Disruption of movie shoots has become a bone of contention between the police and the film industry with each blaming the other. While the police demand prior notice, filmmakers say protection is expensive and often not available on time. About 10 major film shootings have been disrupted by Telangana activists in and around the city over the past three months. After every disruption, the police reaction was unchanged — the unit had not obtained prior police clearance.
The film industry has raised a hue and cry over the burning of film sets and attacking of the star cast. Industry bodies have also asked producers to secure prior police permission for outdoor shooting. Police say it has been mandatory for filmmakers to obtain permission before shooting in outdoor locales, but hardly any one follows the rules. “It is imperative for filmmakers to seek police permission before shooting in public places,” says P.S.R Anjaneyulu, additional commissioner of police.
The film unit of the Balakrishna-starrer Simha, the shooting of which was stalled by activists, had not taken prior permission. “The unit didn’t inform us before shooting in the area. As soon as we got the news about the activists, we reached the spot and dispersed them. We have not filed cases against the activists because the unit should have taken permission,” said Bhadreshwar, inspector at Keesara police station. Interestingly, in all incidents involving disruption, filmmakers did not obtain police permission. “We have asked all filmmakers to take police permission. It is obligatory on their part not only for their personal safety but also to avoid any inconvenience. If they don’t seek permission, they should be ready for the losses,” warns Thammareddy Bharadwaja, member of the Telugu Film Producers’ Council.
However, other film personalities claim it costs more than Rs 60,000 per day if they seek police permission. “They charge a hefty amount for police protection. We also have to give the cops food,” says Murali Mohan, actor and president of the Movie Artistes Association.
He says the government should reduce the cost of providing security. “It is their responsibility to keep us secure. There should be an easier way of obtaining police permission.”
Directors also say the police is usually busy with other duties and protection is not their priority. “We asked the police for permission. They said they were busy with Holi bandobust and refused to provide security. The day after the attack they provided it. For small budget films, it is difficult to afford such a high price for protection,” says Boyapati Sreenu, director of Simha.
Stars Under T-Attack
* Mahesh Babu
* Manchu Manoj
* Allu Arjun
* NTR Junior