WCC was formed in May by women in Malayalam cinema to address the gender discrimination in the backdrop of actor abduction case.

Keralas Women in Cinema Collective registers as society to fight for gender parity
news Cinema Thursday, November 02, 2017 - 10:31

The gender disparity and treatment of women in the film industry is a topic that has commanded much attention in the Malayalam film industry in the last few months.

On Wednesday, the Women in Cinema Collective, was formally registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act.

This would probably be the first such women initiative in any film industry including Bollywood to be formally registered as a society.

Actor Rima Kallingal took to Facebook on Thursday, a day after the registration of WCC to share her thoughts. She said in her post that November 1st, 2017 will be a very important day in her life for it marks the celebration of everything that she believes in. 

The Women in Cinema Collective was formed in May by women actors, directors and technicians from the Malayalam film industry to highlight the gender disparity that they face. The Collective was formed in the backdrop of the abduction and alleged sexual assault of an actor.

Prominent names like Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Bhavana, Anjali Menon, Geethu Mohan Das, Vidhu Vincent, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan, Didi Damodaran, Surabhi Lakshmi had come together to represent their similar interests.

The Collective had met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and presented a memo citing the necessity of a committee which will address gender disparity and employment conditions in Malayalam cinema.

The Collective had demanded to the CM that the government should start courses to train women in the technical skills required for filmmaking. The demands of the Collective also included addressing the gender disparity in salaries, reservations for women in technical jobs in government-owned studios like Chitranjali where their presence is negligible, government welfare schemes like insurance, PF to women who were forced to abstain from work due to pregnancy, child rearing and physical ailments, awards for films that talk about gender equality, and subsidies for production crews that have 30% women.

The Collective had earlier lashed out at many male members of the film fraternity for passing insensitive comments on the woman actor who was abducted. The Collective on its Facebook page issued a statement that read, "Statements that tend to defame the survivor are challenging the judiciary and the constitution. Casting a shadow of doubt on the survivor is something that does not warrant forgiveness,".

The statement was against actors like Salim Kumar who had made remarks on Facebook that the victim should undergo a lie detection test because of allegations that actor Dileep was involved in the crime. The actor was later made to take down his Facebook post.

Young actors like Rima Kallingal and Parvathy was also seen coming out on social media supporting the #MeToo campaign.

"We are happy to come together, rather than sit in different corners and complain about it. Shine the light where the darkness is. This is a celebration for us. We are optimistic about the collective and the responses so far have been good," Anjali Menon had told TNM in May.

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