Junior artistes, make-up workforce and technicians are finding it hard to meet their daily needs in these pandemic times
Hyderabad: The Telugu film industry which hoped to return to normalcy soon after the first wave of Covid-19 now finds itself mired in uncertainty with the pandemic returning in the form of a second wave.
Junior artistes and make-up workforce and technicians are the most affected lot in these trying times. Even during the lockdown, one can find cine workers flocking at union offices in Film Nagar in the mornings when the restrictions are eased between 6 am to 10 am.
“Lockdown came as a blow as they’re left with no work. Some of the junior artistes and other workforce in the industry would also get employment as daily wagers when they’re off from film shootings. Now, with everything coming to a standstill, film workers are now waiting if anyone from the industry could help them,” says Rakesh, a junior artiste co-ordinator.
The second wave has come as a big blow for even actors and technicians whose projects were about to take off.
Bunny Abhiran, who played the antagonist in Kirak Party and George Reddy movies, has now returned to his hometown. “Most of the actors have no other alternative to shift. With outdoor shootings indefinitely called off, we’ve rushed to our native towns. And soon after the lockdown was imposed, we’re struck here with meagre earnings,” says the actor, who currently has films ‘Hangman’ and ‘Pareshan’.
As the film industry is currently reeling under crisis, industry bigwigs are muling to provide essential supplies to cinema workers living in various pockets in the city.
“President of Telugu Film Director’s Union, Shankar, recently announced that a sum of Rs 10,000 will be given to workers who are affected with Covid. Besides workers from 24 crafts, even outsiders who are indirectly dependent on the film industry are also affected,” says the junior actor co-ordinator.
Even after the lockdown restrictions are eased, film producers might not immediately kickstart outdoor shootings as many would wait for the Covid situation to get settled.
“Small budget films and projects which are waiting to wrap up the shoots would immediately get into the business. But as far as employability of junior artistes and other technicians are concerned, big budget projects should take swift decisions which will ensure cine workers do not have to struggle further,” Rakesh adds.
Meanwhile, some of the senior film industry personalities such as Kadambari Kiran have been distributing essentials and grocery kits to the affected technicians of the film industry and in some instances, they have arranged oxygen cylinders to the needy.
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