Sunday, December 5

SOP hurdle in Mon film shoot restart

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If all goes well, two members of the Parliament from Bengal — Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty — might be the first to star in an Indian feature film that resumes shooting after lockdown is lifted. The duo, along with Yash Dasgupta, has signed on Anshuman Pratyush’s Bengali film titled ‘SOS Kolkata’ that is supposed to go on the floors on Monday. All preparations have been made for the director to begin shooting on Monday with Jahan and Dasgupta at Purple Movie Town.

However, there is one glitch. Despite the state government having given the nod to feature film shooting in Bengal on June 1, work cannot commence in Tollywood unless the standard operating procedure (SOP) is signed by Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) and Federation of Cine Technicians & Workers of Eastern India (FCTWEI). When TOI asked EIMPA president Piya Sengupta why the SOP is yet to be signed, she said, “We had three meetings on this. There were certain points that needed clarification. On Friday, we have finally agreed on the SOP for feature films. Only the signing is left. That should happen on Monday. I can say that EIMPA has no problems if shooting begins on Monday as long as FCTWEI is OK with it.”

Meanwhile, Swarup Biswas told TOI that ten days ago, FCTWEI had sent the SOP to EIMPA officials. “They reverted with an observation which we clarified. On Saturday, we again sent an email to EIMPA saying that we are waiting till 8 pm in office to get their signature. We were ready to even send across people to collect the signed letters. But I don’t know why they have delayed the signing of the SOP for this long. Our office will open at 10 am on Monday. If they send their signed letter then I will sign immediately. Without the signed SOP, I can’t allow our technicians to begin shooting,” Biswas said.

Pratyush understands the challenges and is looking at a quick resolution. He is aware that his film against terrorism might be the first one in India to commence shooting once the lockdown has been lifted. “But unless the SOP is signed, I can’t give a calltime to my stars,” he said.

Chakraborty, who had to cut short her shooting for Pratyush’s ‘Baazi’ in London before lockdown was imposed, said, “If everything goes well, this will be the first film to begin shooting in India. I am really thrilled to start working after such a long time. But, at same time, we will be following all rules.”

On Sunday, a Bollywood actor, who was a part of “Lagaan”, flew down from Mumbai to join the cast. Before his arrival, Pratyush, who is also the film’s co-producer, had planned to put him up in a hotel for 14 days of quarantine. Only after testing negative will he begin shooting.

Meanwhile, the formalities for getting the life insurance of the artistes and technicians have also begun.

Source:Times of India

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