By Invitation | Amit Behl: Need for caution before shoots restart

01 Jun,2020

By Amit Behl

 

The Covid pandemic has impacted all of us in an unimaginable way and the entire world has started rethinking on ways to live, work, survive. The Media and Entertainment sector has been severely hit since mid-March in India and much before globally. India is now a big player in this segment hence the concerns are serious and genuine too from all fronts.

 

Having understood the plight of lakhs of workers, technicians and artistes across Maharashtra, working not only in the Hindi segments but also Marathi, Gujarati and related languages where the crew is almost the same, the new guidelines are not in tandem with international guidelines. Also, the foreign broadcasters and production houses have not considered the SOPs shared by their home country or parent company, hence they seem very impractical. All stakeholders were not consulted before issuing this directive hence who will take the final onus in the event of a tragedy/ fatality?

 

Has a virologist been consulted? Who will take the responsibility for securing sets, costumes, property, make-up material that has been lying unused for over three months?

 

Has anyone actually referred to the sample shoots, post-Covid being undertaken in larger M&E industries like the USA, etc? What about a proper insurance and Mediclaim cover for cast and crew on set and post-production? Who takes the onus? Will Covid be covered? These are questions that need to be answered by the stakeholders before issuing directives.

 

This decision is basically an appeasement to those who are in a hurry to secure brownie points with the people in power. The defaulting producers have still not cleared dues of artistes since the past 6-7 months. CINTAA being the oldest, largest and most proactive association, with an affiliation to FIA (Federation of International Actors), was never taken into confidence except for one Zoom call with the IFTPC and one with the FWICE. How do we answer to our members whose strength is more than 10,000 that it’s safe to go and work, when the world is reeling under this pandemic?

 

We understand that TV is losing its eyeballs and broadcasters are concerned. We too want to resume work and contribute to the economy but being hasty and brash will lead to a disaster. We at CINTAA would have perfected a proper virtual meeting with all stakeholders to create a sacrosanct document,which would have been a win-win. We hope that the saying ’The show must go on’ does not have a disastrous outcome.

 

Amit Behl is an accomplished actor and is Senior Joint Secretary and Chairperson Outreach Committee of CINTAA and is Member – Governing Council, MESC

 

 

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