In a big relief to the television entertainment industry, the state government on Thursday has provided partial relaxations by permitting indoor shooting in urban areas except in containment zones. The government has also allowed outdoor shooting in rural areas that don't fall in containment zones. However, the ban on shooting for cinema continues.
In a press statement issued by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the government said that shooting (except in containment zones) inside homes with compound walls or sets designed for the shows can be permitted.
The state government made the move taking into consideration the plight of workers belonging to Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) and Society of Television Producers of South India (STEPS), many of whom have lost their livelihood due to the lockdown in place to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The statement added that shooting should not take place in public places in urban areas while it is banned in containment zones of rural areas . The public is also banned from viewing the shooting.
The government has also issued guidelines for the relaxations. The shooting spot should be sanitised using disinfectants before and after the making of the show. Except the actors, all others should wear masks and maintain physical distancing protocol. The actors should wear masks during breaks. The crew members should wash their hands using soap or sanitisers to keep their hands clean.
The vehicles used for shooting and the automobiles used for commuting should be sanitised. Cameras and cranes should also be frequently cleaned with disinfectants.
The statement also said that artistes or technology assistants with cold, fever, cough or breathing difficulty should not be allowed to enter the premises. People with these symptoms should be immediately sent for medical testing.
The Tamil film industry, like all other entertainment industries, has suffered a blow following the spread of COVID-19 which has led to a delay in the release of movies . The industry members were staring at a bleak future as the shootings were cancelled and theatres have been shut. To cut their losses, some producers even sold their movies for direct release on OTT platforms, triggering controversies and drawing flak from the theatre owners.