Meet Hetal Dedhia, India’s First and Only Female Gaffer

Here’s what it takes to be the only woman in a male-dominated field.

2 min read

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Ever been told you couldn’t do something because it’s a “man’s job”? It’s time to shut the haters. For Women’s Day, we present you stories about women who’re acing conventionally male-dominated jobs and smashing ‘StreeOtypes’ along the way!

Women are taking over Bollywood and we aren’t just talking about female actors, women are proving their mettle in the technical aspects of filmmaking too. Female directors, writers, cinematographers are challenging status quo and working behind the scenes. One name that tops the list of women redefining cinema is Hetal Dedhia, Indian cinema’s first and only female gaffer. Watch the video to find out what it takes to make an unconventional career choice.

“A job is a job, a man and woman aren’t different at it.”
Hetal Dedhia

Hetal Dedhia works as the head electrician or chief lighting technician on a film set, she is in charge of lighting and works closely with the director of photography (cinematographer). As India’s first and only female gaffer, Dedhia has no qualms commanding an all-male team as she works to ensure film sets or event stages are perfectly lit.

Hetal has her hands full for a minimum amount of 16 hours, where she is busy executing her vision through lights. She further explains how lights have become a medium of getting through to people. The connection, distribution and colours of these lights have become a crucial element in any form of art.

When asked about the extent of safety in regard to the job of a gaffer, Hetal bravely indicated, that the only insurance one ever gets in this area is money, and per day wages. “Thats about it,” she said.

The artist who initially worked under her father, Mulchand Dedhia, has now contributed her work to various movies like Luck By Chance, Karthik Calling Karthik and Mission impossible: Ghost Protocol. Know more about her in the video!

Producer: Megha Mathur
Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Assistant Camera: Gautam Sharma
Editor: Ashish Maccune

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