Kerala: Bhavana’s new film has a panel against sexual harassment, code of conduct

Bhavana's new film has a panel against sexual harassment, code of conduct

A panel against sexual harassment and a code of conduct are featured in the latest film of Bhavana, the south Indian popular actor and a sexual assault survivor in the Malayalam film industry.

After five years the actor is making a comeback to the Malayalam movie industry, through the movie Ntikkakkakkoru Premandaarnnu ((My big brother had a love affair).

On set, there will be an Internal Committee (IC) to deal with sexual harassment accusations, according to The News Minute.

The filmmakers have released a code of conduct as well as an IC flowchart that explains how to file a complaint.

To deal with sexual harassment concerns, there are three main teams that handle complaints and suggestions. A team for workplace harassment, a team for general complaints, and a third for ideas, led by Advocate Noorjehan KM (workplace harassment) and production controller Alex E Kurian, (general complaints and suggestions).

Within 24 hours, complaints and ideas sent to the appropriate committees will be acknowledged, reported TNM.

The case will be handed over to external legal agencies if the petitioner is not satisfied with the investigation’s outcome. Furthermore, the entire crew is expected to read and understand the code of conduct, which details what constitutes sexual harassment.

The Kerala High Court, in response to a petition filed by the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), had ordered the creation of Internal Complaints Committees (ICC), on 17 March 2022. The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), a body of female actors and professionals, was founded in the aftermath of sexual attack on Bhavana in a moving vehicle in February 2017, allegedly by men hired by Malayalam actor Dileep.

“At the time when IC was just a discussion, we have incorporated the same in the movie Virus,” Rima Kallingal, a member of WCC, stated in an open forum during the International Film Festival of Kerala earlier this year.

“It’s the most straightforward thing to do. There isn’t even a hint of challenge. Just need to find three appropriate individuals which should include an activist and a woman who knows the legal side very well”. she added.

Along with Bhavana, Anarkali Nazar, Sharaf U Dheen Shebin Benson, and Ashokan will appear in Adhil Maimoonath Ashraf’s debut film. Arun Rushdie will do the cinematography and Midhun Chalissery will do the art direction for the film Ntikkakkakkoru Premandaarnnu.