West Bengal Motion Picture Artists' Forum for artists facing financial distress due to suspension of shootings has collected over Rs 18 lakh from several eminent personalities.

A significant number of artists are facing an extreme crisis due to stoppage in shootings of films, serials and web series, a statement by the Forum said.

"With no sign of things normalising in the near future, we hope there will be more contribution from well- wishers consisting of people from the entertainment industry as well as members of the public," it said.

The Forum has already provided financial assistance totalling to Rs 7.86 lakh to 393 artists, it said.

Each artist is getting an assistance of Rs 2,000 every month and it will continue till June, the Forun said.

"We are receiving more written appeals for financial help every day," a forum spokesman said.

"We will require to build up a fund of Rs 50 lakh to be of help to the large number of poor artists and we are hopeful of reaching that amount one day," the statement said.

The Forum also donated Rs 3 lakh to the technicians' guild, Rs 1 lakh to technicians in theatre stage shows who have suddenly turned unemployed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Shootings of Bengali films, serials and web series are suspended since March 17.