Best known for portraying strongwomen characters in his films, director Sudhir Mishra says it is actually difficult to convince people to back such projects in Bollywood. In his 30-year-long career, Mishra has made several women centric films including Chameli and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.
"It is not easy to make films with women as central character especially as the budgets are little more than minuscule. It is difficult to get people to watch such films and get people to produce them. This is the reality," said Mishra on the sidelines of NFDC Film Bazaar.
"When directors want to have a big budget for such films then it is a problem, unless some big actor wants to take up the secondary part in the film, which obviously they don't," he added.
The National award-winning director lamented that actresses in Indian films are still looked at as someone who is immensely beautiful and has little to do with acting prowess.
Mishra also said that this obsession with beauty takes filmmakers to beauty pageants in search of their leading ladies for films.
"You look for male actors today in drama school, auditions, theatre, you look for them everywhere. When it comes to looking for female actresses you go to beauty pageants. So, even the so called parallel cinema director will also look for this beautiful actress. Where is the female equivalent to say a Nawazduddin Siddiqui or an Irrfan," he said.
Mishra said he is hopeful that heroines will get their due as many new directors like Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Bannerjee, Sujoy Ghosh are actually going that extra mile to portray women strongly in their films.
"Kahaani for example was a seminal film. It was not gimmicky. It does not talk about the woman's sexuality. It is not playing on that idea. I think interesting directors are coming up and I am really looking forward to see how they portray women," Mishra said.