Private Project

The GIG: Good Indian Girls

Bombay based brand-developer, Radhika has been promoted to Vice President of her company, Phantom Brands.

She returns home to celebrate with her fiance`, Jai, only to discover that he has lost his job and worse, his mother has flown in from Delhi, to chivvy the young couple to her city where Jai can run the family business.

Will Radhika stand up for herself ? Will she sacrifice her ambition for her relationship? Will Jai ever learn of Radhika’s sacrifice? Will Mummy ji ever make her own cup of tea?

These questions will be answered by the short film The G.I.G by Riva Razdan

  • Riva Razdan
    Director
    Protected, Short Film (Official Selection of CrownWood International, Gulf Female Film Festival)
  • Riva Razdan
    Writer
  • Yulia Piskuliyska
    Producer
    La Lectora, Short Cuban Documentary (Official Selection of NY Docs)
  • Shanzey Altaf
    Key Cast
    "Radhika"
  • Raaj Rao
    Key Cast
    "Jai"
  • Richa Anand Nigam
    Key Cast
    "Mummy ji"
    'Night, Mother
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Romance, Drama, Comedy, Feminist, India, Mumbai, Delhi, SouthAsia, Women, Career
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 16, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    India
  • Country of Filming:
    United Arab Emirates
  • Language:
    English, Hindi
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
Director Biography - Riva Razdan

Riva grew up in Bombay, India. She was fortunate enough to be raised in a family with liberal, feminist ideals and a mother who taught her to watch for the moments of female opportunity in Romances like “Legally Blonde”, “Gone With the Wind” and “You’ve Got Mail”. While her girlfriends swooned over the male love interests of these films, she was asked to pay attention to the business acumen of the women; to Elle’s sharp focus and Katharine’s indefatigable spirit. As a result, she grew up devouring the works of Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, growing obsessed with the theme of female agency and resilience and balking every time she discovered it lacking in realty.

Riva delves deep into the art of storytelling and into the society she loves, Indian culture,to weave some wayward strands of its fabric as conflicts in her scripts to create media that empowers, supports and comforts young Indian women. She hopes to encourage them to raise their standards for themselves higher, because they are worth it.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I have grown tired of watching capable, bangled hands fold themselves in regret. I grew up surrounded by intelligent Indian women, who have the potential to be providers for themselves and captains of industry. I have grown tired of watching them give up on their professional ambitions to neatly fit into the restrictive categories of ‘girlfriend’ or ‘wife’ in the conventional dynamic of romantic relationships.

It became clear to me over the last four years as I moved between my university and my country, that most of us had never been expected to have careers despite being well-equipped for industry. We were meant to have jobs, that could be accomplished alongside our household duties. Our expensive schools and colleges served as playgrounds to secure suitable grooms. They would be the captains of industry. Far from wrangling our spot in corporate hierarchies, we weren’t even meant to know about them. And those of us who did manage to shatter a glass ceiling or two could resign themselves to picking out the splinters alone each night instead of enjoying a content romantic life.

My film, The Good Indian Girls (GIG) says otherwise, that Indian women have the potential to be in leadership positions and in happy relationships, if they have a supportive domestic environment to depend on. That they can ‘do it all’ if their efforts are recognized by their partners as legitimate careers and shared along the way.

This film presents itself as a pop culture romantic comedy with lots of pink, to reclaim the stereotype. The scenes hum with music because it speaks to my audience of fellow South Asians. We are a musical people, born of the rasa tradition for whom the beat doesn’t distract from the mode of story.It creates a sweet domestic setting and establishes a likeable love interest so that the stakes for my ambitious female protagonist are clear. But unlike conventional romantic comedies, the end isn’t focused on a marriage or a death; it is focused on the ability of my protagonist to take decisions for herself while respecting the fact that she shares her life with a partner, who will be affected by her decisions.

I made this film over a period of year and a half, developing the concept and script over the spring of 2018, while reading literature situated in the Indian female context, along with journalistic reviews and political statistics of the gender disparity of employment demographics in urban India. I filmed it in fall 2018 and completed the edit in Spring 2019.

I hope my audience will come away with a slightly different understanding of both romantic comedies and feminist films. I hope certain sections of Indian society will acknowledge that the traditional standard for relationships between men and women is changing according to the change in educational levels and earning structures of women, and our societal attitudes have to adapt to accept/tolerate these changes.