FTII : Skeletans Tumble Down


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 12, 2015           11.50P.M.

Till date I have written 3 blogs about FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] Pune. I think this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute will not be my topic again, at least not in recent future. But if it is prestigious (?) and premier (?) , how can it not seek my attention?

Gajendra Singh row refuses to subside. Each day a new celebrity crows his neck out and dishes out his pious views on this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute, which has dubious distinction of spearheading more than 50 strikes till date.

Today, while watching news, I came across valuable (?) view of Raj Kumar Rao, who used to be Raj Kumar Yadav. May be according to him being Yadav is not upmarket or glamorous enough, so he got a brand new nomenclature. He opined that students of FTII deserve a Chairman, whom they should look up to.

Wow !! My memory went few years back and intruded into the holy precincts of FTII, when Mr. Rao, as a worthy alumnus of this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute, used to roam around in the campus. In those pious and holy days Shri Paintal was Head of Department of Acting. He used to call many past alumnus / alumna as guest lecturers. Shri Paintal even called two of my students, who were novice, upstart and inexperienced. Mr. Rao or his other worthy friends never raised their voices against them. All the vocal commies and their friends from AISA were also silent. Mr. Rao also have no objection when these two upstarts mention his name in their website and claim that he has been trained by them in their Mumbai based institute. Mr. Rao and his friends can look up to novices roaming around as Acting Trainers but they can’t tolerate a Chairman , who according to them is a symbol of saffronisation. I denounce these bunch of hypocrites. If they agitate for better trainers, I can understand. But don’t want to even listen to them if they poke their nose in administrative matters.

These filmi Che Guevaras should be weeded out of this breeding ground of communism, known as FTII.

After I finished writing, I read this old news item published in India Express. It substantiates my point. So I am putting it here. Links of my 3 previous blogs are also given here.

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For 13 years, no convocation held at FTII

For over 13 years now, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has not held any convocation to give away degrees. The premier film institute of the nation held its last one December 14, 1997. An RTI query by The Indian Express reveals.Since the last convocation, 177 students have passed FTII courses and though all of them got their certificates, none received them at a podium, at a convocation. In fact, in the last 50 years, only 21 convocations have been held.

Confirming this, FTII director Iftikar Ahmed says, “The set-up at FTII is different. A mere convocation doesn’t decide the merit of students who complete courses here. The main objective is to provide the best training and we have been doing that. Convocation is a minor aspect. In fact, we issue degrees even to students who leave courses midway.”

Ahmed reminds that even before the last convocation in 1997, there was an eight-year hiatus. “The 21st convocation, which was the last, was marred by an unpleasant incident where students wore black armbands and carried placards on stage. It prompted director Mahesh Bhatt to resign as FTII president and veteran actor Dilip Kumar to lash out against ‘this blatant washing of dirty linen in public,'” said Ahmed.

He agrees though that there have been a lot of issues over the last 12 years that have pushed the convocation to the background. “The most important is expansion at FTII. Eight new courses have been introduced in the last 13 years and faculty members have come down. Back then, we had four courses and 55 teachers. Now, for all the courses, we have 20 teachers. During the transition after introduction of new courses and a change in the management, issues like convocation were pushed aside.”

Retired professor of the Film Appreciation Course, Suresh Chabbria, feels that a convocation gives an institute an academic feel and the fact that it has not been held for so long is something that needs to be looked into. “In fact, back in the 60s and 70s, they were regular. Things did change later with courses being overshot and students leaving midway,” he said.

National award winner Dilip Ghosh, former president of the GraFTII, the alumni association, says it is wrong for the institute to punish an entire batch for a few students who did not complete their courses on time. “In 1981, when I was studying direction at the institute, we had a proper convocation. It would be unfair for anyone to say convocations do not happen as courses are delayed or even for that matter students do not ask for them.”

Students of the current batches at the institute say that with issues like completion of the courses on time and shortage of equipment and infrastructure they face, convocation is an issue they have not raised. “That doesn’t mean we do not want one,” says former president of the student body and winner of the national award for direction course, Tathagatha Singha. “It’s just that with these other issues we deal with, the convocation takes a backseat.” he adds.

Actor Mohan Aghashe, who was the director of the institute when the last convocation was conducted, says the attitude of students also needs to be questioned. “When they come here after beating scores of other applicants, they should ask for convocations at the end of the course.”

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce FTII students, who are behaving like anarchists.

May God bless them with some intellect so they can read the writing on the wall. If according to them, it is saffronisation, they should learn to live with it.

[ I have quoted an old article of Indian Express. I express gratitude. ] 

VIDUR

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An Open Letter To FTII Alumna / Alumnus


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 18, 2015           00.30 A.M.

Dear Alumna / Alumnus of FTII, Pune !

I have already written 2 blogs about the FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] , Pune. 1st blog was written on March 28, 2010. It was about the declining and deteriorating standards of FTII. The 2nd one was written on October 28, 2012. It was about hubris and high-handed behaviour of students of FTII. Today I am forced to write 3rd blog about FTII.

I am reading in newspapers that alumnus of this so-called premier institute are agitated against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, the newly appointed FTII Chief. Nearly 150 students boycotted classes today and continued their protest for the 5th day.

According to Harishankar Nachimuthu, the President of Student’s Union of FTII, Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment is a conspiracy to saffronise this prestigious ( ? ) institute. He states that he is not going to accept Shri Gajendra Chauhan as Chief of FTII. May I demand to know, who is seeking his acceptance or concurrence?

I came to know that several past students [ who are jobless since time immemorial ] are holding meeting in Mumbai and threatening central government that they will fight against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, “a Narendra Modi stooge” till the end. According to them he lacks stature and administrative experience. May I demand to know, who the hell are they to decide, whether Shri Chauhan has the required stature or not?

In the past Mr. Shyam Benegal, Mr. Mrinal Sen, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Mr. Girish Karnad, Mr. Vinod Khanna, Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy and Mr. Saeed Mirza have served as Chairman of the Governing Council of FTII.  They were appointed by the government of the day. Shri Gajendra Chauhan is also appointed by present central government.

I fail to understand, how can students demand to have a say in the appointment of Chief of FTII. Moreover, what stake do past students have in the affairs of their Alma Mater? Why are they agitated? Why are they threatening to “fight till the end”?

Students and alumnus of this so-called prestigious institute should realize that their job is to get trained and not to decide about the governing council chief or other administrative matters of the institute. They must realize that the golden days of Shri Roshan Taneja are over. Their activism fails to produce a single actor of the calibre of ASHOK KUMAR, MOTI LAL, DILIP KUMAR, BALRAJ SAHNI, SANJEEV KUMAR, AMITABH BACHCHAN, SHAHRUKH KHAN, AMIR KHAN, HRITIK ROSHAN or RANBIR KAPOOR. None of the above mentioned actors are the alumnus of FTII. I also fail to find among your alumna, any actress of the stature of NARGIS, MEENA KUMARI, MADHUBALA, GEETA BALI, VYJAYANTIMALA, WAHEEDA REHMAN, REKHA or KAJOL. And you people are talking about the calibre of Gajendra Chauhan.

I appeal to the alumnus of FTII to first become a world-class actor and then try to be an activist. The most important FTII alumnus and your biggest inspiration NASEERUDDIN SHAH is busy doing “world-class” ( ? ) films like “Sona Spa” and ” Jackpot” and you people are pontificating on the calibre of Shri Gajendra Chauhan and threatening Shri Narendra Modi.

And now a word for failed ex students of FTII. You have no business to meddle in the affairs of your alma mater if you are still struggling to make a mark. No one needs your activism. You roam around in the alleys of Mumbai with stinking body, wilting faces, faded attires and dead and gloomy eyes. I pity your rancid existence and failed journey of life. The government of the day doesn’t need or seek your approval. Leave your hubris. You are not doing any favour to us or humanity if you are an ex students of FTII.

Let me make it clear that your agitation is politically motivated. All the right thinking people know it. If it is not so, why people like Anand Patwardhan and other known left-liberals are joining your band wagon? Why students of JNU [ Jawahar Lal Nehru University ] , a breeding ground of leftist and pseudo seculars, are joining your protest? What stake have they in the FTII?

Instead of protesting against Gajendra Chauhan, try to check the deterioration in the quality of the institute. May I demand to know why “for a 3 year programme, there have been students floating around the campus since 2008? May be they will graduate only when their creative juices start flowing.[ verbatim quote from Hindustan Times – Dated June 17, 2015 – Page 11 / also read the editorial ” The World’s not a stage at the FTII – Page 12]

You resist every change and want to run the institute as per your whims and fancies. When UPA appointed committee suggested running the institute on public-private partnership, you people protested. When UPA tried to make the syllabus more contemporary, you started indefinite strike. UPA government headed by Congress was not saffronising the institute. So it is clear that protests and strikes are in your DNA.

Dear alumnus, if you feel or suspect that the appointment of Shri Gajendra Chauhan is a conspiracy to saffronise FTII, I suggest that you should learn to live with it as soon as possible. It will be better for your future, your health and your well-being.

We have seen enough of your hubris. We have tolerated enough of your pseudo intellectual hypocrisy. It is time to say, ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH “.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce you for your hypocrisy, needless hubris and uncalled for activism.

 

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Vidur’s Film Diary – February 2014


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 01, 2014   11.40 P.M.
As I have stated in the January edition of Vidur’s Film Diary , 2014 is the 25th year of my acting training career. This Silver Jubilee Year is bringing lots of accolades and jubilation to Vidur Acting Institute . It is unfolding several unseen vistas in my professional career as well as personal life.
It all started with Sunny Deol starrer ” Singh Saab The Great ” . Urvashi Rautela , a student of Vidur Acting Institute , made her debut in the film. Then came Salman Khan starrer ” Jai Ho “ . It becomes the first ever film to have 8 students of mine working in one film . Daisy Shah made her debut in this film. After these two films , it was turn of an Abhay Deol film called ” One By Two ” . Preeti Desai [ Miss Great Britain 2006 ] played lead in the film . Then came ” Highway “ . Naina Trivedi , [ a FTII alumni of 2009 batch ] and another student of Vidur Acting Institute , played an important role in it. It is needless to say that Alia Bhatt is the main lead of “ Highway “ and she is also my students . Thus my two students were there in critically acclaimed and box office hit film  ” Highway ” .
Vidur Club News Video , an audio – visual wing of Vidur Acting Institute  , captures this momentous phase of my career and beautifully documents and amply illustrates the accomplishments. I am posting links of the two videos :
1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ
2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI
It all happened in the span of just 4 months. March 2014 is going to be more promising , more exciting. But before March comes heralding glorious accomplishments, let us have a look on February 2014.

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Obituary :

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Balu Mahendra : 

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Balu Mahendra, the man who gave us ” Sadma ” [ 1983 ] , a Kamal Haasan & Sridevi starrer film, died on February 13, 2014 in Chennai at the age of 74.
In a career spanning  42 years he made 22 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. He made his highly successful film ” Moondram Pirai ” [ 1982 ] in Hindi as ” Sadma ” [ 1983 ] . He made another Hindi film ” Aur Ek Prem Kahani ” [ 1996 ] . It was a remake of his first film, a Kannada movie ” Kokila ” [ 1977 ] .
Basically a cinematographer, he , apart from directing films in 5 languages, was script writer and editor also.

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – February 07

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1 – Hasee To Phasee ………………………………… Shekhar Ravjiani

2 – Ya Rab ……………………………………………… Flora Saini

3 – Heartless ………………………………………….. X

4 – Babloo Happy Hai ……………………………… X

Second Week – February 14

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1 – Gunday ……………………………………………. Priyanka Chopra

…………………………………………………………… Arjun Kapoor

…………………………………………………………… Aashish Singh

2 – Kaho Na Kaho …………………………………. X

Third Week – February 21
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1 – Highway …………………………………………. Alia Bhatt

………………………………………………………….. Neha Trivedi

………………………………………………………….. Shweta Pandit

2 – Darr @ The Mall ……………………………… Jimmy Sheirgill

…………………………………………………………. Ganesh Hegde

3 – Dee Saturday Night …………………………. X

4 – Karar ……………………………………………. X

Fourth Week  – February 28
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1 – Shaadi Ke Side Effects ………………………. X

2 – Anuradha ……………………………………….. Hrishita Bhatt

In total …………… 12 …………….. films got released in January . Out of these ………….. 12 ………… released films ……….. 06 ………… films have …………… 11 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 11 ……… persons , ………… 07 ……….. are actors . Among the rest ………. 04 ……. Shekhar Ravjiani is the music director of  ” Hasee To Phasee “  . Ashish Singh is the Executive Producer of   ” Gunday ” . Shweta Pandit is the play back singer of ” Highway “ and Ganesh Hegde is the choreographer of ” Darr @ The Mall ” .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Anushka Sharma is the  Brand Ambassador of ” Lipton Green Tea ” .

2 – Priyanka Chopra is the Brand Ambassador of ” Range Rover ” .

3 – Katrina Kaif is the Brand Ambassador of ” Nakshatra Jewellery ”

4 – Katrina Kaif is the Brand Ambassador of ” Panasonic ” .

5 – Kareena Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” Magnum Ice-Cream ” .


My ………….. 04 …………… students in …………… 05 …………… commercial campaign .

Apart from above mentioned 4 films and my new students making debuts in them , my 11 old students appeared in 07 films and 04 students appeared in 05 Ads . Thus total number of old students working in the month of February comes to 15 .

It is not a mean accomplishment considering the fact that by each passing day acting institutes are mushrooming in every nook and corner of Mumbai. There are some genuine institutes and there are few fake institutes.  While I am openly documenting my achievements , there is deafening silence on the other front . Fakers of faking facts , gaali gurus of facebook acting institute , veteran (?) trainers of blink & miss starlets , crafty craftsmen of craft-less actors are conspicuous by their silence . I have always maintained that one day dust will settle down and everything will become crystal clear. Dust now is settling down rapidly and spineless warriors are standing naked . Their true worth is out in the battlefield . And yes , world is watching .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I congratulate all my above mentioned 15 old students and debut – making students .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

May they shine in their chosen field !

VIDUR

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