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Stakeholders reach an agreement; Television programmes to start shooting fresh episodes

Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) met CINTAA and FWICE following which the stakeholders issued a joint statement and announced that all issues have been solved and the shooting can resume immediately.

Last week of March, the government of Maharashtra decided to put all sorts of filming on hold. Since then the general entertainment channels have been airing reruns of old shows. The largest constituent in the television ecosystem both in terms of viewership and advertising spends, the GECs went on comma raking in just 20 per cent revenue of what it usually does.

On June 23, the shoots were supposed to begin as the government issues a Standard Operating Procedure and made it compulsory to follow the guidelines. Shows like Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya, Tujhse Hai Raabta among others were set to have their new episodes. But before the recovery van could gather speed it hit a roadblock.

Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and Cine and Television Artists Association (CINTAA), two associations in the production fraternity issued a joint statement and called off the shoots.

"It is highly regretted to note that even after the strict directives issued by the I & B ministry to all the producers to clear the outstanding dues of the actors, workers and technicians pending prior to the announcement of the lockdown by the Government amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Producers have still not cleared the outstanding dues of our members. All the outstanding dues of our members should be cleared prior to the resumption of the shootings," the statement read.

While it looked like another obstacle that could take days to do away with, the associations did turn it around soon. On June 24, Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) met CINTAA and FWICE following which the stakeholders issued a joint statement and announced that all issues have been solved and the shooting can resume.

"IFTPC agreed to provide two sets of insurance coverage i.e Death Cover of 25 lakh due to COVID-19 and also hospitalisation cover of Rs 2 lakh uniformly across all hierarchy of the cast & the crew. Apart from the insurance, IFTPC also assured that every precaution as per the government’s guidelines will be put in place to ensure the utmost safety for the entire cast & crew," read the statement.

Another decision, that was taken in the meeting is to reduce the period of credit for cast and crew from the existing 90 days to 30 days for at least the first three months. "Mutually negotiated pay cuts without actors facing any sanctions, and continued dialogue with all parties for easing working conditions were also agreed to, without delaying the resumption of shootings," stated the statement.

"In total solidarity and bonhomie, the stakeholders IFTPC, CINTAA, FWICE, and the Broadcasters announced that the shooting will begin immediately and a new saga will unfold in every household soon," it concluded.