In the four years it took her to raise funds and complete The World Before Her, Nisha Pahuja did not intend for her documentary to have a commercial release. “I figured I’d just do the festival rounds, but when the Delhi gang rape happened, I felt I had to do something—like this is the country which needs this film the
most—and it was important that it released here.” Presented by Anurag Kashyap, the film questions the social condition of women
by juxtaposing Miss India contestants with participants of the Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the VHP. The movie has been garnering rave reviews and accolades all over the country, including an Emmy Award nomination this year in the Outstanding Coverage
of a Current News Story category. This is Pahuja’s third full-length documentary feature and certainly her most well-known. The Canadian-Indian director who studied literature before she turned to movies uses cinema to probe into the apparent. “In my choice of themes, I try to get past what we see,
what we think, and the image as opposed to the reality.” Spending most of her time in Mumbai where she stays with her cinematographer husband Mrinal Desai (they met while filming The
World Before Her), Pahuja has used the success of her latest film to kickstart an online campaign to further the rights of women across India. Between travelling around the country to screen the movie and liaison with activists and NGOs, she is also planning her next project which will track the rise of fundamentalism across the globe.
Top, 3,990, Kenneth Cole. Pants, 20,600, Shivan & Narresh.