COVID-19: Filmmakers Plan Fund for Spot Boys, Workers, Assistants
With several Bollywood filmmakers’ associations including the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) and the Producers Guild of India announcing a suspension on all film, TV and web series shoots from 19 March to 31 March, the entertainment industry is expected to be hit hard on several fronts. The biggest impact of this move will be felt by the daily wage earning crew members of the industry. The film and television industry employs hundreds of people as spot boys, light assistants, set workers who are paid on a daily basis according to their 8-hour shifts on a particular film or television set. With shoots being completely shut down, this largely unorganised sector will be left without an avenue to earn their wages.
On Sunday evening, after the IMPPA sent out a letter announcing the suspension of shoots till 31 March, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra suggested that the industry should set up a fund for this particular sector that would be most affected by a shut down.
Other filmmakers like Anubhav Sinha, Hansal Mehta, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap agreed with the suggestion and offered to help and contribute to the proposed fund.
Ashoke Pandit, President of the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association suggested that they donate to the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) account, that helps film workers with ration and other basic needs.
However, Sudhir Mishra and the rest of the filmmakers felt it would be more effective if they donated directly to the daily wage workers they had last worked with.
The Hindi film industry is expected to run into a loss of a few hundred crores due to this sudden shut down as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. This undoubtedly is a thoughtful gesture by filmmakers to ensure that the most vulnerable group of workers is not affected by the economic fallout.