Tamil Nadu Government allows TV serials to resume shooting; Industry welcomes move

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu May 21, 2020, 10.20 PM(IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

File photo: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Photograph:( PTI )

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While filming in open/public spaces is not permitted in urban areas. There is no restriction on filming in rural areas (except in containment zones). 

The Tamil Nadu Government has permitted the resumption of filming television serials and other programmes, on the condition that stipulated restrictions are strictly followed. This announcement comes after the relevant industry bodies have requested the State Information and broadcasting minister to ease the lockdown restrictions.

An official statement from the Government said that indoor shooting alone would be permitted, but will not be allowed in containment zones across the state. 

While filming in open/public spaces is not permitted in urban areas. There is no restriction on filming in rural areas (except in containment zones). 

It has been stated that shootings must be conducted with no more than 20 people including the actors and technicians and also spectators cannot be allowed to witness the shooting. Disinfection of shooting venue before and after filming, besides the disinfection vehicles used for logistics, camera equipment and cranes have also been mentioned. 

Except for actors, all on set must wear masks and maintain social distancing and actors must wear masks during the breaks. Persons with cough, cold, fever and breathlessness must not be allowed on set. If such symptoms are noticed, they must immediately be taken for a medical check. 

To shoot in Chennai the crew must obtain the permission from the Corporation and in the case of other districts, the permission can be sought from the relevant district authorities.

All guidelines as stated by Central and State Government are to be followed. While the Government's go-ahead has brought cheer to thousands of workers who are dependent on the industry, it remains to see when the full-fledged shooting would begin.

“We need to get permission from the Corporation and it depends on the producers who are ready. We need to get together all the artists, serial artists and others who have to arrive from other states. We need to talk it out with producers. We thank the government on behalf of our association for having permitted the resumption of work” J. Sridhar, Vice President of FEFSI and Joint Secy AIFEC told WION. 

However, he added that a lot needs to be worked out over the coming days, regarding how the crew can work with 20 members, given that bigger shows require over 50-100 people. Also, immediate resumption of shooting would be challenging as there are permissions required and a lot of logistics would have to be worked out. 

The Film Employees Federation fo South India (FEFSI) has over 25000 members, who belong to the entire spectrum of crafts. The industry has been facing a tough time over the last two months, as a good number of them are daily wagers.

Sridhar said that so far, the industry body has been able to help its members tide over the crisis but even reopening would be with utmost caution as life and livelihood are equally important.

“For a large number of our members, we have been able to provide aid, in the form of essential supplies or via cash benefits as our president Selvamani has been in touch with all stakeholders. We are grateful to veteran actors Prabhu and Amitabh Bachchan and also leading brands like Kalyan Jewellers and Sony who helped us with getting aid via various ways and means” Sridhar told WION.