A circular from the association, dated March 10, notes that actor Shwetha Menon, who is also the vice president of AMMA, will be the presiding officer of the ICC, while actors Rachana Narayanankutty, Kukku Parameswaran and Maala Parvathi will be the other members. The circular also states that a lawyer will be appointed to the committee during the next meeting of the association on Saturday.
It may be noted that the formation of the ICC comes three and a half years after the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), an organisation of women working in Malayalam cinema, had moved the Kerala High Court seeking the same.
The WCC had filed the PIL in 2018, in the aftermath of the 2017 Malayalam female actor abduction and sexual assault incident. It sought the establishment of an ICC as per the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act, in all organisations of the Malayalam film industry, like AMMA and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA).
Announcing the PIL, WCC had said in a statement, “We believe that the entire film fraternity needs to come together to achieve compliance with the law of the land by establishing an industry code of conduct…taking this step forward as an industry will help us create a work culture that assures safety for women, thereby creating equal space and equal opportunities for all.”
Although there were reports that the AMMA was planning to set up an ICC back in 2018, the organisation did not confirm this officially.
Recently, in February 2022, Kerala’s Women Commission (KWC) filed an application at the High Court seeking to be added as one of the respondents in the PIL moved by WCC. The KWC also told the court that the AMMA had still not established an Internal Complaints Committee/Grievance Redressal Cell as mandated by the Supreme Court in the Vishaka case.
Meanwhile, that same month, the makers of the upcoming Malayalam film 1744 WA (White Alto), Kabinii Films, voluntarily established an ICC to address sexual harassment and misconduct complaints on their sets.