“In the interest of the country, society and film workers, all the associations of the Indian film industry have taken the decision to shut down all shoots,” said the head of a local film association.
The Indian film industry, one of the world’s most prolific content engines, is shutting down.
After an emergency meeting over the weekend, the India Motion Picture Producers’ Association said Monday that it would request the suspension of all film, TV, advertising and web series shoots in the country from March 19 to 31. The body also advised all Indian film crews currently at work on projects overseas to return to the country within the next three days. The industry’s other film associations and regulatory bodies signed on to the request.
“In the interest of the country, society and film workers, all the associations of the Indian film industry have taken the decision to shut down all shoots,” said J.D. Majethia, president of the India Film & TV Producers Council.
Bollywood and India’s other regional-language film industries produce well over 1,000 films each year.
Various major Indian studios and tentpole productions can be expected to take a financial hit from the halt. Among the biggest productions affected are Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ Forrest Gump remake Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan, and Zee Studios’ sports drama Jersey, starring Shahid Kapoor.
Regional governments across the country have been shutting down cinemas in their states one by one. Major population centers including Mumbai, New Delhi, Kerala, Kashmir and elsewhere already have suspended all moviegoing for at least the rest of the month. Most major film releases that had been scheduled for the coming weeks — including period epic Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea and action franchise installment Sooryavanshi — have been postponed indefinitely.
As of Monday, India had confirmed 113 coronavirus infections and two fatalities.