Odishatv Bureau

Will we shoot or we won't... The question has been hunting the film and television industry since last year, irrespective of the COVID restrictions.

The larger picture is quite the same both ways when social distancing and using masks have been the vital musts to keep the virus at bay.

Though affected by the lockdown, big actors manage to sail through when it comes to sustenance, but the pandemic seems to have taken a toll on junior actors, camera-men, costume-men, make-up artists, spot boys and others supportive crew.

From repaying debts to paying house rent, everything seems to have become almost an impossibility for them in the cusp of the never-ending crisis which have ruined their survival prospects. 

Now, all anxious eyes are set on the Odisha government's unlock plans on June 16.

The Odia film industry, where around 20 films are rolled out every year on an average, has been staring at an uncertain future since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

"Producers, directors and artists..all are in severe pain. The biggest problem is EMI and paying off house rent," said Jatin Nayak, a director. 

Art director Nibarana Sarangi said, "Last year, we had some relaxations of shooting with a minimum number of artists and technicians. But now, we are waiting for the new guidelines."

"Those who were solely dependent on film shoots to make a living in dire straits. If government takes some sympathetic considration of their plight, they might find some succor," said Joyti Prakash Mahan, a sound designer. 

For 14 long years, spot boy Susil Kumar Bhoi has been a part of the Odia cinema industry. But this lockdown has hit him hard. He is now selling fish to arrangr two squares of meal for his family. The situation of felloe light man Kabuli Das is no different. 

Now, all eyes are on the Odisha government's much awaited relaxations which are likely to be spelt out  after the culmination of the current lockdown period on June 17.