Trouble in FTII


Time and again the premier film school of India, the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (FTII) has faced various threats to its existence and the students of respective batches have fought back hard and have been victorious. The founders of this legendary film school had a vision. They wanted to create a generation of film makers with substance. They had seen the potential films had in India (of course we are the largest film producing country in the world today!) they saw the artistic possibility in films and wanted to create an Indian identity for it. But when the power shifted hands and time changed to the selfish, capitalistic, money minded days the same ‘Power’ turned its eyes on the film school!

FTII has been under threat of privatization for a long time now. Presently a fresh attach has been done. The students there are protesting it. Fortunately the institute’s powerful alumni are always with the student’s agitation against privatization.

Government wants privatize the film school because it’s not a profit making venture! So sell it off to private parties who will use the name of the institute, the infrastructure and make tons of money! For me, the idea of an art school making profit it self is ridiculous. What is it to make profit from a film school? Is it to make immediate money by charging heftily to enrol the students? (Presently the fee for the courses are very reasonable. It is affordable for a merit student with no / less money. The institute serves the best of the infrastructure to the students who enter the campus strictly due to their merits. There are no donation seats or influence seats!) Or is it taking more students in to the film school so that the same infrastructure can serve more students and earn some money? (Infrastructure in the institute was already over worked when I was there in 2003-2006. The courses get delayed since they have to work with what ever infrastructure they have!) Or is it about changing the course content to suit the needs of growing Hindi film industry [or Bollywood as they call it] and thus making it attractive? (Presently the institute has a world class film teaching which gives its students a wonderful exposure to world cinema and make them world class film makers)

What are we looking at here? What is the real profit a National Art School can generate? Isn’t it some artists who can express them selves through their respective form of art and thus become the face of the Nation or is it just the money we are interested in?!

Just look at the National Awards each year, there are so many students from FTII and so many alumni who win various prestigious awards. List of great alumni of FTII is huge. Girish Kasaravalli, Adoor Gopala Krishna, Resool Pukutty, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Sanjayleela Bansali, Devid Dhavan, Subhash Ghai, Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and so many more names who have become the proud face of Indian Cinema today are all from FTII. For any government, should there be anything more profitable than creating such wonderful artists?

I am sure there are thousands of students who are waiting to get in to a film school like FTII to realize their dream of becoming film makers. For all those dreamy eyes, we have to save something very precious, our film school, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. If you are interested to know more and support the efforts, you can visit the student’s blog. www.ftiistudentsbody.blogspot.com

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4 Responses to Trouble in FTII

  1. Radhakrishna ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ:

    Abhaya,
    Oh, I pity for the fate of the great institute. Government has to give full support for such rare institutes which founded by great people with a vision. But are there so wise men !
    It is illogical move by Government to stop the funding and deciding the Institute to sell it to Private Party. Off course they have to be illogical – that is why they are there!
    Money .. Money .. Money and Profit . The greed for the money actually brought havoc in the country – reflect in terms of various scams of multitude verities – as we are the country of cultural vibrancy.
    The people in the helm of affairs or the people who are drowned them selves in “think tankers” will not hesitate to sell any thing and very thing for the sake of money and profit. So there is nothing surprise if they decide to sell the Poona film Institute to a Private party. They do not care for the fine arts, cultural heritage, soft feelings. They are practical!
    Devils will not care they only bother for the show.
    Radha Mava

  2. A V Govinda Rao ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ:

    Do you think that our politicians have understood the concept of a ‘Welfare State’?. If they had, India would not have been what it is today.

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