50 Years Of FTII, Pune : No Paean , No Requiem

The Film & Television Institute of India , Pune completes 50th year recently. It was established in 1960 in the erstwhile Prabhat Studio. Legendary V. Shantaram made some of his earlier films there. They have become part of our heritage. “ Duniya Na Mane ”, “ Padosi ” and “ Adami ” were those immortal films, which were made here.

Since its inception, FTII served its purpose fabulously. Artistes like : Asrani, Amrish Puri, Danny Denzongpa, Jaya Bachchan Mukesh Khanna, Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Paintal, Rakesh Bedi, Rehana Sultan, Raza Murad, Satish Kaushik, Shatrughan Sinha, Shabana Azmi, Tom Alter and Vijay Arora are its alumni.

Directors like : Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mani Kaul, Shaji N Karun, Girish Kasarvalli, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Shyam Benegal, Shekhar Kapur, David Dhavan, Sriram Raghavan, Santosh Sivan, Rajkumar Hirani, Prakash Jha, Kundan Shah and Govind Nihalani are the past students of this illustrious institute.

Many technicians like Resul Pookutti are also ex students of this premier institute. The list is endless. It was first of its kind in Asia and was one of the best in the world. It fell to bad days after Roshan Taneja took leave. He left FTII and started his own institute in Mumbai and thus a very glorious chapter was ended. Acting classes were discontinued there.

Acting classes were again resumed 2/3 years back with Mr. Paintal at the helm. Till date 2 ex students got work in films. One gentleman was introduced by Mr. Subhash Ghai in “ Black And White ”. All the critics described him as “ one expression wonder ”. He was panned by everyone and simply vanished from the scene. The other student did a blink and miss role in “ 3 Idiots ”. He is yet to start his journey. I fail to understand the present pathetic condition of this premier institution.

According to my view, the ad hock nature of management is responsible for this downward slide. Trainers are selected randomly and they behave as if they are autonomous entities. They don’t train the aspirants. They simply try to prove that they are superior than others. They run their part as per their whims and fancies. The orientation is lost and none of the students are cajoled or oriented towards a career in films. Devoid of any guidance, students simply drift and end their wafting journey in some bottomless pit. I am sorry for this decline. Ex FTII alumni will try to pan me for my views but at this golden jubilee year I don’t feel like singing paeans for this institute. May be I have to sing a requiem very soon, if the decline is not checked.




One Response

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