Recently the Screenwriters Association (SWA), the Indian guild of screenwriters and lyricists, announced its nominees in the special category ‘Best Gender Sensitive Script’ as part of its bouquet of 16 awards to recognize and honour screenwriters and lyricists in its first ever season of SWA Awards 2020.
5 feature films out of 167 Hindi language feature films released theatrically or on OTT platforms in 2019 have been nominated in this category that “aims to recognise inclusive and sensitive storytelling from the point of view of gender and highlight the role of cinema in reflecting the experience and perspective of different groups in society”, according to a press release by SWA.
Evening Shadows, written by Saagar Gupta & Sridhar Rangayan and 377 Ab Normal, written by Faruk Kabir, Kushan Mustafa and Siddharth Mishra, are two films focussed on LGBTQ stories, whereas the other three focus on women’s portrayal.
Evening Shadows, a heartwarming story about a gay son coming out to his mother in a small town and the mothers struggles to accept him, has already won 24 international awards and screened at over 72 international film festivals. The film is streaming on Netflix.
Sridhar Rangayan, writer and director of Evening Shadows said, “The very fact that SWA recognises the need for instituting a category like Best Gender Sensitive Script to give leverage to marginalised stories about women and LGBTQ characters within the mainstream space means a lot to us writers and filmmakers working on these themes. And the fact that our film Evening Shadows made the cut is a huge honour. We hope to keep the rainbow flag flying high!”
Reacting to the nomination, Saagar Gupta, writer and producer of Evening Shadows said, “Thank you SWA for nominating our film Evening Shadows under this category. We are truly humbled to be nominated from the list of 167 films. Winning the award will surely be a boost, but our work being acknowledged by such a prestigious body of writers is itself a great honour and a matter of pride for us, as for the writers and creators of Evening Shadows.”
The Best Gender Sensitive Script Jury panel comprised of Apurva Asrani, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Leena Yadav.
Jury member Apurva Asrani, who has written films like Aligarh, said at an online press conference held recently to announce the nominees, “If one community is marginalised, whether it’s a religious community or the LGTBQ, it affects the society in general. We can’t operate without each other. When we embrace these stories and characters as ourselves and not see LGBTQ as the ‘other’, then these films will also become a part of the mainstream.”
The winners of the SWA Awards 2020 will be announced on September 27th 6pm onwards at an online ceremony on SWA’s social media handles.