The second wave of Covid-19 in India has hit Bollywood hard with many actors, filmmakers and crew members testing positive for the virus. The industry, which incurred heavy losses because to film shoots halting and a complete shutdown of cinema halls due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year, is again hamstrung as the cases rise and new clampdowns are enforced. However, it seems the industry is better prepared this time with well-thought out guidelines in place to ensure work goes on.
To make sure that whatever shoots are happening in Mumbai are a safe environment for artistes, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has introduced a fresh set of guidelines to be followed by members of the film industry in view of the ongoing partial lockdown imposed in Maharashtra, with night curfew and weekend lockdown in place. The federation has also set up a monitoring team to ensure compliance of these guidelines, which will be applicable till April 30th.
On Friday, FWICE President Mr B N Tiwari, general secretary Ashok Dubey, treasurer Gangeshwar Srivastav, and chief advisors Sharad Shelar with Ashok Pandit said in a statement, “The office-bearers of FWICE had a Zoom meeting with the honourable chief minister, Shri Uddhav Thackeray. FWICE has assured the CM that the industry will be responsible where the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of the COVID guidelines are concerned. FWICE in coordination with experts has laid down guidelines which all people involved in pre-production, shooting and post-production work will have to adhere to.”
According to the new guidelines:
1. Shooting of crowd sequences and songs with dancers in large numbers will not be allowed.
2. Wearing of masks and continuous sanitisation are compulsory on the sets, in production offices, and in post-production studios.
3. A FWICE monitoring team has been constituted to visit sets and post-production studios regularly to check that all guidelines are being followed.
4. Any individual or production unit flouting the rules or creating any kind of hindrance in the adherence of the guidelines will face disciplinary action.
These new guidelines are in addition to the ongoing protocols that were set in May last year.
In addition to this list of dos and don’ts the federation has also announced that no TV and film shoots will happen over the weekend from Friday 8pm to Monday 7am, in compliance with the state’s weekend curfew norms. All and any kind of shooting, setting, pre-production activities will be avoided during this period, and will resume on Monday morning and continue until Friday evening.
These guidelines have been announced with immediate effect as Maharashtra is recording the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the second wave that began last month.