Priyanka Chopra Jonas at TIFF 2020 speaks about the importance of women representation in cinema

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​Toronto, Sep 13: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, a renowned Hollywood actress, and who ruled the Indian cinema for years said Sep 11 at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where she is the Share Her Journey Ambassador, that cinema needs women representation irrespective of their skin colors, with selection based on merits.

Image: Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Image: Instagram

This event with Priyanka had been hosted by Cameron Bailey, the artistic director of TIFF, who said Priyanka had been a great friend of the TIFF for the past several years and Share Her Journey needs much support in raising the importance of women in films.

Priyanka Chopra. Image credit: Twitter Handle

TIFF, which is running this year from Sept 10 to 19 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, will be welcoming TIFF Ambassadors, 50 celebrated filmmakers, and actors invited to help TIFF deliver a strong Festival this year for the film industry.

Apart from Priyanka, the list includes Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuarón, Tantoo Cardinal, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Viggo Mortensen, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo, Lulu Wang, Rosamund Pike, Sarah Gadon, and Denis Villeneuve.

During her conversation with Cameron, Priyanka said that she is pleased that of all the titles in this year’s lineup, 45 percent are directed, co-directed, or created by women, including Black, Indigenous, or People of color (POC) filmmakers.

She said that women needed to make their own decisions, create their own content, and added the cinema needs women representatives outside their skin colour, and based on their merit, women are needed behind the cameras, behind female producers and added women have a long way to go. Although many people are making big strides, around the world and in Hollywood females need to be pushed to get to the place where we want them to get with equal payments and gender equality and to be able to watch cinema.

While speaking about her upcoming projects, Priyanka said that she will lead an adaptation of the Man Booker-winning novel The White Tiger, which will release on Netflix, and Rajkummar Rao will star alongside her and newcomer Adarsh Gourav in the feature, the shooting for which will begin in India in October. This film is based in India and especially about ambition in society and the world where you are not supposed to have ambition but to live in poverty and dejection. Although she knew that there is not a massive female part she somehow pushed herself to be a part of it. Mukul Deora will produce, while Priyanka will executive produce. Priyanka said she is also working with Robert Rodriguez to produce some movies for kids.

​When asked by Cameron about her journey to Hollywood, she admitted that being one of the most successful Bollywood stars, she had a great ambition to join Hollywood. She admitted that although it was very risky at that time to leave Bollywood because it was one of the most powerful and the largest film producing industry in the world after being an actor in Bollywood for more than a decade, she just wanted to join Hollywood and added that there was a fear of her not getting recognition in Bollywood when she returns.

But she said that the risk was worth taking and added she had to take a step back from Hindi movies and added she had the intention and the drive to do global work as well as to work in India. She spoke of the parties she attended and did not know anybody. She said she pushed herself to go and meet people, introduce herself and expressed a desire to work in Hollywood films, arranged meetings with people with whom she wanted to work with and added that her ambition, the drive and going behind her dream even though there was a great chance of failure led to her success.

She said that she wanted to influx Hollywood with talent from around the world and work so hard that she would become irreplaceable.

Priyanka said Hollywood is full of creators of diverse range and the work that they do would definitely raise awareness of the importance of women being represented in different fields.

I am the editorial-director, publisher, and marketing of Canadian Media (www.canadian-media.com), which is a digital news media publication