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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Kannada TV industry all set to resume production, safety is still a concern

The Karnataka government has allowed the Kannada television industry to resume filming of daily soaps.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru | Published: May 8, 2020 6:31:30 pm
kannada tv industy The set of a TV show in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: PR Handout)

The Karnataka government has granted permission to producers of Kannada serials to resume production even as the state firmly remains under lockdown. A delegation led by Kannada Television Association president S V Shivakumar recently met Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa requesting the government to relax restrictions on the television industry.

And the request of the television association was granted with a list of do’s and dont’s that need to be followed by crew members during the shooting. The television crew is only allowed to shoot inside the studio. In other words, no outdoor shooting. And the crew members should be provided with masks and sanitizers all the time. Everyone on the sets should follow social distancing protocol. These are some of the conditions laid down by the government to allow the television industry to resume its operations.

The association has decided to put its men and women to work from May 25 as opposed to its earlier decision to begin production from May 11.

“According to restrictions, we should shoot a scene with not more than two actors at any given time. We are allowed only indoor shooting. If a scene requires me to walk on a street or drive a car, we can’t do it. It is going to be very challenging, especially for the writers of the show,” actor Aniruddha Jatkar told indianexpress.com.

The star of popular Kannada serial Jothe Jotheyali, Aniruddha said that he is looking forward to going back to work, but he also has concerns about safety. “We humans usually tend to take things lightly after a couple of days,” the actor added. “But, everyone must follow strict hygiene and safety protocols on the sets.”

He also noted that not just the crew members but the safety of their families also depend on a safe workspace. “I am confident that we all will take care of ourselves,” he said.

Senior actor Sihi Kahi Chandru also expressed his apprehensions about going back to work even as the country is reeling under the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. “My question is on what basis did the government give permission to resume shooting?” he asked while talking to a local news portal.

He complained that the television association did not take all stakeholders into confidence before approaching the government. “I don’t understand how we can maintain distance while acting. And crew members come to work from different places. What if they had come in contact with a COVID-19 patient? It takes a minimum of 14 days to show any symptoms. We check the temperature of crew members and allow them inside. And that won’t determine whether or not that person is a carrier of the virus,” Chandru added while raising concerns about the safety of the families of the people involved in the production.

The urgency of the industry to get back to work is understandable as thousands of people depend on it for their livelihood. It is now up to the stakeholders to conceive a foolproof operating procedure to protect themselves from the virus.

“We don’t know when we are going to come back. But, when we come back, the country won’t be the same. It is a big gamble we have taken as a society. When we restart again, things won’t be the same again. We will go to work in a very new world,” Parameshwar Bhat, the business head of Colors Kannada, had told indianexpress.com earlier.

Meanwhile, the restrictions on the production of movies and reality TV shows remain in effect.

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