Mamata Banerjee urged directors and producers to generate awareness on COVID-19 (File)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday granted permission for recommencement of reality TV shoots but disallowed the presence of audience on sets.
The Chief Minister also said that outdoor shooting might be allowed at isolated places with not more than 40 crew members, after intimating local police officers.
Mr Banerjee further announced that all members of the West Bengal Motion Pictures Artists' Forum would be provided treatment free of cost if they contract the disease.
Pointing out that Bengal is the "first and only" place in the country where shooting for TV serials has resumed in full swing since June 11, Ms Banerjee said the state should be promoted as "one-stop destination" for filming soaps and movies, as it has necessary infrastructure in place.
She urged directors and producers to generate awareness on COVID-19 through their films and serials.
"You can start work for reality shows as many budding talents are benefited from these programmes. But there shouldn't be any audience. You can recreate the audience feel with camera trick and technology," she said, while interacting with representatives of the entertainment industry - artistes, technicians, producers, actors - at state secretariat Nabanna.
As several actors, including Parambrata Chatterjee, insisted that outdoor shoots were vital for almost all film projects, Banerjee said, "If you become a little innovative, and shoot with restricted crew (40) at an isolated place where there is no crowd, it could be permitted."
The Chief Minister, however, stated that senior police officers in that particular area will have to be informed about the shoot.
"You can commence outdoor shoots near lakes and parks, when they open for a few hours in the morning. You can also shoot at the eco-tourism park (in the city) after talking to authorities there," she suggested.