Conditional permission to Ratnam’s film shoot in Kerala forest

October 14th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Mani RatnamKochi (Kerala), Oct 14 (IANS) Veteran filmmaker Mani Ratnam, whose latest multilingual film “Ravana” that was being shot in the forest near here was stopped by the Kerala Forest department, was Tuesday given fresh sanction to continue shooting but with stiff conditions.The case registered by the forest department will continue.

The forest officials Friday asked the film company to pack up after they saw the film crew had constructed sets inside the Malayatoor forest.

The forest is a two-hour drive from Kochi and is a prime spot for eco-tourism.

The department had permitted the veteran film director to shoot for 20 days in a two month period and when they were asked to stop, they had finished five days’ shooting.

Film stars Abhisek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, who are part of the film project, were expected to arrive next week.

Sheik Haider Hussain, divisional forest officer, told IANS that the stiff restrictions include limiting the number of crew members and also to see that no plastic material is used.

“They have been asked to remit a fee of Rs.10,000 per day of shooting, whereas prior to the violation all what they were charged was a mere Rs.1,000 for the entire duration of the shooting. The number of vehicles that would be allowed inside the forest also has been drastically reduced,” said Hussain.

Media reports indicate that the filming inside the forest includes a battle where over 500 people were to take part.

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