The Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE) has issued a fresh set of guidelines to be followed by members of the film industry in view of the partial lockdown imposed in Maharashtra till 30 April. The guidelines have been issued in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, particularly in Maharashtra, home of the Hindi film industry.
In a press release, The president of FWICE, B N Tiwari, general secretary Ashok Dubey, treasurer Gangeshwar Srivastav, and chief advisors Sharad Shelar with Ashok Pandit said, , “The office-bearers of FWICE had a Zoom meeting with the honourable chief minister, Shri Uddhav Thackeray. The FWICE has assured the CM that the industry will be responsible where the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of the COVID guidelines are concerned. FWICE in coordination with experts has laid down guidelines which all people involved in pre-production, shooting and post-production work will have to adhere to.”
The release further said, “These guidelines as of now will be applicable till 30 April 2021.” The guidelines are in addition to the earlier SOPs unveiled by the FWICE, as directed by the state government. According to the new guidelines,
1. shooting of crowd sequences and songs with dancers in large numbers will not be allowed.
2. wearing of masks and continuous sanitization are compulsory on the sets, in production offices, and in post-production studios.
3. An FWICE monitoring team has been constituted to visit sets and post-production studios regularly to check that all guidelines are being followed.
4. any individual or production unit flouting the rules or creating any kind of hindrance in the adherence of the guidelines will face disciplinary action.
In addition, the note stated, “A complete lockdown shall be followed from Friday 8pm to Monday 7am and thus, any kind of shooting, setting, pre-production activities should be avoided during this period. It is permissible to shoot from Monday to Friday. All members are hereby advised to schedule their shootings as per the above permissible days.”
The guidelines come after several top artistes tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, including Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Aamir Khan, Bhumi Pednekar and Katrina Kaif. Currently, Maharashtra is recording the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the second wave that began last month.