Veteran actress and social activist Shabana Azmi says change should be reflected through mainstream cinema as films are a vital medium of communication.
"Films are a very important medium of communication and I do think if change is to happen in society, then it must be reflected in mainstream cinema because if you are only going to talk about different characters within the parallel cinema or independent cinema, then you are preaching to the already converted," Shabana told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
The need of the hour, as she pointed out, is "to bring these concerns particularly about the women's equality into the mainstream".
The Padma Shri awardee is glad top actresses of Bollywood are willing to take that step.
"I am particularly pleased that this is something that the top female stars of today are taking very seriously and are willing to go that extra mile to work in the film that is significant to say about women," she added.
Praising Bollywood actresses like Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor Khan, the 66-year-old actress says all of them have been contributing to the cause of women empowerment and she thinks that is helping a great deal.
"I grew up in a family that believed that art should be as an instrument for social change, and my film 'Arth' by Mahesh Bhatt more than 30 years ago continues to be a film that many women claim that they derive inspiration from. I think this is a very healthy trend," added the multiple National Film Award winner.
On the acting front, Shabana is gearing up for the release of ther forthcoming film "Sonata", directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Aparna Sen.
"Sonata", releasing on April 21, is adapted from the eponymous play by award-winning playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar. The film is the psychological exploration of three unmarried women facing a mid-life crisis.
The English drama revolves around three friends: Aruna Chaturvedi, a professor essayed by Aparna Sen, Dolon Sen, a banker portrayed by Shabana and Subhadra Parekh, a journalist played by Lillete Dubey.