Who’s afraid of Covid? Filmmakers rush to book titles

1 year ago 88
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KOLKATA: What’s in a name? A lot, actually, if it refers to a once-in-a-century scourge that has brought the world to its knees. Even as India battles the increasing number of novel coronavirus cases, production houses across the country have started making a beeline to register titles related to the pandemic.
In Tollywood, a production house has applied for registration of the title “Corona Virus and Covid-19”. And, with the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) having reopened its doors, permission is expected to be granted anytime after scrutiny.
“The application for the title has come from actor Jeet’s production house,” said Piya Sengupta, president of EIMPA. With words like “lockdown”, “mask”, “quarantine”, “2020” and “sanitisation” part of the new-normal vocabulary, Sengupta expects more such title applications in the future.
Gopal Madnani, one of the directors of Jeetz Filmworks Pvt Ltd, said this is the first time the production house has tried to register a title following a calamity. “When the pandemic broke out, we had a discussion regarding registering a title. If we didn’t register the title beforehand, we might not be able to use this title. That’s why we applied on March 17. That was before the lockdown,” Madnani said.
Incidentally, the first in ternational feature film on Covid-19 has already been made. Titled “Corona”, the film has been directed by Canadian filmmaker Mostafa Keshvari and examines xenophobia and racism. Completed in mid-February, before most countries went into lockdown, the film takes a look at what happens when a group of people find themselves locked in an elevator along with a Chinese woman.
In Bollywood, Eros International has already registered the title “Corona Pyaar Hai”, giving a twist to Hrithik Roshan’s 2000 hit “Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai”. For title registration, a production house has to pay a fee of Rs 1,770, including GST.
It usually takes 15 to 20 days to register a title. Once the application is received, the matter is discussed at the EIMPA finance administration committee and then it is sent to the executive committee. The approved title is published in EIMPA’s bulletin.

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