After the Maharashtra government halted all film and television shooting in the state as part of the new restrictions to control the fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, the coordination committee of the media and entertainment industry comprising of all the Craft Unions, Broadcasters and Producer Bodies wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, requesting him to allow certain activities.
While they welcomed his measures to contain the pandemic, they requested that post-production and set-building work should be allowed to continue. The committee asked for a financial package for M&E workers, technicians and actors, and sought vaccination centres at Film City and in the Mira Bhayander region.
The committee includes film bodies such as IMPPA, IFTDA, FWICE and CINTAA.
The industry body said they should be considered as frontline workers as they contribute to the well-being of people by providing them entertainment in such trying times, and should be treated as an essential service just like news channels.
The letter requested that post-production work should be allowed so that portions that had been already shot could be edited and completed for final broadcasting. “The telecast of fresh episodes is essential to keep people, who are forced indoors due to the lockdown, entertained with fresh content. This will reduce their anxiety and depression to a considerable effect,” the letter stated.
They also requested the government to allow them to continue building sets that are already in process, just like they have allowed construction work, to avoid losses to producers.
“This will also help the workers who are largely migrants to get a safe abode and wages in these difficult times.”
They mentioned in the letter that they would soon submit a detailed operational plan for the industry and requested a meeting with the CM to chalk out a plan in case the lockdown is extended.