Documentary filmmaker Vrinda Samartha on what drew her towards making a film on Ritu Kaushik, a homemaker-turned-entrepreneur from Haryana
Ritu Goes Online follows the story of Ritu Kaushik, a homemaker based in Haryana. It is about how she had to quit studies and got deeply entangled in the knots of marriage and motherhood and how, despite all this she emerged a successful entrepreneur. She curates bags from sellers and sells them in the brand name of Ritu Pal collections, on Flipkart and other virtual platforms.
The film is directed and written by documentary film maker Vrinda Samartha, who says that she was drawn to the story of Ritu because of “how she managed to negotiate the patriarchal mind-sets of her environment with determination and started her own hand bag business!”
The film was officially selected for the INDIE 2020, (Brazil International Film Festival) and was also screened at the Demakijaz Women’s Film Festival (Poland). On November 19, which marked the International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, the film premièred on the Cinemapreneur streaming platform.
Vrinda says that she loves making documentaries as “I always wanted to tell real-life stories. Such stories are engaging and I believe there is a strong message in each story and they sure connect with people.”
As a documentary maker, Vrinda also adds that she enjoys the journey and experience with her real life characters. “I was struck by Ritu’s personality. When I stayed with her, I was also struck by her oppressive environment. And how she broke every chain.”
“I feel a documentary is a format where you get up close to a person and their perception of life. That happens only if the person is willing to let you see that. And, Ritu is a hero, who fit the bill in every sense. Also because when we researched on women entrepreneurs, we discovered that there were very few in urban areas and almost nil in the rural. We came across many enterprises in the rural areas, but most were run by men, even though the companies were registered in the name of women. Ritu is very different. She runs her own company and has big dreams too,” explains Vrinda, who earlier made another documentary called Limitless, which is about long-distance women runners.
She is currentlypenning a script for a film, which will again be woman-centric. Ritu Goes Online will be screened at the South Asian International Film Festival 2020 between December 16 and 20. And, later will be released on YouTube.