Relief fund to be set up for those hit in Kannada entertainment industry

The Karnataka Film Workers, Artists and Technicians’ Federation is set to establish a relief fund for daily wage earners in the Kannada entertainment industry where, for the most part, productions have come to a halt.

While television productions are still happening, the film industry has stopped shooting. The decision to establish a fund for workers who will be impacted comes a day after a similar relief measure was announced by the Producers’ Guild of India on Tuesday.

“We have decided to request the Chief Minister and our film stars to contribute to the fund so that we can at least ensure supply of groceries, medicines and give out small loans to daily wage earners who have lost their livelihoods due to the shutdown,” said Ashok, president, Karnataka Film Workers, Artists and Technicians’ Federation.

“We have had a similar experience when Dr. Rajkumar was kidnapped in 2000, when the industry shut down for a long duration in protest,” he said. D.R. Jayaraj, chairman, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said film shoots are unlikely to restart until the government decides to ease restrictions on gatherings and large crowds.

“It’s not only daily wage workers. Everyone is suffering, including exhibitors and producers. Most film productions run on borrowed money from the market and the interest is only growing. Exhibitors are suffering huge losses as all theatres are closed,” said Mr Jayaraj.

“Unlike films whose releases can be rescheduled, television shows are critical to fill airtime. We are in touch with all channels and if the situation further worsens, we will also cease productions for a week,” said S.V. Shivakumar, president, Kannada Television Association.

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