“It is in the process of making my new film I realised a palpable lack of female representation in the entertainment outfit of India. That and also in my 14 years’ experience of working on 500 + adverts, I have only worked with 4 women directors. I find this statistic offensive. But what pushed me over the edge was when I saw 4 male directors (known for making women empowerment films) on a Manel speaking of women issues. When asked why women directors were not part of the conversation, the nonchalant answer I got was “Where are the women directors?” In July 2020 I formed a production company called Wench Films to promote and push primarily womxn talent (LGBTQ inclusive) from India to the world. The aim is Shaping Perspectives by Shifting The Gaze and have a conversation on a global platform.”
As a pioneer entrepreneur, Sapna Moti Bhavnani founded the hair salon Mad O Wot 16 years ago in Bombay, India. Through her versatile avatars such as writing a bitingly intimate weekly column for Mumbai Mirror and Mid-Day, authoring a self-help book for teenage girls Style O Wot, launching the avant-garde clothing line SoFake, to producing One Billion Rising at Carter Road (2013), acting in award-winning plays like NIRBHAYA – a searing testimonial play which won the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award, The Fringe First Award and The Angel Herald Award in 2013 for cracking open the cone of silence around sexual and gender-based violence in India to JATINGA in 2017 –inspired by Kamathipura and highlights human trafficking worldwide; she traverses mainstream success with just as much ease as she skirts the underground youth art and culture movement.
Lately Sapna has been using filmmaking to give her activism a new voice. She is best known as Producer/Director of her award winning documentary Sindhustan. Sindhustan has won 12 Awards and travelled to 23 festivals and is now streaming online on MovieSaints.
Actor, spoken word artist, hair stylist, writer, director, producer – Sapna embodies it all as a visionary and a change maker. In July 2020 she launched her production company called Wench Films to promote female talent from India to the world and keeping that philosophy in mind also launched a successful Edition 1 of Wench Film Festival in March 2021 introducing 81 new women talent to the world. She has just completed her feature My Dog Is Sick which had its debut at the prestigious Visions Du Reel Film Market in April 2021 and had its World Premiere in August 2021 at the Prestigious New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland. The story for her next feature Bearlike Man was an Official Selection at BIFAN making her the first Indian woman director to ever be selected at the market. She is currently editing her horror short Cataclysm, developing a VR series I Did Not Scream and writing a book – Chapter One for Harper Collins.
The rest, like they say is herstory.
Actor – Scattered Windows Connected Doors 2013
Actor – Nirbhaya 2013
Actor – Jatinga 2017
Writer | Producer | Director – Sindhustan (2019)
Actor | Producer – Janaan (2020)
Writer | Producer – Ek Tha Khan (2021)
Actor | Writer | Director | Producer – Mera Kutta Bimaar Hai (2021)
Actor | Writer | Director | Producer – Cataclysm (2022)