Film body seeks permission to resume post-production work
As movie theaters remain shuttered and film shoots stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the predicament for producers continues. Now, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has written a letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, seeking permission to resume post-production work on such projects that are nearing completion. FWICE is the parent body of 32 different associations of workers and technicians.
The letter was signed by FWICE chief advisor Ashoke Pandit, president BN Tiwari, general secretary Ashok Dubey, and treasurer Gangeshwarlal Shrivastav. It mentioned that the association has more than five lakh members under its umbrella. Noting that the entertainment industry plays an important role in the economy, the federation said that allowing post-production work could help save producers from suffering huge losses.
An excerpt from the letter read, "If permissions are given to carry out such post-production activities of these projects, which can be done in closed studios with minimum workforce, it would be great relief to the producers who have poured in huge funds." Post-production work includes activities such as editing, dubbing, sound recording, music recording, special/visual effects, etc.
The federation added that if such permission is granted, they would comply with all the necessary guidelines to ensure the health and safety of their workers. "We assure you of complying with all the necessary guidelines pertaining to the health, safety, and security of the workers involved in such post-production activities if permitted to do so," it wrote in the letter.
@fwicemum appeals to Honourable CM @uddhavthackeray ji @OfficeofUT to permit the post production recording studious with minimum people to function so that unfinished work of Producers can be completed technicians can get back to work. We hope our request will be honoured. pic.twitter.com/Dre3mewePH— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) May 19, 2020
Earlier this month, the government of Tamil Nadu allowed post-production work to resume in the state, after film producers wrote a letter in this regard. The state government said that such work should not include more than 15 people at a time.
Film shoots across the country have been halted since mid-March, due to repeated lockdown extensions over the coronavirus pandemic. Consequentially, film producers are looking at huge losses. As a result, many major releases such as 83 and Sooryavanshi got indefinitely delayed, whereas some other projects such as Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi have been given a digital release.
Recently, a major controversy erupted after it was announced that some producers are opting for a direct-to-digital release for their films. Major theater owners such as PVR and INOX denounced the move, with the latter even warning of "retributive measures". Thereafter, the Producers Guild of India defended the decision, saying that digital releases are the need of the hour at such an uncertain time.