Big Thanks to Kavery Kaul & WMC!

“Of Slumdog and Loveleen” posted by Women’s Media Center on 2/17/09.

     The Women’s Media Center posted a wonderful piece today by doc filmmaker Kavery Kaul.  She ends her essay Of Slumdog and Loveleen as follows:

     “Today, a woman in India raises concern in the United States about the under-representation of women directors.  Did she give of herself too generously to the project?  Did she fail to grab for the brass ring when opportunity struck?  An Englishman gave her the title of co-director and sparked debate about whether that indicates recognition or condescension.  People are often reluctant participants in issues they didn’t create.  The questions muddy matters of a delicate balance.  They can shatter the spontaneity of a rare moment.  Yet, they often push us forward by highlighting the need for change.”

     I won’t add to the ugliness by sharing any of the contents of any of the nasty, intimidating messages I’ve received since I began writing about “my SLUMDOG Brouhaha,” but suffice it to say that posts like Kavery’s make it ALL worthwhile!

Thank you, Kavery, & thanks also to WMC!

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Comments

    • sonia
    • February 17, 2009
    Reply

    dear Jan, i’ve been thinking a lot of slumdog and loveleen too. a point that not many people are raising or thinking about (and i’m surprised kavery being indian hasn’t thought of it either) is how the hindi children got directed! it has to be loveleen who stepped in there to work on their performances. direction is not, and correct me if i’m wrong, just knowing what you want from a scene or how you want your actors to act in a scene.it’s about communicating that to the actors!! can that be merely termed as ‘translation’. i don’t think so. danny boyle obviously knew he would need tandan for the children which is why he offered her the credit. how difficult is that!

    • NORAH
    • February 17, 2009
    Reply

    Jan, I agree with your sentiments.

    What aggravates things further is that Ms.Tandan is the CO DIRECTOR of Slumdog Millionaire and her name is not mentioned in the FOX SEARCHLIGHT OFFICIAL WEBSITE. She has so many articles on her and the movie on Google but NOT ONE finds place on their page, which incidentally, has links to the most inane articles.

    This is more than meets the eye. This is weird.

    • jan
    • February 17, 2009
    Reply

    You’re right, Nora! I just checked & Loveleen Tandan’s name still appears on page 16 of the Final Press Kit (order of names on page: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson). But she’s not mentioned on the website, & there are no pix of her on the press site…

    I’m trying so hard not to get shrill, but it does seem as if she was only “there” as long as they thought they needed her. Now that SLUMDOG is a big success & they don’t need her anymore, she’s “the Incredible Shrinking Woman” 🙁

    • jan
    • February 17, 2009
    Reply

    And you’re right too, Sonia! When I spoke with Danny Boyle, he said: “She’s a proper director. You can feel it.” And after listing all her Casting Director credits, the EPK also says this: “Aside from films, Loveleen has also written, directed, and produced documentaries and radio features. Credits include WAR OF THIRST, MECHANICS OF CHANGE, and NANI ZINDABAD! She is based in New Delhi.”

    So, yes, Loveleen Tandan is an experienced director, not just an accomplished casting professional. It makes me crazy when people try to minimize her contributions now. Women, in particular, shoud know better 🙁

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