Perhaps for the first time, the production house behind a Malayalam film has formed an Internal Committee (IC) to deal with complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace. Kabinii Films, which is producing Senna Hegde’s new film 1744 White Alto, formed the IC as soon as the company was registered.
The producers shared with the cast and crew the code of conduct to be read and practised during the making of the film. A copy of this document was shared by social media users, who welcomed the much-needed move in an industry where the sexual assault of an actor in 2017 has brought back questions on the safety of women in films.
Senna Hegde’s last film, Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam, won a state award and a lot of appreciation when it was released on OTT last year. The film was set in Kanhangad, one of his parents’ hometown. The new film is also shot in Kanhangad and features actors such as Sharfudheen, Vincy Aloshious, Rajesh Madhavan, Navas Vallikkunnu, Arun Kurian, Sminu Sijo, Joji Mundakkayam, Arya Salim, Sminu Sijo, Anand Manmadhan, Sajin Cherukayil, RJ Nilja and Renji Kankol.
“We had wanted to form an IC even as we planned to start a production house,” says Sreejith Nair, one of the three producers of the film. The other two producers are Vinod Divakar and Mrinal Mukundan. All three of them have 16 to 18 years of experience working in corporate companies or running businesses.
“We wanted to bring to our company all the best practices we had seen. IC is one such element, transparency is another,” Sreejith adds.
Like any other company with more than 10 employees, they knew they had to form an IC when they registered the firm in Karnataka. There should also be a 50:50 ratio of women and men in the committee. And the internal members should be from the production team. “In our team, we have a woman executive producer with whom we have worked before – Ambili Perumbavoor. She is one of the members of the IC. Then there is Mrinal and me. For the external member, we have Advocate Arsha Vikram on board. She works on cases of crimes against women and children,” Sreejith says.