Multiple Indian movie bodies came together over the weekend and agreed to shut down film and TV production from March 19-31, in a bid to break the spread of COVID-19.
Producers already on shoots both in India and overseas have been given three days to wrap up work.
India produces more films watched by more people than any other country with as many as 2,000 films produced in various languages every year.
The move is therefore likely to cost the country and the industry millions of dollars.
The decision was taken by film bodies including the Producers Guild of India, India’s Director’s Guild, Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), Indian Film & Television Directors' Association (IFTDA).
The meeting of the film bodies was also attended by the representatives of Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA), Western India Film Producers' Association (WIFPA) and Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC).
The move comes at a time when there are rising health concerns over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the associations collectively decided that the health of workers is paramount.
Various events, award functions, interviews, shooting schedules have also been called off in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The film bodies took to social media platforms to share the news.
Makers of "Angrezi Medium", starring Irrfan Khan went ahead with the scheduled release of the film on Friday, however many other productions, in India and around the world, have been impacted and a few upcoming releases have now been pushed back:
- Yash Raj Films Dibakar Banerjee-directed "Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar" - release delayed.
- Akshay Kumar-starrer "Sooryavanshi" - pushed indefinitely.
- Tillotama Shome's film "Sir" - postponed.
- Hollywood movies "A Quiet Place 2", "Mulan" and new James Bond film "No Time to Die" - release delayed.
- Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ Forrest Gump remake Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan - production impacted.
- Zee Studios’ sports drama “Jersey,” starring Shahid Kapoor and Mrunal Thakur - postponed
A rising number of cinemas are going dark across the country in response to the health crisis. Capital Delhi, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and parts of Maharashtra are among states who have or are in the process of bringing the shutters down on cinema halls.
The virus, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December, has infected more than 150,000 people worldwide and killed over 5,600.
As of March 16, India has confirmed a total of 110 cases and two deaths in the country.