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Maharashtra: Entertainment bodies to write to CM to allow production work, support daily-wage workers

Film and television shoots came to a halt from Wednesday evening, as curfew-like restrictions came into force in view of a surge in infections.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
April 15, 2021 3:48:59 am
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (File)

Many entertainment bodies and broadcasters met on Wednesday and decided to make an appeal to the state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to allow certain production-related activity by following Covid-19 safety protocols. Film and television shoots came to a halt from Wednesday evening, as curfew-like restrictions came into force in view of a surge in infections.

Actor J D Majethia, chairperson of Indian Films and Television Producers Council (IFTPC), said: “We stand by the government decision. However, we are writing to the CM for a few exemptions during the next two weeks.” Calling those working in the field of entertainment “frontline workers”, he said the industry should be treated as “essential services”. “People look forward to entertainment and fresh content while being confined to their homes during such a trying time,” he added.

New restrictions are going to affect the shooting of close to 90 TV shows, 50 Hindi movies and 40 Marathi films. Apart from these, the production of a large number of web series will also be impacted. Representatives of four broadcasters, namely Colors, Zee, Sony and Star, as well as office-bearers of producers’ bodies, such as IFTPC, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association, Producers Guild of India and Western India Film Producers’ Association, met to discuss proposals to be made keeping in mind prevailing uncertainties.

Also present at the meeting were representatives of Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA), Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA).

Majethia said: “We are going to share the list of daily-wage workers employed in the field of entertainment, so that the government can extend its support to junior artists and technicians. The post-production work, such as editing, mixing, and dubbing, should continue. Those employed to builds should be allowed to complete their task just like construction workers.”

Ashok Dubey, general secretary of FWICE, who was also present at the meeting, said, “If lockdown extends beyond May 1, we wish to submit a proposal to the CM to allow them to work in a bio bubble the way IPL matches are being held. It is possible to do that in studios.”

In the letter to Thackeray, the producers’ associations are also going to suggest a vaccination drive at Film City for workers. The letter reiterates their commitment to safety and adherence to protocol. “The fear of coronavirus is not going to go away anytime soon. We wish to prepare a set of suggestions that, in case, present restrictions are extended for a longer period of time, we would curb the number of cases in our sector by following safety protocols strictly,” Majethia said.

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