With the nationwide coronavirus lockdown extending over two months, the film and television industries are staring at a dark future. Shoots have been stalled and producers are incurring losses worth crores. Many film bodies have written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to allow resuming of work.
Now, The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association has said in a statement that all the stakeholders in the entertainment industry had a fruitful meeting with Sanjay Mukherjee, secretary, Cultural Affairs, government of Maharashtra. Among the participants were IMPPA, The Producers Guild of India, Western India Film Producers Association, Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal and Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).
The meeting touched upon all the guidelines that the entertainment industry will have to follow once permission is granted to restart operations. Some of the points touched upon were:
- Post-production activities should begin immediately keeping in mind the safety, health and security norms issued by the government.
- A financial package is to be worked out by the state government to aid the entertainment industry.
- The state government should rope in insurance companies to come up with policies for members of the entertainment industry so that they can cope with COVID-19.
- Premises owned by the state government to be given free of cost to producers and production companies for shoots.
- There shouldn’t be any rentals on the sets erected in the Film City that are lying unused due to the lockdown, and after the lockdown is lifted premises in the Film City should be provided with subsidized rates so as to deal with losses suffered during lockdown.
- The SOPs submitted by all the bodies will be reviewed by Sanjay Mukherjee
On Thursday, 28 May, the IMPPA had written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray about considering requests from the industries to resume shoots of films, TV serials and web shows. It also notes down in detail the various precautionary measures the cast and crew have to follow after the permission is granted.
The list is quite similar to the one released by Producers Guild India some time back - no physical greetings, wearing triple layer masks and gloves, washing hands and sanitizing properly and so on. The list also speaks about creating floor markings for everyone to stand so that social distancing is maintained. An alternative to face mask is also provided. “A protective half mask with inhalation and exhalation filter... it means lower costs, especially with a higher number of filming days ahead. Should be worn primarily by actors and crew members having a negative COVID-19 test”.
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