FWICE president has criticized Bollywood stars for rushing to donate to PM-Cares fund but ignoring the under-privileged in its own industry.
Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) president BN Tiwari has lashed out to Bollywood celebrities for ignoring the industry workers who are left with no income during the lockdown.
Lot of celebrities have pledged big amounts to PM-Cares fund, but very few have come forward to donate for the workers.
“It’s only going to get worse. People are preparing only for 21-day lockdown but we have five lakh (500,000) workers. If this extends for a month or two, we will need help from everyone,” says Tiwari.
What hurts Tiwari is that top actors like Akshay Kumar have pledged Rs. 25 crore (Rs250 million) to the PM-Cares fund to be in the good books of the Prime Minister, but there has been no donation yet for the federation workers. Tiwari laments that stars should also look out for the industry workers, who have played a huge role in making them superstars.
As mentioned in this report, until a few days back, it seems only Frames Production Company (and not even a single celebrity) had come forward to help the workers.
“There are a thousand people ready to fund in the PM-CARES fund but the industry, which you belong to, you should donate there first,” says Tiwari.
The association has written to several celebrities, and it seems Salman Khan will be the first celebrity in Bollywood to donate amount directly to the workers, ahead of PM-Cares fund. Tiwari shared that the federation has also written to megastar Amitabh Bachchan but is yet to hear back from him.
“After we approached Salman Khan, he asked us to give him a count of the most affected workers from our association and we told him there were 25,000 such artistes. He has decided to contribute for them,” said Tiwari.
Since then, other celebrities like Karan Johar, Taapsee Pannu and Rajkummar Rao have also pledged to donate for the daily wage artistes.
Actor Akshay Kumar was the first Bollywood star to pledge Rs 25 crore for the PM-CARES fund. He was soon followed by several other film celebrities who have pledged to contribute to the PM’s relief fund.
‘Sooryavanshi’ delayed, ’83 release pushed, Bollywood shoots stalled
Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown has caused uncertainty in the industry; release of major Bollywood releases has been postponed.
Rohit Shetty’s cop drama Sooryavanshi, starring Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and Ajay Devgn will be indefinitely pushed from its original release date of March 24.
Kabir Khan directed ’83, starring Ranveer Singh will most likely get a new release date. A major trailer launch event planned for the movie now stands cancelled.
James Bond movie No Time to Die delayed until November.
Delay in release of these tentpole films will impact the release calendar of the entire year.
Irrfan Khan starrer Angrezi Medium is the first casualty of the pandemic.
“While producers have a certain cost, the biggest loses will be borne by exhibitors, who will have to bear the cost of overheads with no recovery till this blows over,” an industry expert said.
Deepika Skips Paris Fashion Week
Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was invited by globally celebrated brand Louis Vuitton to attend its show at the Paris fashion week. However, the actor decided to skip the Paris Fashion Week due to the coronavirus outbreak in France.
“Deepika Padukone was scheduled to travel to France to attend Louis Vuitton’s FW2020 Show at the ongoing Paris Fashion Week but has had to cancel her trip with news coming in that the coronavirus epidemic has now entered a new stage in France,” the actor’s spokesperson said in a statement..
Some time back, there were rumours that international film star Jackie Chan was affected by the virus. However, the actor took to social media to reassure fans that he is safe and not under quarantine.
‘Thanks for everybody’s concern! I’m safe and sound, and very healthy. Please don’t worry, I’m not in quarantine. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy too!’ he shared on Instagram.
Coronavirus to impact release of Bollywood Films in China
Coronavirus disease has already caused a big impact to China’s economy, and China being India’s biggest trading partner and also a big market for India’s domestic goods, the disease can have an impact on several sectors in India as well.
“The disruption caused, if prolonged, could have a bearing on India’s imports from the country which is critical for domestic economic activity. Finding substitutes for imports from China in the near term could be a challenge. Further, a slowdown in economic activity in China could impact exports from India,” noted credit agency CARE Ratings in a recent report.
The fatal virus disease will have an impact on Bollywood business as well.
Due to the outbreak, China has shut down almost all its movie theaters across the country (close to 70,000 theatres).
In recent years, Bollywood movies, 3 Idiots, Dangal, Secret Superstar have become huge hits in China and the demand for good Indian films is only growing. Lot of Bollywood films that had scheduled releases in China will most likely be impacted due to the disease.
The outbreak has also caused several Indian airlines to temporarily cancel/suspend flights operating from India to China and Hong Kong.
Coronavirus has also hugely affected its own film industry, with the release of several blockbuster movies now put on hold.
Chinese film studios were expecting huge crowds over the Lunar New Year holiday (which began Jan. 25), one of the biggest weeks for movie goers. However, according to ticketing platform Maoyan, the film studios were hoping to generate as much as $1 billion globally during this period, but could gross only about $2 million over the holiday weekend.
China’s government does not allow Chinese films to be released in theaters in other countries before they have made their debut in China.
In terms of box office revenue, China’s film market is next only to the United States. Many analysts believed that 2020 was the year when China would overtake the US and become the biggest film market in the world, but the Coronavirus outbreak will likely delay that feat.