Artiste should not be seen from the lens of gender: Bhumi Pednekar


Does gender play a role in determining merit? Not at all, most would argue. Which is probably why the Berlin International Film Festival recently awarded its first gender-neutral acting prize to Maren Eggert for her performance in I’m Your Man.
The decision to have male and female actors compete in the same category was soon welcomed by the Gotham Awards. Starting with the upcoming November gala, the New York-based award ceremony will hand out trophies for the Best Lead Performance category.
Closer home, Bhumi Pednekar believes Indian film awards should take a cue from their international counterparts, and reassess their terminologies as well.
“Over the past year, it was encouraging to see award functions do away with gendered awards. Even in our context, if strong enough roles continue to be written for women and other genders, we can eventually reach a space where we have gender-neutral awards.”
In June, the Emmy Awards announced that the nominees and winners can be recognised with the gender-neutral term ‘Performer’ on their certificate and statuette, if they so wish. Hailing the move, Pednekar says such steps will promote inclusivity and gender equality.
“An artiste should be known for the kind of work s/he does, and not be seen from the lens of gender. I see each one of us as artistes who can do their bit to achieve parity. We live in a non-binary world, and it will be a welcoming step towards embracing all genders. It is high time we broke these walls and celebrated real talent without [such] filters.”

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