Women achievers from the creative community now have a platform to share their aspirations, learn from their respective experiences, and work towards unblocking challenges within the entertainment industry.

Amazon Prime Video has partnered with Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) to launch Maitri: Female First Collective, an initiative that brings together women in entertainment to nurture conversations and collaborations. Hosting engaging sessions on a quarterly basis, the collective will help build a community for women from media and entertainment to discuss their experiences, challenges, and successes, and offer perspective on how to bring about a positive shift.

“I believe that making an impactful change takes time, and can only happen when we begin to have a conversation regularly and repeatedly. I am glad that we have taken this small yet significant step with the help of MAMI. ”
Aparna Purohit
Head of India Originals -- Amazon Prime Video
Aparna Amazon India
Photo by Aniruddh Kothari

Creating an ecosystem that mirrors true diversity

Stressing that diversity, equity, and inclusion is not just needed, it is essential, Aparna Purohit, Head of India Originals — Amazon Prime Video, explains, "We are constantly trying to go beyond intention to institutionalize processes and mechanisms to create an ecosystem that mirrors true diversity. Maitri means friendship or kinship, and the idea behind this initiative was to create a haven for women to get together as friends, contemporaries, and colleagues to collaborate, communicate, and pave the way for others to follow. I believe that making an impactful change takes time, and can only happen when we begin to have a conversation regularly and repeatedly. I am glad that we have taken this small yet significant step with the help of MAMI. It was incredible to sit at the same table as other strong women from the industry. I am certain that each one of us will be able to identify the learnings we had from the session and translate them into more actionable initiatives that make the industry a better place for other women.”

Open conversations

The first episode featuring 16 women who participated in the debut session goes live today. These women include Amrita Pandey, CEO, Junglee Pictures & Times Studios Originals, Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon, Screenwriter & Hairstylist, Bhavani Iyer, Screenwriter & Author, Gayathri, Filmmaker, Jeeva, Filmmaker, Juhi Chaturvedi, Screenwriter, Kunjila Mascillamani, Filmmaker, Mini Mathur, Actor & TV Host, Nupur Asthana, Filmmaker, Richa Chadha, Actor & Producer, Rintu Thomas, Filmmaker, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Actor & Producer, Sumukhi Suresh, Comedian, Actor, Writer, Creator, Founder & CE-HOE, Motormouth, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Filmmaker & Author, Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video, and Smriti Kiran, Artistic Director of MAMI who curated the room and moderated the discussion.
In the interest of open conversations, only highlights of the sessions will be available on Amazon Prime Video India’s YouTube channel, MAMI’s YouTube channel and their respective social media platforms.

Watch the highlights here:

Maitri: Female First Collective by Amazon Prime Video & MAMI | March 2022 Edition
“It stands for unity and strength by building bridges that connect, enable reaching out for help, and empower all of us to take ownership of the ambit of power we have, however small or big, to bring about change.”
Smriti Kiran
Creator and curator -- Maitri
Smriti Kiran
Photo by Aniruddh Kothari

A 24/7 space that will keep growing

Elaborating on the concept, MAMI's creator and curator Smriti Kiran says that Maitri stands for togetherness. "It stands for unity and strength by building bridges that connect, enable reaching out for help, and empower all of us to take ownership of the ambit of power we have, however small or big, to bring about change. The conversation that will lead to sustained conversion will never stop at Maitri. This will be a 24/7 space that will keep growing and evolving."

Kiran adds that she has immense faith in collaboration, community building, and shared experience. "I have consistently built platforms that bring creators together, encourage a sense of community among diverse filmmaking cultures within India, and also tap into global talent. It was invigorating to bring the first room for Maitri: Female First Collective together. The work in front of us is enormous. Our effort is to start at the foundation, bring mindfulness of the very basics, address our own biases, and begin by making the industry a far more humane and equitable place to work. I'm very grateful to Aparna Purohit and Amazon Prime Video for seeing value in this vision and giving Maitri the support it needs to soar.”

Amazon Prime Video is deeply committed to promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within its content and productions, as well as with its partners in the creative community. In June last year, Amazon Studios released an inclusion policy and playbook, which is being gradually rolled out across the organization. With Maitri: Female First Collective, Amazon Prime Video, in association with MAMI, aims to raise awareness of the pivotal role women play within the entertainment industry.