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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Uttarakhand government relaxes Covid norms for outdoor film shoots

The amended USMDA guidelines stated that the maximum permissible capacity for indoor shoots will be 50. For indoor as well as outdoor shoots, physical distancing of at least 6 feet must be followed.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Dehradun | August 22, 2020 6:37:22 am
Earlier, the SOP had permitted a maximum of 15 crew for indoor shoots and 30 for outdoor shoots. (Representational Image)

The Uttarakhand government has relaxed norms for shooting films in the state by removing the upper limit on the number of crew members for outdoor shoots and raising that limit for indoor shoots.

The amended USMDA guidelines stated that the maximum permissible capacity for indoor shoots will be 50. For indoor as well as outdoor shoots, physical distancing of at least 6 feet must be followed. “However, there shall be no restriction on the number of persons in outdoor film shooting, subject to the above mentioned physical distancing condition and all norms of safety, social distancing and SOPs of State government, MoHFW and MHA are strictly complied with,” stated the guidelines.

Earlier, the SOP had permitted a maximum of 15 crew for indoor shoots and 30 for outdoor shoots.

After the unlock started, the Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) and Uttarakhand Film Development Council (UFDC) in June had issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for film shoots. Since then, the government has issued permission for 37 shoots of movies, web-series and music albums at locations in Dehradun, Rishikesh, Mussoorie and Nainital. Almost 50 per cent of permit holders have already completed their shoots.

“But such restrictions on the numbers of crew members for outdoor shoot created challenges for filmmakers as they need more staff, especially when outdoors. In films shot already in the past few weeks, crew members were called in shifts to meet social distancing norms. Removal of the upper limit on the crew will make outdoor shooting convenient for production units,” said a USDMA official.

A UFDC official said teams of 200-300 people are required when shooting big-budget movies. He further said that after the relaxation of norms, the Shahid Kapoor-starrer “Jersey” would be shot at various locations in Dehradun, including the campus of Forest Research Institute (FRI).

“Uttarakhand is a preferred destination of shooting for filmmakers because of picturesque locations… A large number of Bollywood production houses are approaching for shooting in the state. It generates revenue and employment for the locals in the state,” said K S Chauhan, Nodal Officer, UFDC.

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