Ek Tha Tiger – Actors frightened by protesters in Dublin

Recently the arrival of a Bollywood movie Ek Tha Tiger made the headlines both here and in India for all the wrong reasons. While filming a scene in Dublin’s north inner city area, the cast and crew of Ek Tha Tiger were subjected to a protest by a group of film craft workers demonstrating over what they claim were “poor pay and conditions” within the Irish Film Industry. Protesters used klaxon horns, shouting and sticking their placards across the wall to disrupt filming.

This type of maverick action has been a frequent occurrence on other productions in recent years. While it’s interesting to note that purpose of their actions was to protest over “poor pay and conditions” the minimum that can be paid to lowest grade craft worker under the current film agreement between the relevant unions and film producers is * €1,128.32. This can hardly be described as “poor pay” in any industry by today’s standards.

* (€20.33 per hour) 39 hours at flat rate plus 11 hrs at time and a half.

This type of protest is continuing to damage the international reputation of the Irish Film industry. India is the worlds largest producer of films and could generate new employment if more productions could be encouraged to shoot in Ireland. Protests by a small minority of workers in Irish film is both stupid and seriously jeopardizing thousands of  job creation within the industry. The arrival of any further Bollywood production to Ireland in the  near future is very unlikely with such negative coverage.

This is the story as it appeared in The Times of India, Sep 23, 2011 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Ireland’s potential as a base for multi-million Euro Bollywood movies is being jeopardised by a handful of industry protesters. Two A-list actors have been left frightened by protests at the filming in Dublin city centre, it’s been claimed. Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, described as the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of India, were said to be “frightened and worried”.

Industry workers demonstrating over poor pay and conditions picketed a weekend shoot of blockbuster “Ek Tha Tiger”. Gardai (Irish police) were called to the scene after the 30 or more protesters allegedly used klaxon horns and other methods to ensure filming was seriously interrupted. “They started to shout and stick their placards across the wall at the crew and cast,” said a source.

Irish production company Fantastic Films told the Herald the firm had “worked long and hard” to bring “Ek Tha Tiger” to Ireland. “The film is a high-profile Bollywood production that will reach an audience of over 100 million in India, the Middle East worldwide,” a spokeswoman said, “It’s breathing life into the Irish film industry, creating jobs and generating revenue. It is disappointing that the actions of a small minority will jeopardise the reputation of Irish film-making internationally.”

However, a shop steward for Irish film workers, John Arkins, rejected the claims, saying the shoot took place on All-Ireland final day when hundreds of football fans were blowing horns and chanting. “What sort of genius said, ‘Let’s film 100 metres from O’Connell Street on All-Ireland final day’? I witnessed the Viking tour bus blowing its horn, people blowing car horns…” He said demonstrators were highlighting low pay, long hours with no overtime and a lack of regulation within the Irish film industry. Mr Arkins doubted claims that the Bollywood stars were frightened, saying “You have hundreds and thousands” of fans “chasing these people around the streets” in India.

An article also appeared in The Evening Herald.  Threats that could kill off our multi-million euro film industry

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