Paving the Way: Sargun Mehta & Ekta Kapoor's Impact on Women in TV

Actor Sargun Mehta credits producer Ekta Kapoor for enabling more women filmmakers in Indian television. Mehta, with successful projects in TV and Punjabi cinema, is now venturing into production. She reflects on her journey, the growth of the Punjabi film industry, and her upcoming TV show 'Badal Pe Paon Hai'.

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 31-05-2024 13:09 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 13:09 IST
Paving the Way: Sargun Mehta & Ekta Kapoor's Impact on Women in TV
Sargun Mehta
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Actor Sargun Mehta says producer Ekta Kapoor paved the way for more women filmmakers to come up in the Indian television industry and back content which resonates with them.

Mehta, who has made a name for herself as an actor in TV and Punjabi movie industry, has a host of projects lined up as a producer including TV show, "Badal Pe Paon Hai".

''In TV, Ekta Kapoor cleared the way for everyone. She left no stone unturned to make sure that we didn't have that hassle of being told, 'How will you do it (produce a show)?'. She already did it so much that nobody could question (a woman producer).

''In Punjabi movies, they were not used to the idea of us producing, not that they mocked me, they underestimated me. They didn't think that I'll pull it (films) off the way I did," the actor told PTI in an interview.

After producing Punjabi films and TV shows like "Kala Shah Kala", "Jhalle", "Udaariyaan", and "Junooniyat", among others, Mehta said she has realised acting is a far easier job than producing.

"I realised now that production is a thankless job. As an artist when I come on set, I feel, 'I've a lot of work to do', but there are others like the unit (crew), the producer and creative team who have been working on it for months or years.

''Sometimes when artists crib, I'm like, 'You've a fun job to do, do not crib'. I'm not saying it is an easy job, it's difficult to be an artist but the other job can override your perception of what one is doing. I do it (producing) because I like to have control over what I'm making." Mehta said she is happy to have started her acting journey in the Punjabi movie industry, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.

She made her feature film debut in 2015 with Punjabi romantic-comedy, "Angrej", which emerged as one of the highest grossing films of the year. Some of her other notable work includes "Love Punjab", "Lahoriye", "Qismat", "Moh", and "Jatt Nuu Chudail Takri".

"At the time, the Punjabi movie industry wasn't doing that great. Everybody asked me, 'Why are you doing it? I would be like, 'I love it and it's all good'. The industry has taken leaps and bounds in terms of growth.

''There were four films being made earlier. Now, we are churning out 60 films a year, and touching Rs 100 crore at the box office. I'm happy to be part of a growing industry. You are not saturated that way. Everybody is hungry to do more and they are experimenting a lot." Mehta, who had acted alongside Akshay Kumar in 2022 critically-acclaimed Hindi film, "Cuttputlli", said foraying into Bollywood a decade ago seemed like a far-fetched thing for her as she didn't know who to approach.

"At that point, Bollywood always felt like a far-fetched thing. I felt, 'Bollywood is very far, how will I go there?'. There are always steps to reach somewhere, besides I wanted to hone my skills. There weren't so many famous casting directors, and those who were there knew who we were. The opportunities are now in millions because of OTT. You meet casting directors, people are on Instagram," she added.

Mehta's home production ''Badal Pe Paon Hai'' is set to air on Sony SAB channel on June 10.

The family-drama narrates the story of a young girl (Amandeep Sidhu) with big dreams and her venture into the unfamiliar world of the stock market.

''I wanted to learn about stocks, a lot of my friends were into it. As I began to learn, I started to think of this character. There are women doing their best in all fields, and you've to open career options for them other than the typical professions like cook, journalist, etc. Women sitting at home don't know that they can do this (trade in share market), I felt this is a story waiting to be told."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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