On February 17, 2017 a popular film actress in the Malayalam film industry was sexually assaulted and harassed in a running vehicle as she was returning from work. A group of women came together as a collective to support the survivor and to address some of the problems plaguing women in the film industry. The heinous crime was a blow to the conscience of the state of Kerala which is considered the most educated and well governed state with better living conditions, when compared to all the other states in India. It revealed the long silenced and unquestioned reality of gender issues related to the safety of women, pay parity, exploitation, etc., in the Malayalam film industry. Though the inception of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) resulted from the chaotic situation of an unfortunate incident, this was the beginning of a resistance movement against the existing and persistent gender problems in the Malayalam film industry. Attempts were made to encourage discussions and strive to find solutions. Through their vision of “equal spaces and equal opportunities for women in cinema”, the WCC creates a platform to voice issues that women face in workspaces and calls for policy reform at the government level. This article discusses the WCC’s inception as a collective resistance to patriarchal privileges, analyses the limitations and dynamics of cinema workspaces, and looks at how dialogues continue to bring change, urging an investigation into gender issues and the difficulties that women in the industry face.
Mathew, Jimin S. and Isac, Alna Mariya
From Resistance to Leadership: The Role of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) in ‘Voicing the Women’ in the Malayalam Film Industry.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 22(6), 150-156.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss6/15