Industry insiders for continuing shootings during restrictions

Shootings for small screen productions scheduled to be aired during Eid-ul-Azha are under way amid the government imposed restrictions.

Representatives from different small screen industry-based organisations said that they want to continue shooting after June 30 if commercial activities remain open.

Bangladesh government has already decided to impose strict restrictions shutting down all business activities and offices from July 1 morning till July 7 midnight to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Television and Digital Programme Producers Association of Bangladesh president Iresh Zaker, Directors’ Guild president Salauddin Lavlu and Actors’ Equity general secretary Ahsan Habib Nasim told New Age that people associated with the small screen industry would be dealt a huge blow if they are unable to work ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. The organisations want to continue with their scheduled shootings for small screen productions if the government allows mills and factories to operate after June 30.

Iresh Zaker said, ‘People associated with the small screen industry generate up to one third of their annual income working in Eid special productions. They will suffer huge revenue losses if shootings are suspended. Many will not be able to cope with the fallout after the cancellation of shootings. How can people afford to live in Dhaka and put food on the table for their families on a daily basis if they lose their source of income?’

‘We want to continue working for small screen productions after June 30 following the government-set Covid health rules if industrial operations remain open,’ added Iresh Zaker.

Salauddin Lavlu said, ‘If the government allows mills and factories to remain in operation, why won’t we be granted the permission to continue shooting. The people associated with the industry have been passing through a tough time for the past one and half years. If we cannot shoot Eid special productions, we will miss out on huge revenue as a large number of special programmes are shot for Eid every year.’

‘We want to continue shooting following the health directives and will also provide transportation for cast and crew members. We are waiting for the government’s gazette notification which will be issued on Tuesday,’ added Salauddin Lavlu.

Ahsan Habib Nasim said, ‘Artistes have been struggling financially as the government has not declared stimulus packages for the small screen industry. We have been attending shootings during the ongoing restrictions and want to continue to do so after July 1. If the government allows factories and other offices to operate, we will also continue attending shootings.’

‘If the government announces a strict shutdown, we will also stop attending shootings as we did in 2020,’ Nasim added.

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