By-law to monitor the filming of Saif Ali Khan’s Chef

Soon Kochi Corporation will bring about a by-law for effective monitoring and regulation of film shooting within its limits.

The row over the shooting of a Bollywood movie starring Saif Ali Khan, which led to tensions between residents and the film crew, seemed to have triggered the move. Both the parties had also filed police complaints.

The by-law will be drafted and placed before the council.

“The corporation is the sole authority to grant permission for shooting within its limits and using its property. But often this is not done though we are put on the dock by the public for all the problems caused by shooting. I have asked the Inspector General of Police to take action against all such illegal film shoots,” Mayor Soumini Jain mentioned.

She said the proposed by-law was aimed at putting in place an effective monitoring mechanism to fix responsibility in the event of any trouble, and that it was not against film shooting per se.

The Mayor and the Collector are set to jointly convene a meeting of stakeholders to address the issue. “Film shooting disrupting traffic and normal life of the public cannot be allowed,” district collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla said.

Film shooting in the largely residential area of Fort Kochi often disrupts traffic and cause hardship to students and office-goers. Also, there is no coordination among various agencies in granting permissions, Fort Kochi councillor Shiny Mathew said.

Residents’ associations have also taken the matter seriously. “We will be raising the issue at the next meeting of the Ernakulam District Residents Associations Apex Council (EDRAAC),” said K.P. Metrox, Kochi region secretary of EDRAAC.

Fort Kochi has emerged as a favourite locale of film fraternity, and the Bollywood movie was only the latest in an ever-lengthening list of films to be shot here.

Hari Venjaramoodu, a production controller who had associated himself with multiple movies shot in Fort Kochi, said the film crew often took necessary permission from various agencies and residents before proceeding with the shooting.

“We had shot in the exact location where the recent incident over the shooting of the Bollywood movie occurred but never encountered any problem. In fact, except for the hooliganism of a drunken lot during a shoot in the night once, we never faced any problem,” Mr. Hari said.

Film crew often take the help of local groups for smooth shooting in the area, and in some instances, their unruly behaviour had caused problems.

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