Entertainment News | An Indian film crew loses its job to foreigners? Bollywood unions slam Mumbai police breach of visa standards and inaction

Mumbai, September 11 (PTI) The growing trend of hiring foreigners as artists, technicians, etc. taking jobs away from their Indian counterparts in the film industry? Well, film union leaders say the threat is real.

Read also | Bo Brundin dies at 85; The Swedish actor was best known for The Great Waldo Pepper.

Read also | Ayan Mukerji imagined Brahmastra to challenge the limits of cinema, says “I grew up listening to the stories of Indian history and mythology”.

They also claim that many foreigners working in Bollywood do not have proper work permits and Mumbai police rarely act.

The Indian film industry, like its counterparts in sectors such as information technology, telecommunications, etc., is increasingly hiring foreign talent in areas such as cinematography, direction, production, filmmaking, screenwriting and young artists and dancers.

The majority of foreigners are licensed from countries like the UK, Russia, and Uzbekistan, to name a few.

Cinema employee unions and political party representatives claim that foreigners are hired in large numbers as junior actors, make-up artists, hairdressers, dancers, action directors, stuntmen, costume designers, art directors and technicians in Bollywood.

It may seem like a win-win situation for the film industry and foreigners, as the industry attracts a variety of talent and foreigners earn a stable income, but unions differ.

“We all know that the Indian film and advertising industries rank first in the world in terms of the number of films produced per year. The annual turnover is pegged at $2.7 billion. Indian cinema is made up of various regional language film industries employing a large number of people.However, the Indian film industry is now facing a major problem with the foreign crew replacing their Indian counterparts.Many of these foreigners are working illegally in India in violation of standards visas,” said a union leader.

Why shouldn’t the employment of foreign crews be banned the same way Pakistani actors and technicians are not allowed to work in the Indian film industry, he asked.

Federation of Cinema Employees of West India (FWICE) Chairman Ashok Dubey told PTI that they do not allow the hiring of a foreign crew.

“The hiring is done by the producers. Unfortunately, our people are losing job opportunities. Almost 90% of foreigners working in the Indian film industry are working illegally without proper work permits,” he said. he alleged.

He also claimed that producers and coordinators do not have discussions on this subject.

“We complained to Mumbai police many times about this issue (foreigners working illegally) but they did not take our complaint seriously and did not act. I faced four FIR (First Information Reports) when I raised these issues for the sake of “our workers. At least three lakhs of workers are members of FWICE in various capacities. We are fighting for their rights,” he said.

However, the exact number of foreigners and their countries of origin working in Bollywood, Tollywood and other regional film industries are not known.

BJP Chitrapat Union Chairman Sandip Ghuge said foreigners working illegally in movies and also on OTT (Over The Top) platforms are a big problem.

“It is an injustice to the Indian team, including makeup artists and technicians. The majority of foreigners work on tourist visas and do not have work permits,” he said.

Ghuge said the Chitrapat Union had complained to the Foreigners Registration Office (FRRO) and the Mumbai Police. He alleged that the police took no action, mainly because many local officials are unaware of the law against illegal foreign artists and technicians.

“It seems that the FRRO is very reluctant to act. This should be stopped with strict law enforcement and strong actions should be taken against the agents and coordinators who support this illegal activity,” he demanded.

Mumbai police officials declined to comment.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from syndicated newsfeed, LatestLY staff may not have edited or edited the body of the content)