Director Aashiq Abu, who along with his actor wife Rima Kallingal runs the production house ‘OPM Cinemas’ has announced that all future projects undertaken by the company will have an Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) to address the grievances of women working on them.
The actor-director made the announcement on Facebook, and said that any instances of exploitation could be brought to the notice of the committee. He said, “Our future productions will have an ICC. All kinds of professional exploitation as well as assault against women can be reported to this committee. Safe workplace for all!”
Director Vineeth Sreenivasan appreciated Abu’s move, and commented that he would be following suit. While film industries have had associations for the welfare of women, setting up an ICC for a film is unprecedented.
The move comes in the wake of the meeting held by Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) – an association formed in the aftermath of the sexual assault against an actress in February last year. During the meeting, the actresses had slammed the ambiguous stand adopted by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (A.M.M.A) over the reinstatement of Dileep into the organization. Dileep was accused in the sexual assault case.
In the meeting, Archana Padmini, who worked on the 2017 Mammootty-starrer Pullikkaran Staraa also came out with allegations of sexual misconduct against a production controller. Padmini complained that she was yet to receive a response in writing even after having lodged a formal complaint with the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) chairman B. Unnikrishnan. Padmini’s statement adds to the #MeToo instances of sexual abuse and assault women from the cinema, entertainment and journalism worlds have been sharing.
As a result of the ongoing #MeToo movement, The Producers Guild of India convened a meeting on Tuesday and set up a committee to address the issue of sexual harassment at workplaces. Actor Vishal who heads the Tamil Film Producers Council said that his organization too would be setting up a committee to look into problems of sexual harassment.