Entertainment News

Malayalam actors protest decision to make Mohanlal chief guest at Kerala State Film Awards

Around 105 activists and film industry members have written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

More than 100 activists and members of the Malayalam film industry have written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan protesting the state government’s decision to invite actor Mohanlal to be the chief guest at this year’s Kerala State Film Awards Ceremony.

Actors Prakash Raj, Rima Kallingal, Geetu Mohandas, Sruthi Hariharan, writer NS Madhavan and director-cinematographer Rajeev Ravi are among the signatories of a statement sent to Vijayan, according to The News Minute.

“The Kerala state film award is the highest recognition given by a state and hence this award should be given to them in an atmosphere suited to the artists,” the statement read. “The stage should host a simple function where the chief minister himself presents the awards in the presence of cultural minister. Inviting a chief guest is not the right thing and undervalue the achievement of the award winners.”

The statement does not mention Mohanlal by name, said Manorama Online.

On July 18, filmmaker Biju Damodaran, who was on the jury for this year’s awards, said that he would boycott the ceremony if Mohanlal was made chief guest. He said the Malayalam superstar had been invited by Kerala Culture Minister AK Balan.

“By this move, it is understood that the minister is living in another world which is not aware of the contemporary developments in the Malayalam film world,” Biju said in a Facebook post, referring to the controversy surrounding the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, of which Mohanlal is president. The AMMA has been under fire over its attempt to reinstate actor Dileep, who was ousted from the actors’ guild last year after he was arrested in a sexual assault case. Dileep has been accused planning the alleged abduction and sexual assault of an actress, which took place on February 27 last year. The decision to bring him back was taken at a meeting on June 24, the day Mohanlal took charge as president.

Biju said in his Facebook post that AMMA has “repeatedly made it clear that they are with the accused; not with the victim. The organisation decided to bring back the accused actor immediately after a superstar assumed charge as president of it.” He indicated that the government was belittling the award winners by inviting someone who is not connected with this year’s awards as a chief guest. “The chief guests at the venue are the award winners, and also the chief minister who will present the awards,” he said. “Why should another star be invited to the function?”

The Kerala State Film Awards are organised by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. The awards for this year were announced in March and the date for the ceremony is yet to be announced. Rahul Riji Nair’s Ottamuri Velicham won Best Film and Lijo Jose Pellissery won Best Director for Ee.Ma.Yau. Indrans and Parvathy won Best Actor and Actress respectively.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.


To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.