Malayalam film crew including actor Prithviraj, director Blessy stranded in Jordan; seek help from India for safe return

The crew are held up at Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon) in the south of Jordan.

Agencies
The crew, including Prithiviraj (L) and Blessy (R), has sought assistance from Indian authorities for their safe return.
KOCHI: A Malayalam film crew of 58 people including actor Prithviraj and director Blessy is stuck in Jordan where they were shooting for a project titled 'Aadujeevitham' owing to the measures taken to counter the spread of novel coronavirus.

The shooting of the film directed by award-winning director Blessy was stalled and the crew are held up at Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon) in the south of Jordan.

The crew has sought assistance from Indian authorities for their safe return.


In a Facebook post, Prithviraj confirmed the developments and narrated the sequence of events at the desert after Jordanian authorities initiated steps to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

The shooting of 'Aadujeevitham' (Goat Days) in Jordan was temporarily stopped on March 24 due to the prevailing circumstances but the authorities gave a go-ahead for the shoot after they were convinced that the film unit was isolated and operating safely within the confines of the Wadi Rum desert, Prithviraj said.

"Unfortunately, soon after, the prevailing restrictions in Jordan had to be further strengthened as a precautionary measure and as a result, our shoot permission was revoked on March 27. Following that, our team has been staying at the desert camp in Wadi Rum," he wrote.
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He said the crew has now been told that immediate permission for the shoot to resume is unlikely due to the situation.

"... hence, our next best option would be to return to India at the first available opportunity. As we had originally planned to stay and shoot in Wadi Rum till the 2nd week of April, our accommodation, food and supplies are taken care of for the immediate future. But obviously, what happens beyond that timeline is a matter of concern," Prithviraj said.

He said a doctor in their team is carrying out medical check-ups for every member of the crew every 72 hours, and they are also subjected to periodic checks by a government appointed Jordanian doctor.

"We completely understand that given the circumstances around the world, our team of 58 might not be the biggest concern of authorities back home now, and rightfully so. But we also felt that it was our duty to let all concerned know about the situation and keep them updated.
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"There are thousands of Indians around the world waiting to get back home and we hope when the appropriate time and opportunity arrives, we are also able to come back to India. Till then, I hope all of you stay safe and let's collectively hope and pray that life gets back to normal soon," he wrote.

Earlier, film industry sources in Kochi said Prithviraj and the crew were not in a distress condition.
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"They are absolutely safe at their hotel. The crew sought assistance from our External Affairs Ministry and Kerala government authorities after they were not allowed to shoot the film due to curfew imposed by Jordan government authorities to prevent outbreak of COVID-19," sources told 'PTI'.

Since bringing them back to country at present is very difficult due to cancellation of flights, steps are being taken to get validity of their visas (which would get over soon) extended, the sources added.

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