The Women in Cinema Collective has organised a yearlong series of events to highlight the importance of gender equality in cinema, the Kerala-based organisation announced on Thursday. The opening event Punarvaayana will be conducted in Calicut on May 26, Kochi on May 27 and Thiruvananthapuram on May 28. It will feature film screenings and discussions led by prominent personalities. “’Punarvaayana’ will see the participation of various women organizations, Malayalam film fraternity, media, lawyers, writers, bureaucrats, politicians, youth, social activists and NGOs,” the press release said.
A non-profit organisation for women in Malayalam cinema, the Women in Cinema Collective was founded in 2017 in reaction to the sexual assault against a prominent Malayalam actress. Since its inception, the collective has advocated gender equality in the Malayalam film industry by demanding equal representation of women in trade associations, and pushing for institutional attention to gender issues in the industry.
The upcoming series will include workshops with film trade associations, networking and rights awareness workshops, and panel discussions. At the end of the year, the collective will also announce awards for Malayalam films that pass the Bechdel test. Created by artist Alison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, the Bechdel test demands that a work of fiction contain at least one conversation between two named female characters about something other than a man. The first event in the series after the launch is scheduled to be held in August.