TRADE

The verdict comes as a big victory for filmmakers, says Vipul Shah

According to the Force 2 producer, film and television producers will now have the freedom to work without constraints.

By Manishaa R

Filmmaker Vipul Shah has hailed the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) recent verdict ordering the FWICE and its 20 associated crafts associations to “cease and desist from continuing with unlawful practices such as insisting on producers to employ only FWICE members or visiting producer sets for vigilance.”  The Namastey London producer, who had filed a complaint against the FWICE, said it was a big victory not just for the producers, but also the entire industry work force, “Since the judgment has come more than 50 technicians have sent me messages thanking me. If they were unhappy with the producers, they wouldn’t have done it. It has only strengthened my belief that the problem is with the office bearers in the Federation and not with the work force,” Shah said, adding that producers could now work more creatively without any constraints, “It is about the freedom to choose which I think is the most important thing.”

According to Shah, who had last produced Commando 2, the order would facilitate producers to negotiate their own terms when working with technicians and artists of their choice. “The problem was with the way the Federation wanted to function- a person who was one day old and 30-year old had to be paid the same price, according to the Federation directives. All that will now become fair. We will be still working with the same core team and creative people but the sword of constant harassment will be stopped. Also unit members and producers will now share a very good equation with each other,” Shah said.

Shah’s immediate decision to go to court in 2014, at that time was when he had to put off the idea of starting a small-budget film due to the severe constraints of FWICE, “The diktats were such at that time that small budget films were suffering the most. I was supposed to start a very high content small budget film but looking at the existing demands of the Federation, I had to put the film on hold. It would not have been financially possible to go ahead with the film with one sided rules and regulations made by the Federation. The verdict will make a big difference to small budget films,” he revealed.

Best known for his Namastey London, Shah who is set to next start his film, Namastey Canada said that a majority of producers were going through constant duress due to a FWICE directive compelling producers to work with members on terms spelled out by the Federation, “It had come to a point where the producer’s self respect was at stake on a daily basis. Secondly the whole vigilante team would raid the sets of producers to do a recheck and create chaos. The order now restricts them from entering on any sets, or even threatening their workers to walk out from the sets. This will create a smooth functioning of the shoot,” Shah revealed, adding that he tried to have meetings with the Federation members in order to resolve the issue. “They were in no mood to listen. So I thought somebody had to put the situation in the right perspective after which I filed the case. Now that the Honourable Competition Commission of India has given a legal verdict, they will not have any choice but to abide by it.,” he said.

Meanwhile the producer fraternity has welcomed the decision. The Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association, the oldest producer body, has advised its member producers that they are free to work with artistes, technicians and workers of their choice and no association has the right to cause any hindrance in their work.

I was supposed to start a very high content small budget film but looking at the existing demands of the Federation, I had to put the film on hold. It would not have been financially possible to go ahead

 

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