Television producer-actor JD Majethia and TV and film producer Ekta Kapoor along with other TV content creators had a virtual discussion with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday evening (May 22). They discussed concerns about business and job losses in the film and TV industry due to the lockdown amid the novel coronavirus scare. Majethia, who heads the TV department of the Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC), shared details about the meeting with FilmiBeat.
"The industry shared concerns of business and job losses. With viewer fatigue also setting in when it comes to reruns, we expressed our wish to start shooting, which we promised will be done with utmost care of safety and SOPs (standard operating procedures)," he said, adding, "The Chief Minister addressed all issues immediately. He has asked his team to initiate a committee and work out the possibility to start work soon.''
Majethia also stressed on the need to list out studios that are away from the cities. "We need to identify studios away from civilisation and make a list of precautions we will take. We also need to make a list of spacious post-production studios, where social distancing can be maintained at the earliest. Once this is done, we can look at obtaining permission for maintenance of the sets, monsoon sheds, and fire safety measures,'' he said.
Apart from Ekta Kapoor and JD Majethia, the delegation included producers and TV broadcasters like NP Singh, Puneet Goenka, Rahul Joshi, Madhavan, Puneet Mishra, Abhishek Rege, Deepak Dhar, Adesh Bandekar, Sanjay Mukherjeei, Vikas Gharelu and Sudhir Naik.
Ekta Kapoor tweeted about the meeting, saying, "We had a very positive meeting of broadcasters & television producers with the CM of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thakrey." (sic)
"We shared concerns of our businesses and job losses with viewers fatigue of reruns and wishes to start shooting with utmost cares of safety and SOPs. He quickly addressed all issues , asked his team to initiate a committee and workout the possibilities to start work soon," she added. "He concluded with asking us all to be positive and hopeful with a line of a song from the film chhoti si baat "Aanewala pal jane wala hai". Special thanks to J D Majethia & Nitin Vaidya. All in all we ended with hope humour empathy and positivity! JAI MAHARASHTRA".
Majethia was all praise for CM Thackeray. "I was happy to discover a hidden streak of our beloved CM - his sense of humour. He kept everyone in the meeting comfortable.'' Having been at the forefront in keeping TV producers, filmmakers, actors and broadcasters together in these tough times, Majethia concluded the conversation with a message for the fraternity to stay positive.
Photo courtesy: Ekta Kapoor Twitter