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Tamil film industry resumes post-production work with special permission from government


The move comes after several Tamil film producers requested permission to resume post-production work on completed movies and shows that have been stalled by the lockdown.

Haricharan Pudipeddi

The government of Tamil Nadu, currently the state with the third highest number of COVID-positive cases in the country after Maharashtra and Gujarat, has granted producers permission to carry out post-production work on films and TV shows from 11 May.

The move comes days after several Tamil film producers requested permission to resume post-production work on movies and shows that have already been shot but have been stalled by the countrywide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has allowed producers to carry out post-production work such as editing, dubbing, VFX/CGI, DI (Digital Intermediary), background music score, sound effects, foley and mixing with no more than 15 people from Monday.

Following this, post-production work has resumed on more than half-a-dozen projects, including Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 (2020), Vijay's Master (2020) and Sivakarthikeyan's Doctor (2020).

Earlier, the government of West Bengal allowed film producers to take up post-production work on films and television shows that have already been shot. However, West Bengal has specified that this work can only happen outside containment zones.

Last week, in a letter addressed to Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the producers requested permission to resume post-production work on films that have been shot.

'We are film producers in Tamil cinema and after the lockdown implemented from 24 March 2020, all our films under production were stopped. Tamil film industry has over Rs500 crore investment locked due to this lockdown, including films for which only post-production work is pending,' read the letter.

The letter further said the producers were aware that permission to allow shooting with many people involved would be difficult because Chennai is in the red zone (areas with highest number of cases). However, a special appeal was made to permit resumption of post-production work following government guidelines for safety.

'We Tamil film producers along with FEFSI union of workers undertake and guarantee to ensure [physical] distancing of the people involved in post-production with all the precautions like sanitizing the places where we will be working and making all the people involved in the work wear masks and gloves,' the letter added.

The letter further stated that the government of neighbouring Kerala had also granted permission to resume post-production activities with less than five people working at a time. Kerala is among the few states to have successfully curbed the spread of the pandemic so far.

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