Bollywood’s home state Maharashtra allows film and TV shoots in non-containment zones

  • 1 month ago
Bollywood Shoot start
Producers must strictly adhere to government guidelines.
Starting today, the Indian state of Maharashtra – home to the globally recognized Bollywood film industry has allowed film and TV shoots in non-containment zones provided producers follow strict laid down guidelines.
Bollywood is probably be the first major film industry in the world to have been allowed to resume film and TV shootings.
According to the Indian Express the order issued by Maharashtra government stated that social distancing norms have to be followed strictly with focus on personal hygiene.  The announcement for film and television shooting to resume in non-containment zones comes as a part of the relaxations that the state would undergo this month, starting today.
The state government issued a 16-page long set of guidelines for producers to follow as and when they begin film and television production. The guidelines include maintaining 33% crew (which will not include the main cast) on set, all staff members to carry identification cards and Aarogya Setu app ( to detect Corona virus) downloaded on their compatible devices.
Ambulance, doctors and nurses are compulsory inclusions on the sets, while a dedicated team would be required to check the temperature of cast and crew. Any pregnant employee or an employee whose spouse is expecting will not be allowed on the set. Actors above the age of 65 will not be permitted on sets, while no audience will be allowed for fiction or nonfiction programming.
The Maharashtra government has also asked the producers to avoid the habit of open calls but assign time windows for everyone to arrive on the set. For casting directors, the guidelines include encouraging auditions digitally and in case of distributing hard copy of scripts, disposing paper after every reading. The government said when casting for families, actors’ real family members should be considered so that physical contact remains within a given set of people.
The shooting will take place in a fully locked down premise, which will have to be gated and secured throughout the day. Besides the compulsory six feet distance between the crew members and wearing masks, all doors and gates will be manned by security guards to minimise touching of the doors and handles.
No elaborate sequences like marriage, market or fight are permitted till the Covid-19 threat subsides. Artistes have been asked to reduce their support staff to one on sets. Ideally, the same staff member should do the artiste’s hair and makeup. The state government has suggested makeup tools should be assigned to actors to avoid cross-contamination.
While all trials and fittings would be at the actor’s residence, look tests should take place on video calls. Junior artistes should be discouraged or minimised. For outdoor locations, alternate lodging should be provided to house occupants for the duration of the shoot.
Any cast or crew member, who returns from a place where the virus is spreading, should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and check the temperature twice a day. In case anyone on set tests COVID-19 positive, the person should be isolated, and the set vacated immediately. Shooting will be halted for three days and resumed only after safety checks.
For the permissions to resume shootings, producers will have to apply to managing director of Maharashtra Film, Stage & Cultural Development Corporation Limited, and to district collectors outside Mumbai.
The entertainment industry has welcomed the state government’s decision and guidelines.