Women’s Month: Jayan Moodley is proud of the film industry in SA

Award winning writer and director, Jayan Moodley describes the entertainment industry as one that is fuelled by passion and dedication. 

Moodley, who has been in the industry since 2005 and has three films under her belt says it’s great to witness a shift from it being a male dominated industry to a time where there is no longer a need to feel dominated. 

“It takes commitment and immersing oneself into every project. It has slowly turned the corner and more women are assuming different roles in the industry. It’s an exciting time as we are witness to this shift,” said the "Keeping Up With The Kandasamys" director.  

ioljayan2 - Women's Month: Jayan Moodley is proud of the film industry in SA
Director Jayne Moodley directing a scene of "Keeping Up With The Kandasamys". Picture: Supplied

Moodley started off directing the SABC3 faith based documentary, "Sadhana" and later went on directing her first movie, "White Gold", followed by "Keeping Up With The Kandasamys" and it’s sequel. 

She said she feels “invigorated” and “recharged” every time the number of women in the industry grows. 

“The other empowering factor is that more stories have female protagonists and there are more films that are tackling women’s issues. This is indicative of the strides being made in the industry and I think it can only get better,” said Moodley. 

However, while corrective measures are in place for growing the number of women in the industry she feels like the biggest barrier women face is funding. 

“It is no longer a world of film and television where women are not taken seriously. This used to be the number one problem and is quickly eroding. Fortunately there are institutions and organisations that offer funding but it’s a tough process and one needs nerves of steel to get through it,” Moodley said. 

Advice she offered for other women entering the industry is that if they want to make film, they should get in now. 

“Get right in and make your film, but know right at the outset that the industry is a tough one, that you will work 18 hours a day, that you will need to love your project so much that it takes over you completely and that sometimes, you will question why you are doing this, but in the end, the feeling is totally worth it,” she said. 

She said the beautiful part of film is that every time a film is made, a little part of her is a part of it. 

“It is done with our voice and is a little part of ourselves in the film. Years ago, it was only done by male directors and mainly male-centric stories. Nowadays, we have the opportunity to tell a story, as seen through our eyes. This is really important. The female voice should be heard, the female story should be told,” said Moodley. 

Expressing her thoughts on issues faced by women around the world, she said that abuse was the main one. 

“I think the saddest is that abuse exists in so many forms, sexual, physical, emotional. Women have always been oppressed and seen as the inferior gender. This in itself, is wrong. Women are seen to be the nurturers, the caregivers, the gentle souls. We can only feel some soothing to our soul if we support each other, not just women supporting women, but people supporting people,” she said.

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