Nisha Pahuja’s documentary, The World Before Her, has been nominated for the prestigious Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story category. If the documentary wins the award, it would be the first time that a documentary on an Indian subject has won the top honours at the Emmys.
The World Before Her follows a Hindutva supporter and a Miss India contestant, and through their stories, the documentary tries to show some of the complexities that constrain women in India. Pahuja spent years doing her research and earning the confidence of the people she’d end up featuring in The World Before Her before actually beginning shooting. The documentary first attracted people’s attention because Pahuja is the first person to get permission to take a video camera into the right-wing organisation Durga Vahini’s camps for girls and young women.
In India, The World Before Her was presented by director Anurag Kashyap and released in theatres in June. The film ran successfully for three weeks. It is due to be released in Chandigarh on 18 July. Previously, the film won the awards for Best Canadian Feature at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
Reacting to the Emmy nomination, Pahuja said, “It is such an honour to be nominated for an Emmy and especially to receive the news in India where the team has worked so hard to get the film out to audiences. I couldn’t quite believe the message when I received it in my inbox! In many ways it makes all the long hours and years that have gone into this film even more worth it! I hope the nomination encourages audiences in India to continue to support The World Before Her, and just as importantly, I hope this continues to build and strengthen the documentary community here.”