The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has penned a special letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging to provide special permission to restart TV and film productions in the state.
The Maharastra government suspended all the shoots in April owing to rising Covid-19 cases. As a result, many TV and film shoots moved out of the state and currently shooting in the bio-bubble format. Now as the Maharashtra government extended the lockdown-like curbs till June 15, FWICE has asked for special permissions to resume the shoot.
In the letter sent to the CM, the FWICE has stated that the media and entertainment (M&E) sector has been severely affected by the coronavirus-forced state-wide lockdown.
The letter read, “With reference to the subject matter, we would like to draw your attention to the numerous requests sent to you by the FWICE and the coordination committee regarding our request for resumption of work in the M&E Industry. However, none of our letters have been responded to by your good office and no decision has been taken on our requests.”
The letter said that lakhs of artists, workers and technicians have been jobless for the last one and half year when the pandemic hit India. The daily wage workers have absolutely no other source of income and are dependent on the work of the Industry.
They have cited the reason that the ‘entertainment industry has been providing work to lakhs of hands and enabling their families to earn their daily bread’ to grant them permission.
The FWICE also said that an “extension of the state-wide lockdown will be a ‘setback’ for daily wagers as well as producers.” The setback here refers to ‘the financial setback’ for the artists, and technicians.
Apart from the workers, the letter also cited the producers who are also affected badly with huge investments already made into the running projects which have come to a halt due to the unfortunate lockdown.
The trade body requested the Maharashtra CM to provide ‘special permissions’ to resume the filming activities in the state. The board has also promised to ensure safety and strictly abide by the SOPs, guidelines issued by the government especially for the M&E industry.
“FWICE and the co-ordination committee assure you that all the rules and regulations of the government shall be followed by each and every crew member and all necessary precautions shall be taken at each work location,” the letter concluded and was signed by Ashoke Pandit, Chief Advisor and BN Tiwari, President and other board members.
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