KOCHI: Yet another organisation of women in cinema came into existence in Kochi on Saturday. The new organisation has been formed under the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA). The first meeting of the organisation, led by a team of women, including dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi, was held in Kochi.
Besides Bhagyalakshmi, the core committee comprises M R Jayageetha of writers union, Malu S Lal of directors union, Siji Thomson Nobel (costume), Anjana (dancers union) Maneesha (makeup), Sumangala (dubbing) and Uma Kumarapuram (cinematography).
Creative artists and technical crew often face discrimination regarding wages, gender and sexual abuse. FEFKA will intervene in such issues through the organisation.
A WhatsApp group has been created to alert the organisation’s issues. The organisation is not against any of the existing organisations in the film sector.
FEFKA comprises men and women. This wing of women will be focusing on issues faced by women, leaders said. FEFKA president Sibi Malayil and secretary B Unnikrishnan spoke at the first meeting of the organisation.
Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), founded last year, was the first of its kind for female artistes in the film industry. On November 1, 2017, it was registered as a society in Kerala.
On May 18, 2017, a group of 15 women from the Malayalam film industry had met Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala with a petition requesting an inquiry into the various gender issues in the Malayalam film industry. This was an immediate reaction to the abduction and sexual assault against a prominent Malayalam actress, which rocked both the state and its film industry.
The demands of the Collective also included addressing the gender disparity in salaries, providing reservations for women in technical jobs in government-owned studios, providing government welfare schemes to women in film industry, maternity pay 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 per cent women.
The prominent founding members of WCC are Beena Paul, Rima Kallingal, Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Anjali Menon, Geethu Mohandas, Vidhu Vincent, Remya Nambeesan and Deedi Damodaran. All women workers of Malayalam movie industry can be a part of Women in Cinema Collective. They can already be members of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) simultaneously.
(With online desk inputs)