Malayalam News

ICC Not Just to Deal with Sexual Harassment Complaints but to Ensure Fair Treatment for All: Rima Kallingal

Rima Kallingal, actor-producer and founding member of Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), has stressed that the purpose of Internal Complaint Committees (ICC) is not just to deal with sexual harassment complaints but to ensure all workers are treated in a fair manner.


Her statement came at an open forum held at the regional International Film Festival of Kerala in Kochi, on Monday. The five-day festival began on April 1.

The discussion on Monday was on the topic, ‘Implementation of the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC/IC) in the Malayalam film industry’. Speaking at the event, Kallingal noted that her home banner, which produced Virus in 2019, had established an ICC on its sets.

“It is the easiest thing to do. All we need is the will to ensure a fair workspace. It cannot be confined to sexual harassment alone. Every worker needs a space to complain about any type of unfair treatment. It is unbelievable that the film industry in a state like Kerala had no ICC for all these years,” she said.

She added that the WCC has urged the implementation of ICC for the benefit of each and every worker, but especially women, as they are usually a minority on film sets. 

Further, Kallingal highlighted the need for sensitisation within the industry. “There needs to be an understanding of what sexual harassment is and what actions amount to harassment. Film unions should conduct proper sessions covering these topics, as most people are unaware of it, even while facing harassment. It is our responsibility to share knowledge about this as well as the Vishaka guidelines.” 

Lawyer Maya Krishnan, who was also part of the discussion, explained the procedure and legalities of forming an ICC and noted that the committee will not just be restricted to resolving issues but will also cover other aspects related to the employment of a person. Kallingal mentioned that Krishnan was one of the members of the first ICC that her team had formed. 


The WCC was founded by a group of female artists and technicians from the Malayalam film industry, including actors Manju WarrierParvathy Thiruvothu, Geethu Mohandas, and editor Bina Paul, in the aftermath of the 2017 female actor abduction and sexual assault incident.

One of their primary goals was the establishment of ICC/Grievance Redressal Cell in the Malayalam film industry. In response to the plea moved by them at the Kerala High Court, an order was passed recently, directing film bodies and production houses to set up ICCs. Following this, Kerala Minister for Culture Saji Cherian announced that a draft law to address sexual harassment in the Malayalam film industry would be prepared within a month.