“The Stories I Tell Will Be My Legacy” – Indrani Kopal


When people ask her what her legacy will be, internationally acclaimed Malaysian filmmaker Indrani Kopal says, “My films, and the stories I tell will be my legacy. I want to tell the stories of good people, and make sure they are heard,”

In an interview with Varnam, the filmmaker talks candidly about what being a woman means to her, and how she has managed to excel in the male dominated field of films.

To be fair, the word excel might be an understatement. Indrani is no stranger to the international film fraternity. Her short documentary, The Game Changer was screened at 17 international film festivals and won multiple awards, notably the Best Student Documentary at the prestigious American Pavilion’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.


She continued her streak of success with the full-length film, Incarcerated Rhythm. A project that was in the making for five years, Incarcerated Rhythm had a budget of a whopping US$400,000 (RM1.62mil). The film premiered in New York last year, where Indrani picked up the Mira Nair Award For Rising Female Filmmaker at the Harlem International Film Festival.

The Fulbright Scholar has continued to excel in the heavily male dominated world of films and is unfettered by the inequality evident. Instead, she chooses to focus on how far female filmmakers have come, and how bright the future is for them.

“I want to one day see a female cinematographer behind the camera in interviews like this. Many roles are still given to men, over women. That has to change.” shares Kuala Lumpur born filmmaker. “Films by women won’t be better or worse, it is just different, and don’t we want to see a variety of stories out there?”

The filmmaker speaks to Varnam about her journey as a Malaysian Indian woman who chose the road not taken, and how she has emerged on top, with the awards to show for it. Check out Indrani Kopal’s take on being a woman here:

Keep up with Indrani’s latest projects on her Instagram page here.