The coronavirus-induced lockdown has led to immense losses for all sectors and the entertainment industry is no exception. Shoots were stopped from March 19 and since then, not a single TV, film or web shoot has taken place in the country. Since the last few weeks, the industry heavyweights have been meeting the representatives of the Maharashtra government and also the CM Uddhav Thackeray in order to get permission to resume shoots. Finally, on Sunday May 31, the government passed a resolution and made it clear that filming can resume soon.
However, it laid down certain rules and regulations. Permissions from the cops and authorities will be a must. While casting for families, real families should be used so that physical contact is restricted. Audience will not be allowed for non-fiction or game shows. Actors won’t be allowed with their make-up and hair stylist. Actors will be asked to carry their own scripts. Minimal crew and junior artistes will be allowed. And finally, actors or crew members above the age of 65 won’t be allowed to work.
This last condition has not gone down well with the industry. The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association, headed by Ashoke Pandit, have written to CM Uddhav Thackeray to alter this rule. They said that many who are senior citizens are actively working like Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Shakti Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Danny Denzongpa, Dalip Tahil, Tinnu Anand, Rakesh Bedi, Kabir Bedi, etc. Also, non-acting artistes like Anil Sharma, David Dhawan, Subhash Ghai, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Prakash Jha, Shekhar Kapur, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt, Priyadarshan, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar too have been writing or directing. Hence, they feel that this particular cause would not allow them to work and show their creativity.
They have also raised objection to another clause which states that nurses and doctors should be available at the shooting spots. The letter states that at a time when society is facing due to shortage of medical practioners, it is not practical to utilize their services during the time of shooting. Instead, they said “we suggest having a doctor and nurse available areawise at the shooting locations.”
The bottom line however is that shootings will resume soon and if all goes well, it might happen before the end of this month.