NEW DELHI: Film associations have asked the Maharashtra government to relax the norm restricting elderly, above the age of 65, from shoots as several senior Bollywood actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal are unable to resume work due to this clause.
If the state government has its way, then one would only see real-life families on screen together, irrespective of whether they have any acting skills. The state has asked film producers to cast real families of actors to minimise contact between strangers.
The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) and Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) have requested the state to reconsider certain clauses, including the ones mentioned above, that would be hard for Bollywood, the biggest movie industry in India, to implement.
“Major legendary stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah, directors and filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Subhash Ghai, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and others who are above 65 are working actively in the industry. This clause is impractical since it would restrict some of the luminaries of the industry," IFTDA wrote in a statement.
“The guideline that real family (of actors) should be used so that physical contact is kept within an existing family unit is totally impractical and impossible (to implement) because all members of a family are not actors and acting is a specialised and novel profession," IMPPA said, adding that it is in fact, not possible for most human beings to act rendering the guideline meaningless.
The bodies also do not think it is feasible to have medical personnel stationed at each shoot given that “the state is already facing issues due to the non-availability of doctors and nurses to cope with the increasing number of covid-19 patients" and it might be a better idea to have medical staff stationed in and around the area of shooting locations.
“Nobody even falls sick immediately," Marathi film producer Akshay Bardapurkar said, adding that keeping ambulances and heath experts stationed on sets is both unnecessary and impractical as nobody with symptoms would be allowed to enter in the first place.
While the guidelines have become public, managing directors of shooting spaces such as Film City have still not received any intimation from the state government to be able to permit actual production, adding to the woes of producers who are desperate to resume work.
Filmmakers have requested the state to take a leaf from the Karnataka government guidelines, which they believe are more ‘flexible’ and allow small-scale, modest shoots with minimal crew smoothly.