The PK Rosy film society is an attempt to be sensitive and to take note of all those who have been excluded from dominant cinema histories through their gender, caste, religious or class locations.

Celebrating PK Rosy WCC to begin film society named after Keralas first woman actor
Flix Mollywood Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 13:27

The Women in Cinema Collective in Kerala announced that they are going to launch a film society, named after PK Rosy, the very first woman actor of Malayalam cinema.

PK Rosy was a Dalit woman who played the heroine in JC Daniel's silent film Vikadakumaran. She was chased away by people for acting in a film. She belonged to a Dalit community and had to leave her land after the film released in 1928. She had played the role of a Nair woman in the film.

On a Facebook post, the WCC wrote, "This act of naming our film society as PK Rosy Film Society is a humble attempt to be sensitive and to take note of all those who have been excluded from dominant cinema histories through their gender, caste, religious or class locations and our own imagination, and have been brought to light by many scholars, historians and activists."

The logo also invokes PK Rosy visually and has been designed by Mumbai based designer, Zoya Riyas.

Rosy chose to act at a time when women actors were frowned upon. Members of the Nair community were also enraged that a Dalit woman played a Nair in the film. Rosy was not even allowed at the first screening of her film because many others refused to be there if she was present. One account of what happened to Rosy suggests that she fled her hometown in a lorry headed to Tamil Nadu, married the driver, and lived the rest of her life there.

The WCC post says that the film society is an endeavour for establishing a viewing space for cinema, which has most often been an all-male space. "Headed and run by an all ciswomen/transwomen panel, we aim at showcasing, discussing and celebrating women filmmakers, women film professionals and feminist cinema aesthetics. We hope that the film society will also serve as a democratic platform that will enable discussions on cinema and hopefully contribute to a discourse on contemporary cinema aesthetics," says the post.

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