The Film Employeesâ€™ Federation of South India (FEFSI), in its latest circular has announced that it will halt the shooting of television serials and all pre-production and post-production work starting from June 19 until the end of the complete lockdown on June 30. In May, the Tamil Film Producers' Council requested the Tamil Nadu government to allow the resumption of film shooting. Following this, the Tamil Nadu government had on May 21 allowed television content producers to resume shooting with a limited workforce of 20 in addition to several other restrictions.
Notably, earlier this month, the Telangana government paid heed to the repeated requests from those in Telugu film industry and allowed the resumption of film and television content shooting with certain restrictions.
FEFSIâ€™s latest circular has said that it will cooperate with the government to help contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the state. Speaking to TNM, producer SR Prabhu says, â€śAs far as films are concerned we require at least an 80-member crew. While it was possible for television producers to work around the restrictions imposed by the Tamil Nadu government by tweaking their content, when it comes to films, that is not possible.â€ť
â€śFor films we need outdoor locations, artists who have already been signed up will have to be brought in from other places. We need to make sure that the crowd does not gather at the shooting spot, for which we need local body support. It involves a lot of technical problems,â€ť he adds.
As of now, uncertainty looms over the industry as to when they can resume shootings. A public relations member from the Producersâ€™ Council tells TNM that some producers have expressed their worry over the losses being faced by the industry, and have requested for work to resume. â€śSome of them have requested the government to allow shooting, pointing out that the losses incurred so far by the industry work up to Rs 600 crore. However, the government has categorically denied their request on grounds that loss of lives is more important at this point,â€ť he says.
The state of affairs in the film industry has come as a hard blow to scores of daily wage labourers who are the industryâ€™s backbone. In its circular, FEFSI has thanked the Tamil Nadu government for providing Rs 1,000 per person as relief since April. â€śWe thank the Tamil Nadu government for granting Rs 1,000 as relief for a third time for those residing in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur districts. While the state government has provided relief of Rs 1,000 three times so far to those in the unorganised sector, the fact that the Central government has not, has saddened us. We request the Central government to provide relief to our industry,â€ť reads their circular.