INDIA. Mumbai: The producers of films, TV serials have begun returning to Mumbai with the Goa government cancelling permission for shoots, even as the coastal state declared a 15-day lockdown from May 9 amid the COVID-19 spike, on Friday.
Goa’s infection count exceeded 1.08 lakh, while the death toll crossed 1500. The number of active cases was touching 30,000 on Friday.
The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Thursday cancelled all permissions granted for film and television serial shootings in the state in the wake of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. ESG is the Goa government’s nodal agency which is empowered to permit commercial shootings in the coastal state.
ESG’s Vice Chairman Subhash Phal Desai told the “Transcontinental Times” that the ESG had given NOC to nearly 30 film and TV producers in the last one or two months. However, all these permissions now stand cancelled. We realize that the producers have made a sizable investment to complete their projects. We were thinking to stop new permissions and allow only those who were already granted NOCs to complete their shooting. However, some political parties resisted and blamed us that we were trying to make money amid a pandemic. But we were concerned about the loss to producers. Now with the lockdown imposed nothing can be done at this stage.
It may be recalled that the Goa Forward Party MLA Vijay Sardesai had recently visited Ravindra Bhavan in Fatorda where the Marathi reality show “Sur Nava Dhyas Nava” was being shot. He had videographed the show to prove that no social distancing norms were being adhered to. “Who gains when Fatorda loses: Ravindra Bhavan permission for Film shootings with people not following social distancing and other CovidSOPs needs to be probed! How district administration and police enforcing restriction guidelines, ignored these violations? he had tweeted.
Nitin Vaidya, a member of the Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) told the “Transcontinental Times” that now the producers have no alternative but to wind up and leave Goa till such time the situation normalizes. As such they have begun returning to Mumbai.
Given the semi lockdown and consequent ban on shooting in Maharashtra, many producers had temporarily shifted their base to Goa, Diu, Daman, and Hyderabad to complete their incomplete projects. Some of the producers have shifted to Lucknow, Delhi, Gujarat, and union territories of Diu, Daman and Dadra, and Nagar Haveli.
The films, serials which were being shot in Goa included: Marathi serials- “Sur Nava Dhyas Nava” (Reality show), “Rang Majha Vegla”, “Tu Saubhagyavati ho”, “Pahile Na Mee Tula”, “Aggabai Sunbai” and “Sukh Mhanaje Nakki Kay Asat”. Hindi serials- Kundali Bhagya”, “Kumkum Bhagya”, “Gum Hai Kisike Pyar Me”, “Apki Nazrone Samjha”, “Ye Hai Chahte” and “Apna Time Bhi Ayega”. Besides, the shooting of the film “ Ek Villain returns”(Mohit Suri) was also underway. However now with an immediate ban on the shooting, all the projects have come to a standstill.