Shilpa Shetty-starrer Nikamma's shoot called off last minute

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 07:40 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Despite having erected a set worth crores in Madh Island, Nikamma director Sabbir Khan cancels song shoot

Sabbir Khan flanked by Abhimanyu Dassani and Shilpa Shetty
Sabbir Khan flanked by Abhimanyu Dassani and Shilpa Shetty

While the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA), Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and Indian Film & Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) announced yesterday that the shoot of Hindi films and television shows will be halted from March 19 in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the team of Shilpa Shetty starrer Nikamma pre-emptively called off the film's shoot, on Saturday.

Before and After
Before and After

Turns out, a set worth a few crores had been erected in Madh Island over the past few days for the filming of the title track, which was to feature Shetty, lead actor Abhimanyu Dassani and Shirley Setia. While the shoot was to kick-off yesterday, director Sabbir Khan — keeping the crew's best interests in mind — sent word on Saturday that the stint had been cancelled until further notice.

"The film is almost complete. We only had to shoot the title song, and one scene, and had taken combination dates from the actors from March 15 to 19. However, with the rise of COVID-19 cases, it seemed too much of a risk to gather an entire unit of over 200 people. Crew members simultaneously work on multiple projects and travel all over, so they are at a higher risk [of contracting the virus]. So, it's best to keep the shoot on hold till this is contained," explains Khan of the June release.

The director informs that the set has been dismantled. Ask him about the losses incurred due to the sudden change in plans, and Khan clarifies, "The film is insured. Even if there is some monetary loss, as the director and part-producer [along with Sony Pictures], it is our job to be responsible. We will resume shooting when the situation is better."

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