‘We welcome criticisms but slander unfortunate’: WCC responds to Vidhu Vincent

WCC says that they do not in any way, facilitate the making or promotion of any films or regulate who its members work with.
‘We welcome criticisms but slander unfortunate’: WCC responds to Vidhu Vincent
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In response to the resignation letter by filmmaker and former journalist Vidhu Vincent, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) of the Malayalam film industry on Wednesday came out with a statement expressing their shock, sadness and dismay at the resignation. 

Vidhu had published a letter earlier on Monday explaining her choice of producer for her last film Stand Up and accusing the WCC of showing double standards in treating various members differently.

Vidhu’s film Stand Up was co-produced by Anto Joseph and B Unnikrishnan. The latter -- director, producer and general secretary of the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) -- had made a movie with Dileep in the lead, while the actor remained an accused in a sexual assault case. This led to questions over Vidhu’s choice of working with Unnikrishnan within the WCC.

Vidhu, in her resignation letter, called out several instances where WCC members themselves have worked with those who have supported Dlieep.

Read: Vidhu Vincent publishes resignation letter from WCC, triggers row

In response to Vidhu’s resignation letter, WCC came out with a press statement on Wednesday expressing their dismay and sadness over her resignation from the Collective.

“Vidhu’s resignation is her individual decision and we respect it. While we welcome her criticisms, the slander is unfortunate. We are shocked at the organisational allegations, which were never raised by her until this sudden resignation. We believe fact and objectivity are key at the moment,” read the WCC statement.

In her letter, Vidhu had highlighted her struggles of trying to find a producer for her film Stand Up.

WCC, in their response to Vidhu, wrote that they do not in any way, “facilitate the making or promotion of any films or regulate who its members work with.”

The WCC stated that, in the context of Vidhu’s film, WCC had a discussion on November 15 that was not attended by Vidhu. The discussion revolved around the professional and personal conflicts that arise for each of its members while working alongside their detractors in the Kerala film industry, without compromising the Collective. 

“The discussion included the individual work associations of other members too. Since some members, including Vidhu, were absent, the matter was set aside for more inputs and further deliberations. The minutes were shared with all the members,” clarified WCC.

Read: How Malayalam films ‘Kappela’, ‘Ishq’ and ‘Chola’ approach sexual violence

WCC claims that many members had personally reached out to Vidhu several times over the last year sensing her dis-engagement with the Collective. “Sadly, none of these were positively reciprocated. At no point was any explanation demanded from Vidhu, all we hoped was to re-engage with one of our once most active colleagues. We just wish Vidhu had held on to the mutual trust and spoken her mind, as she, like every other member of the Collective, is empowered to do,” said WCC in their statement.

The WCC stated that they remain open to the idea of engaging in conversations with Vidhu.“As a feminist collective, we strive to learn from the experiences of women and also be an inclusive and safe space for the articulation of all kinds of voices. We cherish and seek to further a culture of debate and open dissent amongst our members who come from diverse social backgrounds,” read the press release.

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