Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has become a feminist icon for his latest role in ‘Padman’, releasing on 26th January 2018, which is the world’s first feature film on menstrual hygiene. The film is based on the story of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential entrants Arunachalam Muruganantham, a rural welder from India turned incredible innovator and inventor, who was moved to provide women with access to high-quality and affordable sanitary pads 20 years ago. The film is produced by Akshay Kumar’s wife, Twinkle Khanna, a vocal women’s empowerment champion, interior design entrepreneur, best-selling author and newspaper columnist who persuaded her husband to star in what is being described as “not your average superhero film”.
Issues relating to menstrual hygiene are a global phenomenon. Whether this is a result of the stigma and taboo resulting in the marginalisation and disempowerment of women in societies, the economic and social impact of “period poverty”, to the consequences on women’s health, there is a need to educate both men and women on the impact and to ensuring all women have menstrual dignity. Statistics show that 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India believe that menstruation is a disease. In India only 12% of women have access to sanitary pads and menstruation leads to 20% of girls dropping out of schools.
Produced by Aruna Bhatia, Mrs Funnybones Movies, Sony Pictures Entertainment, India, Kriarj Entertainment, Cape of Good Films and Hope Productions, PadMan is written and directed by ad-man turned film-man R Balki (Paa). It is billed as the most progressive family entertainer yet, starring international megastar Akshay Kumar (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha) who assumes the titular role of Arunachalam Muruganantham to once again showcase his commitment to social entertainers. He is joined by critically acclaimed actresses Sonam Kapoor (Neerja) and Radhika Apte (Kabali).
Padman releases in cinemas worldwide on the 26th January 2018 through Sony Pictures Entertainment, India.