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Central team reaches FTII to bring down the protest

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A three-member central team arrived in Pune yesterday to analyze the situation and to bring down the students’ strike at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The strike has been going on since the last 70 days, against the appointment of TV actor turned BJP politician Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman and his political affiliation.

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The team is formed by Information & Broadcasting Ministry and was sent to Pune after the midnight arrest of institute’s five students. Heading the team, SM Khan on his arrival said that they will make all efforts required to calm down the students and bring down the protest.

Khan insisted on meeting the students, faculty and director for discussion. However, he denied to comment on the arrests and also added that the director is under no pressure from the government. There was a round of rumour that the FTII director Prashant Pathrabe has gone on leave, but amid that he was seen making arrangements for the central team’s visit.

Recalling the incident, Pathrabe said that the students had harassed and humiliated him when he called students for a discussion. He said, “I invited 4 students to my office, but around 40 students came in group. I patiently listened to them for 3 hours, but when I asked to leave they restricted and tortured me.” Students on the other hand, said that the director is under pressure from the centre to act. Faculties of the institute were seen supporting the students.

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Welcome the new Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Anupam Kher

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher. Wikimedia

Pune, October 11, 2017 : Anupam Kher, an actor with a repertoire of over 500 movies including international projects, was named Chairman of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. The film industry hailed the move.

Official sources confirmed Anupam’s appointment. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had triggered student protests.

Anupam’s wife Kirron Kher, an actress and BJP MP from Chandigarh, told Times NOW: “I’m very happy. Of course, it’s a challenging job for anybody. It’s not going to be an easy job. These chairmanships are crown of thorns. Here, people do get against you, but I am sure Anupam will be able to take them along because he is an extremely talented person.”

Anupam, who began his acting career with “Saaransh” in 1984, also has his own acting institute Actor Prepares.

Kirron said Anupam was the right choice to head the FTII, which provides training in acting, direction and other technical aspects of film making in a country which is one of the largest producers of movies.

ALSO READ Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

“My husband is a very fine actor. He has been in the film industry for so many years. He is very capable of (being FTII head).

“He has been teaching acting for so long. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

“So, I am a very proud wife today. I would like to thank the government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” she said.

Asked what she meant by ‘crown of thorns’, she said: “I meant the CBFC, not FTII.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Anupam Kher for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII.”

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an “excellent change” at FTII. “Finally, the government is listening to us.”

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role. (IANS)

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Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

Authorities believe that renowned artists like Naseeruddin Shah, Rajkumar Hirani, and Subhash Ghai were FTII students once and it will be interesting to watch what they did when they were stepping in the world of cinema

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FTII is the latest entrant to adopt the practice of outdoor screening. Wikimedia
  • Films previously made by students of FTII to be screened for the larger public in  a short-film festival
  • FTII has nearly 500 diploma films in its archives that are now in the process of restoration
  • Padaarpan is scheduled to begin from August 5

Pune, July 29, 2017: In the year 1976, a direction student at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Saeed Mirza made a documentary titled ‘An Actor Prepares’, in which he interviewed acting students at FTII on what they felt about their prospects in Bollywood as part of his final year project. One of the persons interviewed in the film was his batch-mate Om Puri, who was pessimistic in his outlook. During his student life at FTII, Om Puri acted in five diploma films namely Amrita, An Elusive Dream,  Khukari, Navjatak, and Duniya Chalti Hai. However, none of us heard or watched those films, only until now.

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune has now decided to conduct public viewing of a series of diploma films by its alumni over the years. The public screening of these films, which will be free of any cost is to commence on August 5.

Since its inception in 1960, students have made diploma films as part of the academic curriculum at FTII. However, these films were never accessible to the larger public. “The diploma films made by the students as part of their final year project work generally do not see the light of the day. So, we have decided to screen them for the public at our premises once in a week”, said FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola, calling these diploma films “goldmines”, as reported by PTI.

Bhupendra Kinthola is the current director of FTII.
FTII Pune director Bhupendra Kainthola in conversation with students. Wikimedia

FTII is one of the finest institutes for films in the country. Over the years, it has produced a fine list of noted actors, filmmakers, cinematographers, editors and technical staff for the Hindi, Tamil and Kannada film industry alike, that include names like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Girish Kasaravalli, Rajkumar Hirani and Resul Pookutty. Actors like Raj Kumar Yadav, Naseeruddin Shah, and Shabana Azmi also make the list of prominent FTII alumni.

The scheduled film screenings, which will be no less than a short film festival, will be called ‘Padaarpan’ meaning baby steps, and will be held starting Aug 5 at the institute’s main theatre which has a capacity of 200 seats. Advertisements will be given out in newspapers about the screenings of these movies, entry to which will be free of any cost and on first come-first serve basis.

According to the PTI report, the inaugural event will be attended by veteran actor and FTII alumnus Shatrughan Sinha, who as a student had acted in a diploma film titled “Angry Young Man”. Sinha’s diploma film would also be screened on the occasion, said Kainthola.

Sinha was a student at FTII
Veteran actor and FTII alumni Shatrughan Sinha. Wikimedia

FTII continues to be a landmark institution with its students winning most national awards and short film competition in the student film category. More recently, a short film Afternoon Clouds, made by Payal Kapadia, a student at FTII was also screened under the Cinefondation category at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in May this year. The film was among the 14 works of fiction and two animation films nominated in the short film competition category, which was open to film schools across the world and received over 2,600 submissions.

However, such masterpieces by FTII students have remained unknown to the wider audiences.

In the past, FTII new and old film projects have been aired on DD Bharati in 2007, before the practice was discontinued for reasons unknown. In 2008, Lok Sabha TV had screened 15 students’ film under a section titled ‘First Cut’.  The practice was restarted in 2013 with DD Bharati showcasing some of the films but the period was short lived.

Today, FTII has nearly 500 diploma films in its archives that are now in the process of restoration.

The decision of conducting public viewing of past diploma films again will not only help students’ work get greater exposure but also create an opportunity for the larger population to witness quality work of film students and be a part of a short-film festival.

Officials at FTII are already in the process of finalizing the films to be screened. “They have been selected either based on their selection for national and international awards or if any famous personality was part of it”, Kainthola told PTI.

Gajendra Chauhan, former FTII chairman also believes that this will be a good initiative as people will get to view the works of their favorite artists when they were students.

ALSO READ:10 Small Budget Indian Films that prove you Don’t need Superstars or High Budgets to sell it!

In 2016, the possibility of Prasar Bharti to start a new channel to screen diploma and documentary films produced at various national film institutes was considered. A proposal to screen the films at Doordarshan was also submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which is still pending.

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Society is more violent now: Filmmaker Ketan Mehta

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The Indian society is turning more violent now, said Ketan Mehta while expressing his concern about the young students of the country during the third edition of Taj Literature Festival which ended on Sunday.

Mehta said, “India is an extremely liberal country and its character is changing now. I am uncomfortable with that. We are witnessing a violent and polarized society now.

Mehta had made the films like ‘’Maya Memsaheb’’ and ‘’Mirch Masala’’ and is working on his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’. ’’ He also made a movie “Toba Tek Singh” along with six directors from India and Pakistan to mark the 70th year of Partition. The movie will be released next month.

He also compared the current situation of the country with his movie ‘’Holi’’ ‘ released in 1984. Holi, shot mainly on the campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, also based on the theme of student rebellion on the campus.

Speaking about ‘Holi’, which was based on the violence of society faced by students, Mehta said, ‘’ There was a strike at FTII when I was a student there. I was reliving the experience through the movie.

“If an artist chooses to play safe, he stops being an artist. As an artist, I don’t have the skill and I keep doing what I want to do,” he said.

“Toba Tek Singh”, which is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s Zeal For Unity (ZFU) project, is a biography of famous Sanskrit writer Saadat Hasan Manto. It is also seen as an initiative between India-Pakistan.

Speaking about the movie, he said that it talks about a mental asylum in Lahore and the consequences of two countries decision on the exchange of lunatics few years later Partition. “It is an extremely poignant story about the greatest human tragedy. Manto is the maverick of the times and Pankaj Kapur has done a great job as Toba Tek Singh,” he said.

Mehta also talks about his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’ leading character Kangana Ranaut, said Kangana is the best fit for the role.

“Rani of Jhansi is one of the strongest woman characters in world history. Ranaut has fire in the belly and she has the hunger to do something new,” said the director, adding that the film’s shooting will begin in October.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor will be the movie thereafter.

“I had planned three movies as a series. ‘Mangal Pandey, The Rising’ was the first in the series and ‘Rani of Jhansi’ is the second, which I am currently working. The third will be on Bahadur Shah Zafar,” he said.