‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha, won the first ever Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai film festival.
Actor Rahul Bose, the Oxfam ambassador, while presenting the award said, “The jury was delighted to watch a film that takes on marital rape, religious orthodoxy, the sexuality of an older woman, women taking agency over their own bodies, expressing and acting on their lust, with effervescence, humour and integrity, while never leaving you in any doubt about the ferocity of it’s intent. Inspite of dealing with issues of gravitas, the film never compromises on its cinematic excellence. All of this connected by a quirky, unique voiceover straight from the pages of a Hindi pulp romance novel. Lipstick Under My Burkha uncovers the colour, verve and attractiveness that it’s title interestingly suggests.”
Director Alankrita Shrivastava, who is in Tokyo for the Tokyo International Film Festival, says, “There could not have been a more befitting award for this film. The importance of the female gaze in telling a story is finally being recognized. I am truly honoured.”
The Cairo International Film Festival also announced ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha‘ as part of their official programme. The film will screen in Cairo on November 20. ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival, 2016 and it’s India premiere at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival on the 26th of October, just six hours apart. While the Tokyo premiere was attended by director Alankrita Shrivastava, and actors – Plabita Borthakur and Aahana Kumra, the India premiere was attended by producer Prakash Jha and actors Konkona Sensharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey and Vaibhav Tatwawdi.
The film has had an amazing reception at both Tokyo and MAMI. It ran to full houses at all screenings of both. There was clapping and cheering and wonderful Q&A sessions. The filmmaker is very heartened by the response, “We have had an amazing response from the audiences here. Women in Tokyo are coming up to us in metro stations and restaurants, hugging us and telling us how much they loved the film,” says Alankrita. “And we have been meeting so many people who were not able to get into the screenings, because it was sold out. And so many others who waited in long queues in the cold just to congratulate us.”
The film will travel next to the Stockholm International Film Festival in November, before heading to the Cairo International Film Festival.