Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has allowed resumption of film shootings as part of the easing of restrictions during the ongoing lockdown against the second wave of COVID-19.
The government has given the go ahead to both outdoor and indoor shootings in Category A districts. On the other hand, only outdoor shootings are allowed in 10 Category B districts — Nayagarh, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, and Mayurbhanj.
Odisha Bytes spoke to three Ollywood insiders to gauge their reactions to the government’s decision and how they are preparing for resumption of shooting.
Bhoomika Dash, Actress
Bhoomika said it will be difficult to shoot with the many restrictions in place. “But then we have to resume work considering the source of income of so many people,” she added.
The actress said she missed the fervour in the film industry before the pandemic. “We used to wait for festivals such as Raja and Durga Puja as our films released in theatres during those times. But we have been missing those moments and the gatherings since last year. We cannot predict when that situation will become normal again,” she said.
At the same time, she added, “We have to move along with this difficult situation too. We will work on good contents to entertain the people. The third wave of COVID may come. We are mentally prepared to work by taking all the precautions.”
Bini Pattanaik, Director
According to Bini Pattanaik, the government restriction on indoor shoots in Category B districts is a big headache. He said, “All the studios for indoor shooting are located in the Category B districts. For most films, we do 70 per cent indoor shooting and 30 per cent outdoor shooting. How can we complete a film by doing only outdoor shooting?
“In Category A districts, there are no studios for indoor shooting. As the rainy season has started, we cannot plan for outdoor shooting. There should be a member from the film fraternity in the government’s decision making team,” he added.
The mahurat of Pattanaik’s two films — ‘Mu Tumaku Bhala Pae Luchi Luchi Ka’ and ‘Tu Chagali Mu Chagala’ — has been held. But due to COVID restrictions, shooting for the two films is yet to start.
“It is like the government has given us false consolation. We cannot imagine getting back the situation like it was before the pandemic. There was a charm of releasing films in theatres and watching premiere shows. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the return of those days,” the director said.
Sachikanta Jena, Producer
Sachikanta Jena criticised the government go ahead to outdoor shooting as “100 per cent wrong”. “How can we do outdoor shooting in this rainy season,” Jena asked.
“For us, indoor shooting means shooting in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. We cannot do indoor shooting in the Category A districts,” he added.
“People would naturally like to watch TV during the lockdown. But if we are not able to shoot, then how will people get new content on TV? The government should allow both indoor and outdoor shoots. Of course, we will work by taking all precautions and following the COVID guidelines,” he said.
Two films backed by Jena — ‘Hiralal Motilal’ and ‘Love Fever’ — are waiting to be released. “The shooting of two more films is waiting to start. Though it will take time, I hope there will be 100 per cent recovery of Ollywwod film industry,” the producer said.