Bhumi Pednekar is India’s first leading actress who has stressed on the need to make award functions gender-neutral in the coming days. His reasoning behind this is that today the same thing is happening in award ceremonies all over the world. That is, instead of giving a separate award to Best Actor Male and a separate award to Female, whose acting is the most powerful, he should get the Best Lead Performance Award. Recently, during the Berlin Film Festival, Maren Eggert has been honored with the Gender-Neutral Acting Award for the first time. The meaning of the new award is that now both male and female actors are being given awards on the basis of better performance in the same category, not separately. The Gotham Awards announced that their Best Actor and Best Actress awards will be combined into the Lead-Performance category at the ceremony beginning in November of this year.
It has been announced by the Emmy Awards that from 2021, the term performer will be used instead of actor or actress in the trophy given for acting, which is gender-neutral. Even if those awards are related to different gender competition. On the lines of the Berlin Festival, the Venice Film Festival is also preparing for gender-neutral awards. Bhumi says that over the past year it has been great to see that gender-based awards are being gradually phased out in all award functions. From our point of view too, if the same strong roles are written for women and other genders in films, then if not today then tomorrow we too can reach gender-neutral awards!” She further says that an artist should be identified by his work and should not be seen through the lens of any particular gender. I think we are all artists and we can do our bit to bring about equality.
Bhumi believes that calling all actors performers is a step in the right direction. She says, we all know that we live in a non-binary world and I think such a move will encourage solidarity. This will be a great step towards seeing people of all genders from one point of view. Now is the time to break this barrier between genders and enjoy performances based on their skills and abilities without looking at the actors through the prism of gender.”