Director Alankrita Shrivastava won the Spirit of Asia award at the Tokyo International Film Festival with this ambitious narrative set in Bhopal. Rehana is the titular burkha wearer who sings at open mics in defiance of her father’s warnings; Shirin is a superstar saleswoman, but must keep this triumph a secret from her faithless husband; Leela is trying to juggle a Muslim lover, a Hindu fiancé and her dream career as a bridal consultant; and Auntie Usha secretly reads racy novels and lusts after her swimming instructor. Two of the women are Hindu, two are Muslim, but all their stories come together when they attempt to challenge the sexual and social norms of Indian patriarchy.
An all-star cast brings these characters to life, including Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Vikrant Massey. Shrivastava’s forthright depictions of sexuality have raised questions whether LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA will be released uncensored in India. Be sure to catch this inspiring dramedy in its original edit at IFFLA while you can.
Q&A to follow with director Alankrita Shrivastav
- Alankrita Shrivastava
Alankrita Shrivastava is a feature film director and screenwriter from Mumbai, India, with a penchant for telling women’s stories. She likes to explore the complex interior world of women through her films. Alankrita has written and directed two feature films – TURNING 30!!! (2011) and LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA (2016). She has worked on several Indian feature films including RAAJNEETI as an associate director, and KHOYA KHOYA CHAND as an executive producer. She has also directed short films, documentaries and music videos.