Leena Yadav’s drama, at once warm and incisive, premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and went on to play the Stockholm International Film Festival , where it deservedly won the festival’s Impact Award. It centers on four women living in the rural town of Gujarat. Thirty-something Rani is a widower consumed with the task of marrying off her mean-spirited son. His teenage bride, Janaki, must deal with senseless shame when she arrives for the wedding day with her hair cropped short. Meanwhile, Rani’s best friend Lajjo contends with her abusive husband, and a third friend, Bijili, is demonized for being an exotic dancer and prostitute.

As each woman struggles with mistreatment and misogyny, they also find surprising, moving ways to take control of their own lives. With vivid, lived-in performances and a script by Yadav that never simplifies what is a complex reality for many Indian women, PARCHED is an important film. It spotlights a harsh patriarchal culture and the women and girls who remain steadfast within it.

  • Director
  • Leena Yadav

    Leena Yadav’s journey in film started with SHABD in 2005. She wrote, directed and edited the film, which bravely explores the psychology of love, marriage, creativity and freedom. TEEN PATTI (2010) is Leena’s second film as a director and writer. Set in India and England, it stars two of the greatest living acting legends of our times – Amitabh Bachchan and Academy Award Winner Sir Ben Kingsley. Her third feature, PARCHED, won the prestigious IMPACT Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival that “support[s] headstrong filmmakers who are not afraid to bring up burning topics in contemporary society.”