Action! Maharashtra government allows Bollywood to restart
Maharashtra government lays down stringent guidelines for shootings to resume in Mumbai; Bollywood and television producers welcome the move
Even as the country enters the fifth phase of lockdown today in its battle against COVID-19, the entertainment industry can heave a sigh of relief. Following the two-month-plus industry shutdown, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Sunday, greenlit the resumption of film, television and OTT shoots amid stringent regulations.
Gangubai Kathiawadi may be among the first films to resume shoot
The state government issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), titled Guiding Principles to Restart Entertainment Industry in Maharashtra, for conducting shoots hereon. Among the new rules, producers who wish to conduct shoots in Mumbai will have to seek permission from the managing director of Maharashtra Film, Theatre and Cultural Development Corporation (Film City). Those planning a schedule across other cities or districts in Maharashtra will have to procure permission from the collector of the concerned district.
The on-set SOPs are a combination of the guidelines that had been proposed by the Producers' Guild and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE). In one of the most important regulations, the state government suggested that the on-set crew should be minimised to 33 per cent of the original strength. The presence of an ambulance, a doctor and a nurse has been made compulsory on every set, as is the monitoring of temperature of every member.
The decision brought in a wave of cheer in the entertainment industry that has been reeling under the shutdown that was implemented on March 19. With this move, several films — including Alia Bhatt's Gangubai Kathiawadi, Salman Khan's Radhe and Ajay Devgn's Maidaan — that had been abruptly called off, can go on floors again.
The guidelines issued by the state government
JD Majethia, chairman, television & web, Indian Film & Television Producers' Council, says, "I want to thank Uddhavji on behalf of the entire entertainment industry. We had a Zoom meeting on May 22, and here we are today! He has accelerated the process [to restart the entertainment industry]. Now, it is our turn to be responsible and not to disappoint our government."
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