FWICE seeks Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's permission to wrap up films stuck in post-production and awaiting release
Tuesday, May 19, marked 60 days since the entertainment industry came to a standstill following the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, several films lining up for release were stuck in various stages of post-production. The FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees) has now written to the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, to allow work to continue on films like Shakuntala Devi, which are now lining up for a direct-to-digital release.
BN Tiwari, President of the Federation that covers 32 associations, says the request is specifically for films stuck in various stages of post-production, like editing, dubbing, sound-mixing, song recording, re-recording, graphics and VFX. "We will follow social distancing guidelines and not allow more than four people in the studio with all hygiene rules in place," he promises, adding that these people will take required police permission and step out of their homes only after 7 am, returning by 5 pm so that they can reach home by 7 pm, when the curfew sets in, with industry teams keeping vigil.
Maharashtra has registered the highest number of Covid-positive cases and its capital city, Mumbai, is a coronavirus hotspot. But Tiwari points out that small industries have been allowed to reopen in a few states. "High-end workstations and equipment have not been used for two months. Replacing them would be expensive in terms of cost, time and effort," he explains, adding that while the director, as the creative head, should be allowed to supervise the process, assistants would be kept away to ensure minimal presence in the studio. Tiwari is hopeful of getting permission by the weekend or at least by May 31.