Film­maker

Harper's Bazaar (India) - - BAZAARHOT -

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.

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