Actress-filmmaker Geetu Mohandas slammed costume designer Stephy Zaviour for defaming her by resorting to 'misinformation of facts'.
Mollywood costume designer Stephy Zaviour had raised serious allegations against a Women in Cinema Collective member, and on Wednesday evening filmmaker Geetu Mohandas took to her social media pages to clarify about the incident.
Stephy, without naming, complained that she was removed from the work of a movie helmed by a prominent WCC member two years back when she asked for remuneration. A day later, model and associate director Aisha Sultana extended her support to costume designer Stephy Zaviour naming the WCC member as Geetu Mohandas.
Without naming Stephy, Geetu stated that the post by her colleague, has put her and her film team in distress as the matter of professional interest is now in public.
“I tried to resist writing a reply to your allegations till now because my words to you as an individual and film maker should not in any way hurt you in your work space but the pressure games of patriarchy is so strong that I have yielded! If not, I would not have been here to address an interpellated fellow being. I would like to remind you of the actual narrative and version that transpired.” (sic.)
Geetu mentioned that in her last meeting with the designer, they had parted ways amicably. The Moothon director revealed that the entire film was costume designed by Maxima Basu and in the interim when Maxima went for her maternity leave, Geetu had asked Stephy to step in for a small portion.
Recalling the instances, Geetu Mohandas said, “Our association was not fruitful and what ever the events that had transpired following your entry and exit was clearly observed by my entire cast and crew and they can vouch for the same. The dialogue you mentioned - people who know me are well aware that I’m quite capable of such unwarranted anger and I’m certainly not proud of it. In fact I must have spoken far harshly than what you mentioned , but the circumstances in that conversation and what you said is absolutely false. I would like to remind you that there is a big misinformation of facts in your version . The discussion you mentioned was spoken to your assistant after my team informed me that the costumes which my designer, Maxima had made after your exit from the project was taken away by you without any of our knowledge from our studio . There was a state of panic since we had just two days left to leave to shoot. We were informed by your assistant that the costumes will not be returned until we settle your entire payment even though you had exited the project and none of your ideas let alone a costume was used in the film. For the time provided by your assistant, my producer had cleared all payments.” (sic.)
Geetu further mentioned that she had called the designer for a conversation repeatedly but she never reverted. She then questioned her asking if her allegations had any truth - why didn’t she register a complaint at the time before the film released last year?
Calling the allegations as 'virtual mob mentality and alienating people,' Geetu concluded her post by saying that the practise of 'women lynching women' shouldn't be done.
“I’m questioning the intent behind this defamation now which seems to be quite timely. So kindly observe that, this is exactly what we should not be doing to each other . Women lynching women. If my actions have hurt you I am still ready to meet you for a conversation . I wish you all the best. A special request to all my closest industry friends - Please do not share this post in solidarity to me because we must collectively put an end to this virtual mob mentality and alienating people! I trust this post will resound to the right eyes and ears.” (sic.)
It is to be noted that Stephy raised the allegations a day after writer-director Vidhu Vincent accused Women in Cinema Collective of 'double standards'. Both Stephy and Vidhu had praised filmmaker and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) president B Unnikrishnan.