Women Lead Newly-formed Film Employees Federation of Kerala

Film Employees Federation

The Malayalam film industry is on its way to give women artists and technical crew a collective voice on issues pertaining to harassment and discrimination. Employees of the film industry have created an organisation to address women’s issues like gender bias, sexual abuse and wage-pay gap etc called Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA).

Last year, all the women artists of Mollywood came together and founded Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).

The group includes dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi and it its first meeting was recently held in Kochi. The board  consists of 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) apart from Bhagyalakshmi.

Although FEFKA is a gender-neutral group consisting of both men and women, the women’s wing headed by these women will focus on women-related issues.

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This is the second collective that the women of the Malayalam cinema have formed recently.

Last year, all the women artists of Mollywood came together and founded Women in Cinema Collective (WCC). It is the first of its kind organisation founded by women to resolve women’s issues in the film industry.

The decision came in wake of a case of women actors’ abduction and sexual assault. These had sparked outrage among the people in the cinema industry of Kerala and led WCC to meet with CM Pinarayi Vijayan and seek an inquiry into the various gender issues in the Malayalam film industry.

Other than fighting against crimes happening with women artists, WCC also aims to resolve issues pertaining to the gender gap in salaries, providing reservations for women in technical jobs in government studios, providing government welfare schemes to women in the film industry. It also advocates maternity pay to women who had to quit 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.