As many as seven Malayalam films, including superstar Mohanlal's Bro Daddy, will start shooting in neighbouring states.

The Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) has appealed to the Kerala government for permission to begin film production in the state. The request comes in the wake of the exodus of several film crews to other states as Kerala’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions prevent film shooting.

According to reports, as many as seven Malayalam films, including superstar Mohanlal’s Bro Daddy, will start shooting in neighbouring states. Bro Daddy, which will be directed by Prithviraj Sukumaran, will go on floors on Thursday in Telangana. Some other films have moved their production to Tamil Nadu.

The FEFKA letter written by the association’s general secretary and director B Unnikrishnan pointed out that losing work to neighbouring states will further add to the woes of daily wage workers. The letter addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also highlighted all the relief efforts carried out by the association. FEFKA has claimed that it has raised more than Rs 2 crore to provide financial assistance to its members. The relief efforts also included free Covid-19 vaccination and treatment for those who were infected by the virus.

Unnikrishnan said that the association is also planning several other initiatives to further assist those who have suffered due to lack of employment during the second wave of coronavirus. “However, a labour organization like this can’t raise funds for a longer period,” said the letter.

The association also questioned the rationale behind allowing the production of television shows and serials but refusing permission for film shoots. The letter requests the Kerala CM to allow the film industry to return to work with Covid-19 safety precautions in place.

The Kerala government seems to be very cautious in opening up the state as the number of Covid-19 cases still appears to be on the rise. Under the current circumstances, the government may not allow the re-opening of cinema halls any time soon. And it is likely to upset the release plans of big Malayalam films, which are waiting to hit theatres in August.

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