BPP trustees at loggerheads over allowing Film shootings in Parsi baugs

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) trustees are sparring over allowing film shootings in the city’s Parsi baugs.

While a majority of the seven BPP trust ees are against allowing film and advertisement crew to shoot in their colonies, two trustees feel that it is a good source of revenue for the community.

Article by Jyoti Shelar | Times of India

01-01

The trustees are all set to discuss the issue in the upcoming board meeting on Tuesday and if a resolution is passed, the film fraternity may have to say goodbye to shooting in the magnificent baugs.

The issue has come to the forefront after Byculla’s Rustom Baug was given out for shooting an ad film on April 23 and 24. BPP trustee Yazdi Desai said: “Giving out the premises for shootings means disturbing the residents. Majority of them are senior citizens. The Parsi colonies are not meant for any commercial use.“ He said the trustees allowed the Rustom Baug shooting to continue on humanitarian grounds. “The man told us that he would have to commit suicide if the shooting was stopped as there was lot of money at stake,“ said Desai.

Most trustees including Desai feel that allowing shoots disrupts the peace in the premises, parking becomes an issue and there is also a security threat. Anahita Desai, a resident of the Rustom Baug, said: “The crew members keep loitering all over the place till as late as 2 am. We have senior citizens and young women and security is definitely a concern.“

For the two days, the production house had to shell out Rs 8 lakh ­ half of which went to the BPP and the remaining half to the residents association. BPP’s Chairman Dinshaw Mehta said: “It’s a win-win situation for the BPP as well as the residents, who have plenty of expenses anyway. Shootings are the best source of revenue and there is no reason why we should not allow it.“ He said that another trustee, Armaity Tirandaz is also for it.

The remaining trustees beg to differ after bitter experiences with film crews in the past. A trustee cited an example of the Khareghat Colony in Malabar Hill where the film crew simply entered the neighbouring Doongerwadi premises. In Sorabji Byramji Bhabha Sanatorium at Bandra Bandstand, the film crew broke several wooden banisters of the heritage property and coloured a part of it in blue, which did not go down well with the members.

Director Farah Khan, who has shot extensively in Parsi colonies said shooting in the baugs gives the real feeling when one has a Parsi character. “If I have a Parsi character in the film, I would want to shoot in a Parsi area and the baugs are the best choice. However, it is difficult to shoot anywhere in Mumbai.“