Tinder hosts event in Bengaluru with actress Parvathy Thiruvothu in attendance

The dating app recently released the short film ‘We Need To Talk.’ The film had a private screening in Bengaluru on September 30, followed by a conversation with actress Parvathy Thiruvothu

Prattusa Mallik Published :  11th October 2022 09:47 PM   |   Published :   |  11th October 2022 09:47 PM
(L-R) Kevin Lee, Parvathy Thiruvothu, and  Shivani Gairola at Tinder event 'Let's Talk Consent'

(L-R) Kevin Lee, Parvathy Thiruvothu, and Shivani Gairola at Tinder event 'Let's Talk Consent'

Online dating app Tinder has brought back Let’s Talk Consent – its campaign to foster dialogues around consent and safe dating. As a part of this initiative, it recently released the short film We Need To Talk, written by Shivani Gairola with The Script Room and directed by Sonam Nair. The film had a private screening at Kazé in Bengaluru on September 30, followed by a conversation with Shivani and acclaimed actress Parvathy Thiruvothu. 

The conversation was moderated by youth media organisation Yuvaa editor-in-chief Kevin Lee, who also presented a recent survey on modern dating by Tinder India before the film screening began. According to the survey data, 65 per cent of young adults in Bengaluru hesitate to ask for, give, or withdraw consent while dating. But on a brighter note, 80 per cent of the people surveyed expressed that they believe, consent should be discussed “more openly with partners.”

Taking cues, We Need To Talk explores the possibility of what might happen if we become more open to having conversations around consent. The film opens with six friends playing a game of Never Have I Ever at a birthday party. But as the evening progresses, secrets start to unravel, forcing the six youngsters to have uncomfortable but much-needed conversations about consent breaches and the nuances of consent in interpersonal relationships.

The screening, which received much appreciation from the audience, was followed by a conversation with Shivani and Parvathy. Shivani expressed how consent, for the most part, “is a very grey subject.” But how do screenwriters ensure that they themselves do not let their implicit prejudices creep into their writing, especially while dealing with such sensitive subjects? Shivani said, “A lot of times, I’m writing for a brand. And if I’m writing for a brand, it’s not my personal point of view that needs to shine through — it should be the idea of what I want to convey. It takes a very conscious effort to not let it be coloured entirely by what I believe. So sometimes, it helps to have another pair of eyes to take a look at my work or to get more points of view on the same topic. There should not be so many cooks that it just spoils the broth. But I think it’s important to dial back a little and let someone — whose opinions I respect — take a look (at my work).”

Actress Parvathy Thiruvothu at the event

Parvathy, who is known to be vocal against normalising the idea of consent breach in cinema, spoke about how the media industry should navigate through conversations about consent very consciously, as art shapes perceptions of individuals on such issues to a great extent. On being asked how we can start educating individuals from a young age about consent, the actress told Indulge, “Through actions. Like, toddlers, probably, cannot be talked to; you can’t use words to inform them (about consent). But we can show by action how a person should be with other people. For example, if I am trying to take a selfie with a friend’s kid and notice her moving away, I ask her if I may take a picture with her. If she says ‘no’, I do not take the picture. I’ll just have to live with the fact that I don’t have another cute photo for Instagram — that’s what I’m losing. But what is she gaining? She’s gaining dignity. That’s what it’s all about. We might have to rewire the entire nervous system of society to make this change happen, but we have to make it happen.”

The dating app is also gearing up to roll out a first-of-its-kind Consent and Safe Dating curriculum. Developed by experts to provide youngsters with appropriate information and a safe space to have a healthy discussion on consent, the curriculum will be made available online and in person (at select universities) in the months to come.

Email: prattusa@newindianexpress

Twitter: @MallikPrattusa