A few days back, several Tamil film producers along with the Film Employees’ Federation of South India (FEFSI) and the Federation of Small Screen Technicians penned a letter, requesting the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edapadi K Palaniswami. They requested that an order be passed allowing the resumption of post-production activities for both the film and television industry and shooting, with a minimal crew, for the television industry. They also agreed that it would not be advisable to commence with film shooting since Chennai and several other cities have been marked Red because of the coronavirus.
On Friday evening, the Tamil Nadu government put out a statement allowing the resumption of only post-production activities like editing, dubbing, VFX (Visual Effects), CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), DI (Digital Intermediary), BGM Score (Background Music Score), Sound Effects, Foley and Mixing for both industries, while mentioning that only a small group of people, a maximum of five, are allowed per department.
The statement also added that the technicians have to undertake all the required safety measures and sanitise the studios/sets while working.
#TamilNadu government permits post-production activities to resume for films and TV with a limited number of people from May 11.
— Silverscreen.in (@silverscreenin) May 8, 2020
In the wake of the pandemic, in March, the film and television industry suspended all administrative, post-production, and promotional work for movies and shows to avoid the spread of the deadly virus. Following this, the nation-wide lockdown led to the shutting down of all sectors, leaving daily wage workers in the lurch without income.
After several extensions, the lockdown that was to end on May 3 was further deferred by two weeks owing to an increase in COVID-19 positive patients in India. While the film industry managed to support its daily wagers by handing over about Rs. 4000 worth of groceries until Sunday, for about 50 days, they are struggling to rack up funds now.
Film producers including Bharathiraja, T Siva, Kalaipuli S Thanu, TG Thyagarajan, KE Gnanavelraja, Chithra Lakshmanan, S Kathiresan, Vishnu Vishal, YNOT S Sashikanth, G Dhananjayan, SR Prabhu, Rajasekar Pandian, JSK Sathish Kumar, CV Kumar, Suresh Kamatchi, Manobala, Subbu Panchu, and Radha Ravi said that the opening up of the film industry, just like other businesses industries, would help daily wagers.
They also stated that about Rs. 500 crores of investment has been immobilised due to the lockdown which has, in turn, affected the livelihoods of several producers. The letter also said that the Government of Kerala has permitted the resumption of post-productional activities with certain conditions, thereby allowing ‘Mollywood’ to resume work.
It comes with strict rules – studio has to be sanitised,only 5 people allowed inside and they have to wear masks throughout the period.
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) May 2, 2020
The producers have now penned a letter thanking Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edapadi K Palaniswami for accepting their appeal, and Minister for Information and Publicity Tamil Nadu, Kadambur Raju for helping them out.
— Jaya TV (@JayaTvOfficial) May 8, 2020
While the decision taken by the government has gone down well with few, it has also received opposition from a few.
— V K R ™ (@Karthik_VKR) May 8, 2020
— Alien Level Damilans (@alien_level) May 8, 2020
Corona ku edhachu marundhu kandupudichiteengala Enna?? Ellathukkum anumadhi kuduthutrukeenga🙄🙄🙄
— KeErThiVaSAn🥰🤗 (@keerthivasan_bk) May 8, 2020
இதுக்கு தான் அவசரமா?
— HARISHANKAR (Stay in Home,Stay Safe) (@harishankar_rvs) May 8, 2020