Film production that had been suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions resumed from Saturday onwards, after being stalled for four-and-a-half months.
The government has issued necessary instructions in this regard.
The registration of titles for new films was the first activity to begin. The Kerala Film Chamber has reduced the title registration fee by Rs 10,000 in view of the difficulties being faced due to COVID restrictions.
The chamber had been charging Rs 25,000 as title registration fee. It has been reduced to Rs 15,000 in view of the crisis being faced by the film industry due to the pandemic, V C George (Appachan), general secretary, Kerala Film Chamber, said.
A film’s production process starts with the registration of the title with the Film Chamber. Title registration also required to get the dates of actors and technicians and to apply for censorship.
V C George said the demand to resume title registration had been strong ever since the lockdown restrictions were eased. Producers also intended to start production work as the restrictions got relaxed.
Even if a title is registered, filming can resume only when the government allows. The producers will be responsible for ensuring all the government instructions are followed, he said. On an average, about 200 film titles are registered with the Film Chamber every year, George said.
The chamber is also implementing provisions to prevent films from being released online (OTT) first. Movies whose titles are registered with the Chamber must be released on OTT only 42 days after their theatrical release. The titles of films intended to be released first on OTT need to be registered with the chamber. Such films will not be allowed a theatrical release, George said.
Over 60 films, including those whose titles were registered this year, are in various stages of production. The producer' association has made it clear that its priority will be to complete the production of these films as the lockdown eases. Also, these films will get priority for release even if the government permission for opening of theatres takes more time.