like 'Son Rise'
The main reason I wanted to make a film like 'Son Rise' was in the hopes of bringing in a change in society, that would bridge the gap between Men and Women and help them stand together and fight gender bias and inequality. The film traces true stories of real people – A farmer fighting for his gang raped the wife, A the largest Khap who has pledge zero feticides in his 1000 villages under him, the man who created the first women khap panchayat and many such stories of men doing things to build a safer society for women and children. If they, living in the rape capital can do it then men living anywhere in the world have zero excuses!
6. Who was the toughest critic of the film?
The toughest critic of the film was me, as I had to focus on the part where I had to make sure that it was not sensationalized and that the emotion and the truth of the incidents were showcased.
(All pictures have been taken from the official website. Have a look at it here! )
The movement is supported by the United Nations (UN) women as part of the he4she campaign. Through the movement we aim to collect a million pledges as part of the he4she movement where men pledge to build a safer society for women and children.