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Amidst fears of World War 3, the Times of India is concerned about the Indian film industry losing shooting destinations

The TOI report makes no mention of the catastrophe that has enveloped the war-torn region, instead, merely laments the fact that the Indian film industry will be unable to shoot in the country anytime soon.

While many are worrying that the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine could signal the start of the third World War, the mainstream media outlet Times of India appears to be extremely perturbed about how Indian filmmakers may lose out on a popular shoot location, which Ukraine has turned out to be in the recent times.

While, on one hand, people are sharing their fears about larger issues like the safety of people stranded in the war-hit Ukraine and whether the Russia-Ukraine crisis might trigger a World War 3 like situation, the official account of Delhi Times, Times of India, has in its report published on February 28, 2022, raised concerns on how the Indian film industry may be on the verge of losing out on a popular film shooting destination because Ukraine offers picturesque locations at lower costs.

Sharing the link of a report published by the media house on February 28, 2022, Delhi Times has Tweeted, “#Ukraine was becoming a popular shoot location with #Indian filmmakers with films like @RRRMovie and #Dev shot in Ukraine recently.” The archived version of the TOI report can be viewed here.

Interestingly, the TOI report published on February 28, 2022, titled: ‘Ukraine was becoming a popular shoot location with Indian filmmakers’, makes no mention of the catastrophe that has enveloped the war-torn region, instead, merely laments the fact that the Indian film industry will be unable to shoot in the country anytime soon.

Report published by TOI on February 28, 2022

Times of India (TOI) worries about how Indian filmmakers would not be able to shoot in Ukraine anytime soon

It mentions how Ukraine had off late become one of the favourite foreign shooting destinations for the Indian filmmakers since it not only offered picturesque locations but shooting there used to be 20-30% cheaper than other Eastern European countries.

The report quoted many filmmakers and location managers who detail why and how Ukraine was a lucrative shooting destination. One location manager was quoted as saying that the locations in Ukraine can be matched with the settings of other places, like Paris, London, the US and even some Indian locales, making it the most suitable location in Europe from a financial perspective and also in terms of filmmaking.

Satish Sharma, director of Indo-Soviet Films that coordinates for shoots in Ukraine was quoted as saying how Ukraine was becoming a popular location among Indian filmmakers when COVID hit. “It doesn’t look like we will be able to film in the country anytime soon,” Satish reportedly lamented.

At this juncture, the Indian media should be typically focusing on reporting about the plight of Indian students, stranded in Ukraine’s big cities and at the border and frantically sending messages asking the government to evacuate them. On the Indian government’s spirited efforts to coordinate the evacuation of the Indians from the war-hit region. On how the Ukrainian security agencies are allegedly making it difficult for Indian nationals, including students, to leave Ukraine. There have been reports that the Ukrainian agencies are not only using Indian nationals as leverage against India by putting them in a hostage-like situation but also assaulting and misbehaving with them.

But here we have the Times of India, which has, instead, chosen to report on the plight of Indian filmmakers who are fearing losing out on a shooting destination primarily because shooting there used to be 20-30% cheaper than other Eastern European countries.

Four Union Ministers to fly to neighbouring nations of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation of Indian students

Meanwhile, on February 28, the Government of India announced that three Union Ministers, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen (Retd) VK Singh would travel to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation of the Indians from the war-hit region.

A high-level meeting was called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Ukraine crisis. During the meeting, it was decided that four union ministers would travel to the war-hit region and coordinate the evacuation mission and help students to reach back home safely.

Mission Ganga: The Evacuation Program to bring back Indian students from Ukraine

Since Russia’s declaration of military action against Ukraine on February 24, the Indians stuck in the war-hit zone are being evacuated by the government of India under the Mission Ganga program. The number of Indians stranded in Ukraine is reported to be anywhere between 16,000 to 20,000, with most media houses reporting them at 18,000. However, as of now, the official government figure is 16,000. So far, 907 Indians have been evacuated. Notably, the Indian government had issued multiple advisories urging Indians to leave Ukraine before the war was declared.

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