Posts Tagged ‘FTII’

Cannes Film Festival has announced the official selection of shorts for the 70th edition of the festival. Payal Kapadia’s short film, Afternoon Clouds, has been selected for the Cinéfondation forum.

Payal is a third-year student of direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Her 13-minute short film is among 16 films chosen, from among 2,600 works submitted this year.

Afternoon Clouds depicts a 60-year old widow, who lives with her Nepali maid, Malati. The entire movie revolves around a single afternoon in their house. This film features Usha Naik and Trimala Adhikari.

A jury presided over by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu will decide the winners. The three Cinéfondation prizes will be awarded at a ceremony preceding the screening of the prize-winning films on Friday 26th May in the Buñuel Theatre.

The Film And Television Institute of India, Pune has introduced a new short course for television fiction. See the attached picture for all the basic details. And click here for more.

Filmmaker Gurvinder Singh has been quite vocal about the steps that the Government has taken regarding Film and Television Institute Of India (FTII) in the last two years. He criticised Gajendra Singh’s appointment, and also refused the National Award last year in protest against the choices made by the jury. Now, there is another controversy regarding a diploma film which was being shot. Click here to read about it.

On his FB page, Gurvinder has clarified his stand on the controversy.

Some stills from ‘Sea of Lost Time’, the diploma film for acting students of FTII which I was directing but stopped midway due to exceeding the ‘shooting ratio’!

The real reasons though lie elsewhere. ‘Shooting ratio’ is a relic from the age of shooting on film stock. One student was rusticated just before the shoot started. He filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court challenging his rustication and pleading he be allowed to act in the film. I gave a statement stating if the court allows he can join the shoot. Which is what the court did. That made the FTII administration, and specially the Head of Department of Acting, Tom Alter, see red. And dutifully the axe fell on the shoot.

The reason: I had exceeded the shooting ratio! Yes, I did. But the norm was thrown at me after the shoot started. I even offered to delete the excessive footage and comply with the norm for rest of the shoot if the norm was so vital to the shooting of the film. But no. All pleas fell on deaf ears. I was given a letter asking to proceed with editing the half-shot film! The entire class and the crew of the film are being penalised for supporting the rusticated student. I wonder if the film will be completed ever.

But we shall fight! The work of the students and all of us who have worked hard on the film deserves to be seen. But the film under production is of no concern to the administration of the Institute. All they care for is ‘norms’ and ‘rules’, which helps them in their vendetta. Tom Alter, backed by the Director and the Chairman of the Institute, and I suppose with full backing of the I&B ministry, have all ganged up to stop this shoot. This is what happens when you appoint mediocre people who have no eligibility to head such institutes.

Vengeance is all that they are there for.

He also shared some stills from the shoot. Click on any still to start the slide show.

(PS – And if you are philistine like this current Government or Gajendra Chauhan, bit on Gurvinder here – An alumni of FTII, Gurvinder Singh is one of the most promising and fearless young filmmaking talent in the current generation. Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. His debut feature film, Anhe Ghorey De Daan, was selected to premiere at Venice International Film Festival. And it bagged 3 National Film Awards – For Direction, Cinematography, and for Best Punjabi Film)

11889612_1628033344103209_9087625749038085119_nSome facts about the FTII director issue.

It was not a gherao. It was a meeting between students faculty and the director. The meeting can go on for any number of hours.

The students had asked only one question that why do you think the assessment is valid? It was the director’s whim that he did not answer us for 7 to 8 hours. He kept repeating that he has orders. Let us also ask him how can it take him so long to answer the question.

Students were not carrying any guns or bombs. He could have easily gone out. He was operating his mobile in the room. Nobody had snatched the mobile from him. If he wanted to call security, if he felt so threatened he could have called the police immediately. Why did he chose to remain in the room without calling anyone to rescue him? The point to be noted here is he chose to sit there evading the question for 8 hours so that he could build a case against students.

The police got involved late. Why did he call the police only at 10 pm? And why the commotion started as soon as the police entered the room? A student was thrown on a chair so the chair got broken. A police fell on a glass door so the door broke. We have video footage to substantiate this.

Immediately after this incident the director talked to media and said that there was no case of violence and he was not mistreated. He said he will get back to the students tomorrow morning.

Then next day he did not show up at all. He went to the police and wrote an FIR stating that the students held him captive for more than 8 hours, mistreated him and vandalized the property. Why did he do that when he had already told the media day before that he was not mistreated by the students? Why is he lying?

So the police came to the campus after midnight as if terrorists are hiding there and takes away only 5 students with them who are our main spokespersons.

A. Why after midnight? They could have easily requested the registrar that these are the students and ask them to report to the police station tomorrow morning. The students could have reported to the police station on their own. Why waste 3 vans full police force?

B. when the police came why the registrar did not pick the phone, did not get up and stayed with the students after repeated knocks on his door?

C. Why only 5 students taken when the fir is against 15. All the students were present there. It is because the next day they can say that other students ran away and hiding somewhere. They do not leave any opportunity to turn students into criminals.

D. If they really came to arrest 15 students and there were names of three girl students in the fir how can they forget to bring ladies constables with them? So did they really come to arrest all the students? Or just wanted to terrorize us.

Finally after all this drama the faculty had to intervene, and Mr Kedarnath Awaty, who is the President of FTII Teachers Association wrote a letter to the Ministry saying that they were present in the meeting till the last moment and there was no incident of violence!

We also have a 5 to 6 hour long footage of the meeting. The director too has it.

So when the director of such reputed institute lies so blatantly in front of the students, faculty and the nation we know that something is terribly wrong with the government.

– Kshama Padalkar

FTII Student


On the 14th of July, 2015, the first thing in the morning, I found myself staring at a Times of India report that stated that The Government of India spends Rs. 12,00,000 per student per year at the Film and TV Institute of India or The FTII. I assume that the figure relates to the year 2011, as the report also mentions that the recovery from the students, as academic fees, is about 11% for the year 2011. There were 350 students… so 350 into 12,00,000 is equal to… wait let me check with the calculator.. is equal to.. 42 and seven zeros… is it eight… no, seven… 42 and seven zeros which is Rs 42,00,00,000. In words, forty two crores for the Film Institute, I presume, for the year 2011.

It is more than what the Government spends on students of Engineering, Management and Medicine, screamed the news item.

Is it? One part of me felt elated as it boosts ones ego to know that at some point of time in your life, your worth was more than that of other wannabe professionals. Another part of me was defiant, funding a film course is of course expensive; 10 minutes of film raw stock would cost more than Rs. 10,000 and a good camera with accessories Rs 30,000 per shift. A third part in me zoomed in, with sharp focus, to the words that Times of India used, ‘What comes as a shocker..’.

Buddy, I should not let this ‘shock’ unchecked – I got determined.

A quick investigative internet search with the help of my friend Google, got me to the ‘FTII Audit Report for the year 2013-14’ pdf file. It was not of the contentious year of 2011, but so what? My newly found investigative senses decided that I should study the 2014 year ending audited ‘Balance Sheet’ and ‘Income and Expenses Account’ of FTII because it was available to me. So what if it is of 2015? If people are waiting for seven years to complete their courses at FTII, I could as well jump three years ahead.

Suspense music begins. The ‘Balance Sheet’ talks about ‘Capital Fund’, ‘Endowment Fund’, ‘Fixed Assets’, ‘Current Assets, loans’ etc. Somehow, the accountant in me ticked me off saying that these are not the figures that one needs to cross check for the statistics reported in The Times of India.

For all those of you who are uninitiated with my flash back, I was supposed to complete a course in Chartered Accountancy, like my friends Gurunandan and Shanker Narayan did. But much to the dismay of my dad, I had donated the two fat blue books that came from the Institute of Chartered Accountants weighing a minimum of two kilos each, within three months of its arrival, because I got selected at the FTII.

The next page is the ‘Income and Expenditure’ statement. Ah, this could be it.

The expenditure for the year 2014 at FTII amounted to 26,41,22,380.69. Excess of expenditure over income that was transferred to the ‘Trust Fund’ account was 4,08,23,409.68. Which meant that income for the year 2014 was 26,41,22,380.69 minus 4,08,23,409.68 which is equal to .. wait… I’ll use a calculator… ah.. it is 22,32,98,971.01.

I will take the liberty and assume that there were 350 students studying at FTII in 2014, as in 2011. So, if I divide 22,32,98,971.01 by 350, the amount the Government of India spent on each student for the year 2014 would be 6,37,997.06 – which little more than half of what the Times of India report says the Government spent in 2011.

But remember, I am an amateur Accountant and I may be wrong. The advantages of being a non professional is that one can take liberties with certain things. I will also do so, henseforth I will deal with only round figures and forget the decimals and the odd numbers. But wait.. why only expenses? Maybe I should deal with income first. Didn’t The Times of India report say that the recovery via fees etc is just 11% of the costs incurred on film students?

Further down the pdf file is a page where in it is mentioned that ‘Fees and Subscription’ collected at FTII amounted to 1,22,50,000 in 2014. According to Times of India, in 2011, this figure is 11% of the total cost of running the Institute. So, what is this percentage for 2014? 100 into 1,22,50,000 divided by 26,50,00,000…. Oh my God, it is 4.62!!! The recovery of student fees of 1,22,50,000 is 4.62 % of the total expenditure of 26,50,00,000 in 2014. This is embarrassing. If it was 10 or 12, I could have understood, but 4.62? No, no… something must be wrong in my calculation or the calculator has run out of batteries.

I crack my accounting brain, as the suspense music intensifies. According to the report, of the 26,50,00,000 rupees mentioned as expenditure in 2014; 15,25,00,000 is ‘Establishment Expenditure’, 6,70,00,000 is ‘Administrative Expenditure’, ‘Subsidies to students’ is 5,50,000 and ‘Depreciation’ is 4,50,00,000. What if I calculate the percentage for 2014 minus the Depreciation? Again, for the uninitiated, Depreciation would mean a decrease in value of your property because of its usage.

Why the hell should it be passed on to the students? So, 26,50,00,000 minus the Depreciation figure of 4,50,00,000 is 22,00,00,000. Ah.. that means ‘Fees and Subscription’ collected from the students would be 5.56% of the total expenses. That is better, but still worrisome for it is far off from the dreaded 11%.

Now, hold it. Just, what is this ‘Establishment Expenditure’? It has fifteen crores of amount against it which is quite a large chunk of the total amount of twenty six crores mentioned against total expenditure; in fact it comes to 57.69%!!!. Further down the pdf file, another table shows the list of all the ‘Establishment Expenditures’. It all pertains to salary, wages, staff welfare expenses etc.

Holy shit!!! When I once went to conduct a short workshop at FTII, I was told that the pay scale of the teachers are not at par with other academic institutions in India because FTII does not come under the University Grants Commission or the UGC. And I know that UGC pay scales are damn good. And yet this salary thing is more than half of the total expenses of the institute. My investigative imagination took me to another page on the FTII web site that listed 160, as the number of employees at the institute for the year 2014. Hey, not bad man, roughly one staff for every two students.

I will now make a logic, if some of you find it bizarre I have no issues with it. If the ratio of staff and students is one is to two, the money spent on students should also be double the money spent on the staff. The money spent on staff is 15 crores, so the money spent on students should logically be 30 crores. The total expenditure in that case should be 45 crores. But we know that it is just 26 crores and more than half of it comes under the heading “Staff etc..” And the staff is actually under paid.

Now a few of you might question as to why things like the ‘Welfare activities’ to staff and ‘Provision for provident fund’ for the staff should be borne by the students and be reflected in the fees that is supposed to be calculated in a Government run Institution? After all, these are indirect expenses. Since most of the students who get admitted at FTII are from the middle class background, they can’t afford it. A few others of you could say that the students be made to pay some of the direct expenses incurred on them. That is also fair enough.

The money spent directly on the students is, I presume, under the ‘Administrative Expenses’ head located in another sheet on another page. These include ‘Production Expenses’, ‘Consumption of Raw stock’, ‘Repairs and Maintenance’, ‘Electricity and power’, ‘Conveyance’, ‘Taxes and water charges’ and the likes. Now, like it occurred to me, you can also say that some of these are not direct expenses. Let us not be mean, unreasonable, un-patriotic and reject everything.

So, adding up all the direct expenses ie.. ‘Administrative Expenses’ would come to 6,70,00,000. This is 25.28% of the total expenses incurred at the institute in 2014. But what the hell, shouldn’t it have been double, going by our ‘staff to student ratio’ logic that some of you might have called bizarre? Why is it just six point seven? Yaar, this is getting nowhere because as we all know that the pay scales of the staff at FTII is not at par with the UGC scales.

And then the moot issue – if the fees collected from the students is 1,22,50,000 and the amount spent on them is 6,70,00,000, what would be the percentage of cost recovery via fees? Wait… 100 into 1,22,50,000 divided by 6,70,00,000 which is equal to 18.28%. Then why the hell is Times of India saying 11%? Agreed, it is a 2011 figure, but shouldn’t it also be saying that there are lot of variants involved?

Variants are varied in nature. Like. some of you might argue as to why should students bear the cost of “Repairs and Maintenance”? So if you remove 1,70,00,000 from 6,70,00,000 the percentage would be as high as 24.5; more than double of 11%. And some others of you might say we should include only ‘Raw stock and Production’ expenses and ‘Library’ expenses. So, what would then happen to the percentage?

And there is another variant that I haven’t even looked into as a post modern investigative amateur accountant. Does this student figure of 350 mentioned in the Times of India report, include all the trainees who came to FTII to upgrade their vocational skills or does it excludes them? The FTII web site have numbers for such people in the ‘personnel trained’ chart – people who have come from Doordarshan, Films Division and the Indian Information Service Probationers from IIMC, New Delhi. All that is too much of an calculation for a person who had dropped out of his accountancy studies; but I suspect that if all that is included the percentage would figure would be different.

Maybe there should be a social audit. Maybe I am ‘massaging the data’ here, as that ‘commie’ called P Sainath referred to, albeit in another context. Or maybe, The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is the person who would know the best.

I wonder how does the Government fix the cost of a second class train ticket or the cost of making a one rupee coin or the amount spent on the production of a small post card. Hats off to those who sit and calculate, so that others can use.

Gosh!!! To borrow a Facebook phrase, ‘It’s complicated’. I wish I had not donated the two fat blue books that came to me from the Institute of Charted Accountants many years back. I am sure that Gurunandan and Shanker Narayan would break into wry smiles, if they read this piece.

Well, I will stop calculating post modern accounting figures that seem surreal and watch a Louie Bunuel film.

– Ramchandra P. N.

(Ramchandra P. N. is an award-winning filmmaker based in Mumbai. He dabbles in features, shorts, documentaries and TV programs in India. You can follow his blog here)


Rahul  Gandhi’s visit to the FTII campus has breathed new fire into the controversy with the pro-government forces accusing the students of politicizing the issue. This timing of his appearance, just in advance of the August 3 protest in Delhi, outside the parliament makes it furthermore interesting. Not only has this event escalated the issue to a different level, it has also opened up its prospect of becoming a major challenge during the monsoon session. BJP sympathizers, who had unleashed an online character assassination campaign against FTII students, are left infuriated. This event also seems to be a win-win for both parties, (Rahul and the FTII students) since not only will it give a new political boost  to the students’ demands but it will also help Rahul combat the political irrelevance he has been reduced to post election.

Before fingers are pointed towards the students, some facts must be set clear. Rahul Gandhi was not exclusively invited to the campus. The students of the institute had been constantly trying to engage the government in a dialogue process but all their appeals fell on deaf ears. The first meeting with the I&B Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley could take place only after a fortnight of agitation, and that meeting too was more of a one sided speech than a dialogue. The ministers exploited all their tools to pressurize the students into withdrawing their strike without paying any heed to their complaints. Having left with no option, the students decided to write letters to forty five members of parliament seeking their support, including three belonging to BJP (Prakash Javadkar, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha).

Among all of them if Rahul Gandhi has decided to visit FTII, then students are in no position not to give him an audience for the sake of keeping things “apolitical”. It should be noted that the students never invited any politician to the campus exclusively. In fact, the letters sent to the MPs were for seeking support, not requesting appearance at the strike. However, if anyone chose to come and express their solidarity, the students have welcomed . In fact, some right wing organizations have also protested outside the gates of FTII. Installation work made by the students have been vandalized by unknown people the night before. The students didn’t raise any objection. Members of ABVP, including individuals who had attacked the students earlier, came to the institute and threatened them again (albeit in a veiled manner). The students showed restraint.

If the students could tolerate unruly elements from ABVP coming and threatening them at the gates of their very own campus, then in which moral universe are they supposed not to allow Rahul Gandhi in? Let us not forget that Mr. Gandhi had made his appearance on the 50th day of the strike. If anyone is responsible for awarding that opportunity to him, it is the government itself, whose constant reluctance at establishing a meaningful dialogue with the students has led the strike go on for so long. Instead of showing any sign of goodwill, the government tried out several arm twisting tactics. First, it started to pressurize the students through bureaucracy,  then it went on with a character assassination campaign calling the students freeloaders, elitist, naxalites, anti-hindus, and what not. The whole institute, its purpose and its existence was maligned and this educational enterprise (whose entire budget is loose change for the government) was evaluated  against its fiscal utility. Counter narratives based on incomplete and disingenuous interpretation of factoids were released and circulated by online bhakt network.

At the extreme, an attempt to sabotage the strike was made by filing ridiculous police complaints against the students exploiting the services of some controversial staff members. None of these could deter the students. On the contrary, by indulging in such cheap tactics, the government has ended up lowering its status further. The outpourings of public support online (often consisting of bullying tweets and profane commentaries) can give the government a sense of fake achievement but in a democracy like India, living in denial can be deadly, and who else than the BJP has the taste of it? But alas, overconfidence induced amnesia is a typical BJP problem.

Instead of trying all these futile exercises, had the government spent some time trying to understand the institute and its needs, the issues might have been resolved rather amicably. Having evaded that responsibility for 50 days, the government has no moral right to accuse the students of politicizing this issue. In fact, they should be thankful to the opposition for giving them a grace period of 50 days.

But, above all, the basic premise that a democratically elected opposition leader involving himself directly with people is something politically vicious, is outright preposterous. People (and especially the BJP and its supporters) should not forget that the constitution has enshrined the concept of opposition in our democracy, not for decoration but for some real practical purpose. And leaders of opposition have every right to involve themselves with issues of the people. In fact, direct involvement with the people is something that should be appreciated and practiced by politicians of all colors. It is true that Mr. Gandhi does not have the oratory skills of Prime Minister Modi and more than often, he is referred to as incapable and mediocre. But one thing that is visibly good about him is that he actively meets people and involves himself in their issues directly, no matter whether it brings any tangible results to his party or not. You can criticize him for a million shortcomings, but the last thing you can chastise him for, is meeting people.

And the BJP should not forget that it owes its present strength to its existence as opposition party for so many years. The full majority that the BJP has in the parliament today, is not just attributed to its pre-election campaign, but to the years of hard work done by veteran leaders like  L.K. Advani, A.B. Vajpayee and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as “opposition leaders”.  If the role of opposition were to be so trivial, so insignificant and so limited then there would be no BJP today. The 2014 elections have decimated the Congress to a paltry 44 seats. And perhaps, this is the worst phase in the history of the party. But despite that low score, it still represents the mandate of the people of this country. No matter how small it is, it is still significant and commands the respect of democracy. Now it is the responsibility of the BJP to treat its opposition with the same respect and significance, it has demanded for itself for so many decades. If the BJP tries to constrict the opposition using hard line (and often, below the belt) tactics, it will insult the legacy of its own great leaders.

Surya Samaddar, FTII Student

With the Government in no mood to replace Gajendra Chauhan, FTII has now gone ahead with a strict warning to the students. The Director of the institute has issued a notice to the students asking them to stop the strike or face severe consequences. This is so weird and wrong at so many levels, especially when so many film talents across the board and alumni of the institute are also backing the students demands.


Oscar and BAFTA Award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty was among those who criticized the latest move by FTII.

11254134_1613812798858597_8819805450063716450_oWe have yet again communicated with the I&B ministry to open a second round of discussion. A letter was sent yesterday, to which we are yet to receive a response. Meanwhile, many claims and counter claims are being made with respect to FTII, the students and the academic culture of the Institute. With no communication coming forth from the ministry, it becomes imperative to clear air of speculations and faulty, misunderstood facts, and provide context to the allegations made. For without perspective, they are no better than half-truths.


The alleged backlogs of certain batches is not a recent phenomenon but a result of government policies imposed on the institute from 2004-05. To quote Mr.Pankaj Rag, IAS officer and former Director of FTII (2008 – 2011), “….In 2004-05 eight new short term courses were started, and that suddenly increased the number of students. The Supreme Court ruling regarding the increase of reservations quota also added to the number of students. Despite this rise in the number of students the infrastructure and human resources of the institute were not increased and upgraded, which should have happened simultaneously…”

Adding to that, earlier the three-year course for the four main disciplines of film-making – Direction, Cinematography, Editing and Audiography, catered for 8 students per department. As of now there are 14 students per discipline and for some batches the figure rises to 16. Hence more number of student films is being made per year without adequate infrastructure support. This obviously leads to delay as students helplessly wait for the equipment and infrastructural support to be available.

Also in the recent years, within the practice of film-making, the technology has rapidly shifted from analog to digital. While earlier we used film negative rolls to shoot films, now the practice is to use digital cameras and equipment. With this shift, the accompanying upgradation in skills of faculty and staff vis-a-vis these new technologies was not undertaken. Apart from a few short workshops by experts from the industry, no effort has been made to offer an in-depth, holistic training to the students. Hence we are left to our own means to learn and use this equipment. This is a major reason for delays in completion of students’ projects.

Infrastructure crunch adds to our woes. There is only one Sound mixing studio for all the projects happening on campus. So, while the projects are shot on time, at the post-production stage students have no option but wait for a previous project to close. Why are students alone being blamed for the delays? Why would Post-Graduate level students extend their courses and compromise on the productive years of their lives? Without understanding the real day-to-day problems, faced by a student on this campus, allegations regarding our conduct and academic sincerity are misinformed and conveniently hide various Governments’ repeated apathy towards the Institute.

Number of Strikes

Here we reiterate the need to discern the difference between a protest and a strike. FTII, we repeat has not witnessed 39 strikes. The number is preposterous. We ask those who make such allegations to back their claims with evidence. To our knowledge, as per official records FTII has seen 32 protests and six strikes till date, the current strike being the seventh in number. Also, it’s important to get a perspective on the reasons for the strikes called in the past. The first strike was called in 1971 to protest changes in course structure and syllabus. In 1979 strike was called against the decision to discontinue the acting course which took another 28 years to restart. All the following strikes in 1984 – against administrative issues, in 1989 – against syllabus change and director’s apathy, 1994 – proposed syllabus and privatization, 2001 – against fee hike and revised course structure, points less towards restless students and more towards successive governments’ lack of commitment and vision to address recurring systemic issues. It also highlights a historic oversight, repeated till date- syllabus and academic changes made without accounting for the needs, aspirations of students along with a lack of pedagogic vision for the study and practice of film making.

This has led to the present scenario where on paper, even in an ideal situation, second and third year syllabi and projects cannot be completed within a year. A knee-jerk solution to this is repeatedly offered in ways that dilute course inputs and project based practice to fit the three year time frame. However, constructive suggestions to revitalize the syllabus, teaching approach and quality of inputs are not taken into account. Dilution rather than dedication seems to direct education policy approach.

After sixty years of independence, students are still not considered important stakeholders and therefore collaborators in devising education policies. Why such a top down approach? How can a young India bear the burden of such old values?

Tax Payer’s Money:

Comparing the functioning of FTII to that of an IIT, IIM or Medical college is both unfair and misleading. All four institutes cater to different academic and professional pursuits. In FTII students are required to make films using state-of-the-art technology that is in accordance with standards followed across the world. These equipments are manufactured outside the country and cost per unit is high. For example, one Arri Alexa camera used to shoot student projects cost between one to two crores, this includes cost of lenses and other accessories. This very camera is hired out for Rs. 25000-30000 per shift of 8 hours. Similarly other equipment like the sound recording devices, studio lights, post production software and hardware, used throughout the process of making a film are expensive. Hence film-making is resource heavy. So the alleged amount a Government spends per student must be understood in this context, of many students sharing limited resources.

Per batch FTII trains around 60 students in the 5 main disciplines of film-making. Acting enrolls another 12 students. An IIT trains, on an average, 500 students per year. Comparisons made to compare per student expenditure in the two institutes are misleading as nature of resources needed are different.

Here we humbly ask the government to provide a concrete break down of the alleged 12 lakhs being spent on each student because our daily struggle with diminishing academic resources point to the opposite. We indeed want more transparency to locate where the funds are going?

Also, the government grants FTII about 20 crores per year. Whereas IIT Guwahati gets Rs.110crores and IIT Bombay gets Rs.100crores. Then is the current debate about whether arts are as relevant as science and technology, to a country like India. Isn’t it the duty of any responsible and progressive government to equally support the arts and crafts of a country? How can the plural fabric of our nation and culture be democratically represented without patronage of the various arts and crafts, whether it be classical dance, music, folk art or cinema.

In fact, for a country so zealously building its international reputation, cannot afford to ignore the appeal and soft power of its cultural art forms and cinema. Delegations and heavy dossiers don’t win over as convincingly as simple yet powerful truths; art has the power to communicate. Therefore, the recent tarnishing of FTII’s image is short-sighted and regrettable. An institute that is a cultural asset for this country both nationally and internationally is being asked to justify its very existence. And, above all these facts, the government should take note on one thing that any forms of art cannot be quantified in material terms.

In this regard, the cut in allocations to education and heath from the GDP is a step that retreats than fosters growth. As repeatedly mentioned by renowned economists, education is the building block of any nation that aspires to be developed. A strong nation needs strong and empowered citizens.

Students’ Association, FTII

FB Page is here.


With students of Film and Television Institute Of India in no mood to compromise, the strike is still on. And looking at what the Government’s various mouthpieces (people, sites, channels) are shouting, this seems to be a clear cut strategy.

First, they can’t contest the fact that Gajendra Chauhan is not really a credential face for the FTII.

SO —> Second, since that’s not working and we can’t take control of the institute, let’s shut it down.

WHY? —-> Third, FTII is the heaven for drugs and debauchery. There is no focus on studies and the course. Anonymous posts are being circulated.

HOW? —> Fourth, so the Government is wasting “YOUR” tax money in a film institute where “naxalites and anti-government” people are having fun. It just doesn’t make any sense, right? Remember the stress on “your”. Yes, “your” tax money should be spent on MP/MLAs subsidised canteens and big statues.

Aha, what coincidence. And this is coming out from every mouthpiece. A pied piper says so, everyone repeats it.

At its core is a stupid mindset that still thinks “engineering” is the only reason that mankind exists. So Government should spend money on IITs only. And 100 other universities where nobody smokes or drinks or have never even heard of any kind smoking stuff. And yes, we must spend money on big big statues that will save us from every disaster.

Since art (and especially films which have the widest reach) is one of the strongest voice of dissent, why spend money on people who will raise their voice against us? Why feed them? And what is the use of a camera anyway, other than clicking a selfie, right? For that you don’t need to run a film institute.

Aha, myopia at its worst.

Not surprising that the few voices which are supporting the idea that FTII should be privatised are the ones who run their own private institutes who charge such exorbitant fees that most can’t even afford. In such a scenario, FTII/SRFTII is the only hope for many who want to get into arts. In terms of quality, almuni and the credential, those private institutes are light years behind FTII. It’s not only a premiere institute in the country, but is easily among the best in the world. It would be a really sad scenario if just for selfish political mileage the institute will be harmed in anyway.

Also, those who are claiming that since bollywood makes so much money, why should Governement run it. Well, FTII is NOT bollywood. Indian Cinema is NOT just bollywood. Get up from your troll account, google, learn what it is about.

As far as the claims about FTII gone to dogs in last 10 years, so it should be shut down, well, we have tried to compile the list of those “dogs” who have got some kind of national/international claim in the last few years. We are sure this is not a complete list, and we must be missing many here. Do keep adding the names in the comments section. And remember, this is just last 10 year list.

It takes years to build an institute of such repute. It takes one bad decision to kill it all.

Nice Girls – by Nimisha Pandey Best Documentary Film Award – 0110 Digital Film Festival, New Delhi, 2004
Ek Aakash – by Sudhakar Reddy Special Mention Award – 3rd International Film Festival, Argentina,

Special Jury Award, 51st National Film Award 2003

Baba Pagla – by Ramesh Birajdar Best Audiography, 51st National Film Award 2003
Mangali – by Shilpi Das Gupta Special Mention for Innovative Direction, 51st National Film Award 2003
Girni – by Umesh Kulkarni

Cinematography by Manoj Lobo

Best Short Film Award, Govt. of Maharashtra, 2005

Best Non-Feature Film, 52nd National Film Awards 2004

Best Cinematography Award, 52nd National Film Awards 2004

Dwijaa – by Pankaj Purandare Best Film on Social Issues, 52nd National Film Awards 2004
Kshya Tra Ghya – by Amit Dutta

Audiography by Vivek

Special Jury Mention, 52nd National Film Awards 2004

Best Audiography Award, 52nd National Film Awards 2004

Cradle Song – by Nimisha Pandey 1) Best Short Fiction Film, 52nd National Film Awards 2004
Saanjh – by Jasmine Kaur 1) Best Film on Family Welfare, 52nd National Film Awards 2004
Sukravarsh Aakash – by Emmanuel Palo 1) First Prize of EADS AIRAET, Germany, 2005
Amachi Kasauti – by Rrihu Laha 1) Best TV Documentary, IBDA          Awards, Dubai

2) Best Student Film, INR 10,000

Closer – by Anmol Bhave ‘Rajat Kamal’ Award for Best Audiography, 53rd National Film Awards, 2005
Voices Across The Ocean – by Ganesh Gaikwad ‘Swarna Kamal’ Award for Best Direction, 53rd National Film Awards, 2005
Parsiwada Tarapore Present Day – by Paramvir Singh ‘Rajat Kamal’ Award for Best Cinematography, 53rd National Film Awards, 2005
Chabiwali Pocket Watch – by Vibhu Puri

Anay Goswamy

Best Feature at IBDA Awards, Dubai 2005

Special Kodak Award for the director at the 13th International Film School Festival, Poland

Special Jury Award for the director Vibhu Puri, 53rd National Film Awards, 2006

Winner, Asia Pacific Kodak Filmschool Competition, 2006

Best Cinematography award in the ‘Emerging Filmmakers’ section, Cannes Film Festival:

Kramasha – by Amit Dutta


Kramasha – by Savita Singh

Kramasha – by Ajit Singh Rathore


“GOLD MIKELDI FOR FICTION” by the International Jury of the 49th edition of the Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Films, Spain


Golden Conch, MIFF, 2008


Rajat Kamal and cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- for Best Cinematography in 55th National Awards

Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-  for Best Audiography in 55th National Awards

Bhanga Ghara, Nilanjan Datta Silver Lotus, Best film on Environment, 55th National Film Awards (Awarded in 2009)
Chasing Angelina Jolie – by Saurav Dey Best Student Documentary (Golden Trophy), Indian Documentary Producers Association, Mumbai
Udedh Bun – by Siddhartha Sinha Silver Bear, 58th Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin, 2008

Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 50,000/- to the Director for Best Short Fiction in 55th National Awards

Haravalele Indradhanushya – by Dhiraj Meshram 1) Silver Conch, MIFF, 2008

2) Best Short Fiction Film (Golden Trophy) and Best Screenplay (Silver Trophy), Indian Documentary Producers Association, Mumbai.

Undertakers – by Emmanuel Palo Silver Conch, MIFF, 2008
Three of Us – by Umesh Kulkarni

Shariqua Badar Khan Cameraperson


Grand Prix Grimstad , 2500 Euro,Norwegian Short Film Festival

Best Documentary and Trophy, 16th Curtas Vila Do Conde International Film Festival, Portugal.

Best Documentary Award, Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema 2008

Grand jury prize, signe de nuit, France

PATTON award for Best Indian Film, 6th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata.


6th Competitive We Care Filmfest  2009, New Delhi  First Prize (Mentally Challenged Category)


Best Direction – SWARNA Kamal and Rs 1,00,000/- to the Director, 56th National Awards 2008

Best Cinematography – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- and Adlabs Mumbai, 56th National Awards 2008

Narmeen – by Dipti Gogna HBO Short Film Competition Jury Award and cash prize of $2,500, 5th South Asian International Film Festival 2008, New York.

Best Director Award of a cash prize – $1,000, Whistling Woods International Students Film Competition Live Action

(Short Film) During 7th Pune International Film Festival, Pune.

Jury Award for Best Short Film at the 7th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles


Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Short Fiction’ (Professional category) in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA)

Best Short Film Award at ‘Bollywood and beyond’ Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart, Germany 09

Jury Special Mention Award for Section – “Children World” in 7th edition of the International Short Festival ‘Salento Finibus Terraein’, Italy.

Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Sound Design’ (Fiction) in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) – Manik Batra


Best Music Direction Award – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-, 56th National Awards 2008 – Vipin Mishra

PATTON AWARD for the Best Indian entry 8th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata – November 1 to 5, 2010

Dhin Tak Dha – Saikat Ray 1) Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Editing’ (Fiction) in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA).
Swayambhu Sen Foresees his End – by  Debashish Medhekar 1) Certificate for Merit for Best Short Fiction’ (under 30 minute) in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA).
In Transit – by Arunima Sharma 1) ‘Silver Award’ for ‘Best Documentary’ (30 min.) in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA)
Who Thought of the Little Boy  – Devendra Golatkar 1) Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Cinematography’ in Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA)
Take Off – by Collin D’Cunha Koenig Ludwig Trophy for Best Beer Advertisement, Munich 2009
Echoes of Silence –  by Zubin Garg – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- for Best Music Direction Award in 55th National Awards
Aadmi ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniyan (The Man’s Woman and Other Stories) – by  Amit Dutta 1) Special Mention in the competition section of Horizon (Orizzonti Section) – 66th Venice International Film Festival held from 2nd to 12th September, 2009
Turbulence – Cinematography by Rangoli Agarwal Best Film / TV Feature – Ibda’a Awards, Dubai, 2009
Gaarud – Umesh Kulkarni

Deepu S. Unni, Cameraman

Lipika Singh Darai Sound

PATTON award for Best Indian Film, 7th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata.

Sharing Best Film : Short Fiction (Under 30)- Gold, Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2009, Mumbai


Golden Conch (cash award of Rs. 3 Lakh/-, MIFF, 2010)

Sharing Best Film : Short Fiction (Under 30)- Gold, Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2009, Mumbai

Best Cinematography – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- and Adlabs, Mumbai – 57th National Awards 2009.

Best Audiography for Re-recordist (final mixed track) – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-. – 57th National Awards 2009

Thread – Lilium Leonard Best Short Film Rs. 25,000/- 8th Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai
The Watch Clinic / Ghadyalancha Dawakhana – by Vikrant Pawar Best Film Award of a cash prize – $2,000, at Whistling Woods International Students Film Competition Live Action (Short Film) during 8th Pune International Film Festival, Pune – 7th to 14th Jan. 2010


Best Film for 1st Pune Shot Film Festival 2011

Certificate – Special Mention for 17th International Children’s Film Festival – Golden Elephant, Mumbai 2011

Trip – by Emmanuel Palo Best Scientific Film – Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 50,000/- each to the Producer and Director, 56th National Awards 2008
Stations – by Emmanuel Palo

Manoj Kannoth, Editor

Short Fiction Film – Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 50,000/- each to the Producer and Director, 56th National Awards 2008

Best Editing – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-, 56th National Awards 2008

When This Man Dies – Jayakrishna Gummadi, Cameraman Best Cinematography – Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- and Filmlab, Mumbai, 56th National Awards 2008
Ekti Kaktaliyo Golpo – Tathagata Singha Sharing Best Debut Non-feature Film of a director – Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 37,500/- each to the Producer and Director. – 57th National Awards 2009.
Vaishnav Jan Toh…. – Kaushal Oza Sharing Best Debut Non-feature Film of a director – Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 37,500/- each to the Producer and Director. – 57th National Awards 2009.

Best Student Film : Short Fiction – Gold – Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2009, Mumbai

Vilay – Umesh Kulkarni

Nitika Bhagat, Cameraman

Best film award in the 14th Thai Short Film and Video Festival, Thailand held on August 2010.

Special Mention – Certificate only – 57th National Awards 2009.

Reflections – Swati Khatri Special mention of the Jury – 8th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata – November 1 to 5, 2010
The Light and her Shadows – Avinash Arun Best Cinematography – Short Fiction – Gold, Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2009, Mumbai
Chaatak (Waiting for Rain) – Reema Borah Best Film : Short Fiction (Over 30) – Special Mention – Indian Documentary Producers’ Association (IDPA) 2009, Mumbai
Come and See (playback) – Tathagata Singha Indo Canada Student Innovation Award 2011 (ICSIA), Mumbai
Shyam Raat Seher – Arunima Sharma

Murli G., Cameraman

Best Direction award with Swarna Kamal and cash prize of ` 1,50,000/- 58th National Film Awards

Best Cinematography award with Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- each to the processing laboratory – Film Lab, Mumbai – 58th National Film Awards 2010.

Kal 15 August Dukan Band Rahegi – Pratik Vats Best Short Fiction award with Rajat Kamal and Cash Prize of Rs. 50,000/- each to the Producer and Director – 58th National Film Awards 2010
Urnanaabh – Zalina Gamat

Jigmet Wangchuk, Cameraman

Silver Trophy for ‘Excellence in Short Fiction’ (Student category) – IDPA Awards 2010

Kodak Film School Cinematography National Competition 2011

Airawat – Renu Savant Special Jury Mention in 4th International Short and Documentary Film Festival of Kerala 11.

Special Mention Certificate only for 59th National Awards in 2011

Blue Palace – Mahavir Sabannavar, Audiographer Best Sound Design Award – NO LIMITS FILM FESTIVAL, Sheffield, UK
Memories – Ms. Gayatri Joshi Silver Trophy for ‘Excellence in Animation’ (Student) – IDPA Awards 2010
Utsav – Animation Student group project Special Jury Mention – IDPA Awards 2010
1, 2 – Prantik Basu

Gautam Nair, Audiographer

PATTON award for Best Indian Film, 9th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata

Technical Awards in Camera Gold and Sound Silver 4th Cut.In Students’ Video Festival, Mumbai 2011


Indian Jury Award i.e. Cash Award of Rs. 2,50,000/- in the Indian Competition in the 12th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF -2012)

Best Audiography for with Rajat Kamal and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- for 59th National Awards in 2011

Open Café v2.5 – Naveen Padmanabhan

Sylvester Fonseca, Cinematographer

Gold Award in Documentary category and for Sound Gold and Camera Silver in Technical Awards in 4th Cut In Students’ Video Festival, Mumbai 2011

Best Cinematography for Whistling Woods International Student Film Competition (a section of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), 2012

Shankarnama – Nikhil Mullay Best Sound for Whistling Woods International Student Film Competition (a section of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), 2012
Rizwan – Deepti Khurana

Cinematographer – Akash Agrawal

Special Jury Mention at 5th International Short and Documentary Film Festival of Kerala held from 8th to 12th June 2012

Cinematography award in the Diploma Section in Fujifilm – Indradhanush Film School Competition 2012

Prabhat Nagari Film 1 – Aman Wadhan

Cinematographer – Srijit Basu

Special mention in Student Non fiction category for Prabhat Nagari in 11th IDPA award in Mumbai (2015)

Cinematography award in the Fujifilm – Indradhanush Film School Competition 2012

Kaun Kamleshwar – Camera: – Rangoli Agrawal

Dir: Anurag Goswami

specially acknowledged films by the jury members in the Fujifilm – Indradhanush Film School Competition 2012

Satyajit Ray Foundation’s short film award, held in conjunction with London Indian Film Festival, 2013.

Moon Stars Lovers –

Cinematographer: G. Balakrishna Sharma

specially acknowledged films by the jury members in the Fujifilm – Indradhanush Film School Competition 2012
Afterglow – Kaushal Oza Patton Award for the Best Indian Film at 10th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, Kolkata held from November 1 to 5, 2012.

BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES award with RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- each to the Director and Producer – 60th National Film Awards

Chumbak – Gaurav Shimpi Special Jury Award in the Kyoto International Student Film and Video Festival scheduled from 17th to 23rd November 2012.
The Elephant, From the Bridge (Dir Abhilash Vijayan) 2nd Best Documentary film, 3rd Best Director and 2nd Best Editor award in 1st Smita Patil Short Documentary Competition, 2012.
11 Minutes (Dir Karma Takapa) Best Director award in 1st Smita Patil Short Documentary Competition, 2012.
Allah is Great – Dir. Andrea Lannetta Special Jury Mention – Coming Stars Panorama in 5th Jaipur International Film Festival 2013

SPECIAL MENTION – 60th National Film Awards

2nd Best Film in Dubai International Film Festival (Shorts Section) with a prize money of AED 25,000.

Kaatal – Dir. Vikrant Pawar

Abhimanyu Dange, Cameraman

Kaatal – Dilip Kumar Ahirwar, Sound

BEST SHORT FICTION award comprising RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- cash each to both Director and Producer (FTII) – 60th National Film Awards

Best Student Film Award in International Film Festival of Fiji 2013.

BEST DIRECTION with SWARNA KAMAL and Rs.1,50,000/-  cash – 60th National Film Awards

Best Direction in Fiction in 1st NSFA & SFFI, 2013.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY award with RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- cash each to cameraman and laboratory (Cash Component to be shared between films)


Best Short Fiction film with Golden Conch trophy and Rs. 500,000 cash prize (Rs 300,000 for the Director and Rs 200,000 for the producer – FTII) in 13th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films (MIFF) 3rd to 9th February 2014.

Best Sound Recordist with Rs. 1,00,000/- and certificate in 13th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films (MIFF) 3rd to 9th February 2014.

After Glow – Dir. Kaushal Oza BEST FILM ON FAMILY VALUES award with RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- each to the Director and Producer – 60th National Film Awards
Man from Maldeo – Dir. Ruchir Arun Special Jury Award in Non-Fiction in 1st NSFA & SFFI, 2013.
The Donkey Fair – Dir. Rakesh Shukla Best Documentary award in 3rd Smita Patil International Film Festival 2014 organized by Arogya Sena Co-organizer SYS.with prize rs10,000/- and certificate

Best Cinematography in Non-Fiction in 1st NSFA & SFFI, 2013


Best Documentary award in 3rd Smita Patil International Film Festival 2014 organized by Arogya Sena Co-organizer SYS.with prize rs10,000/- and certificate.

The Drowning Song – Dir. Sandhya Daisy Sundaram Best Music Video in 6th International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala.
Black O’ Whyte – Dir. Jithindas C.H. and Sibin Anto M. Best Animation Film in 6th International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala

Best Director for animation award in 2nd National Students Film Awards at SRFTI, Kolkata .27th feb to 3rd march 2014.

Kaun Kamleshwar – Dir. Anurag Goswami Satyajit Ray Foundation’s short film award, held in conjunction with London Indian Film Festival, 2013.
Dwand – Dir Abhilash Vijayan

Sahil Bhardwaj, Camera

Best Short Film in Ladakh International Film Festival 2013.

Best Cinematography Award in 13th International Student Film Festival Písek 2013, Czech Republic.

Firdous – Dir. Tushar More Best Cinematography Award in Kodak India Film School Competition 2013.


Special mention in Student fiction category for Firdous in 11th IDPA award in Mumbai

Best Direction Category in Samyak Short Film Festival, Pune.

That Elephant from the Bridge – Dir. Abhilash Vijayan) Documentary Gold at Cut.In National Student Film Festival 2013 at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Best Documentary Award at Kolhapur International Film festival, 2013.

Chidiya Udh – Dir. Pranjal Dua

Gautam Nair Audiographer

BEST DIRECTION award with SWARNA KAMAL and Rs.1,50,000/- cash – 61st National Film Awards 2013

BEST AUDIOGRAPHY award with RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- cash – 61st National Film Awards 2013

Mandrake! Mandrake! – Dir. Ruchir Arun

Kavin Jagtiani, Cameraman

Special Mention Fiction (10 to 30 min) in 2nd National Students Film Awards at SRFTI, Kolkata 27th feb to 3rd march 2014

BEST SHORT FICTION award comprising RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- cash each to both Director and Producer (Director, FTII) – 61st National Film Awards 2013


Silver medal in Student Fiction category for Mandrake Mandrake in 11th IDPA award in Mumbai

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY award with RAJAT KAMAL and Rs. 50,000/- cash each to cameraman and laboratory

Things Missing – Karan Singh, Editor (TV course film, dir : Samar Ali Warsi) Best Editing Non-fiction (shared) in 2nd National Students Film Awards at SRFTI, Kolkata .27th feb to 3rd march 2014.
Makara – Susmit Bob Nath, Sound (dir. Prantik Narayan Basu) Best Sound Design Fiction (10 to 30 min) in 2nd National Students Film Awards at SRFTI, Kolkata 27th feb to 3rd march 2014
Sonyacha Amba – Dir. Govind Raju Specail Award for IDPA Award for the best student film with IDPA Trophy and Rs. 1,00,000/-in 13th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films (MIFF) 3rd to 9th February 2014.
Makhi – Dir. Umesh Kulkarni Best Short Film – Fiction in SIGNS 2014 – John Abraham National Awards 28th May to 1st June 2014
Aisa Nahin Hua Tha Tahira –
Dir. Rajula Shah
Cinema Experimenta – Fiction in SIGNS 2014 – John Abraham National Awards 28th May to 1st June 2014
Thutse Kyume – Dir. Takapa Karma Jury Special Mention – Fiction in SIGNS 2014 – John Abraham National Awards 28th May to 1st June 2014
A Dream Animal – Dir. Sanyukta Sharma

Pinak Agte

Susmit Bobnath

Jury Special Mention – Fiction in SIGNS 2014 – John Abraham National Awards 28th May to 1st June 2014


Best Director for A dream Animal in 3rd NSFA pune

Best Audiography for A dream Animal in 3rd NSFA Pune

Best Sound Design for A dream Animal in 3rd NSFA, Pune

Mukhabir – Manoj Nitharwal Best Student Film Award in International Film Festival of Fiji 18th to 28th July 2014.
Roots -Antara Anand, Film ‘Roots’ – 2nd Prize (Shared) – Non Fiction

Prize consists of – A cheque of Rs. 15000/-, Certificate & a Memento.

Glass-Naveen Padmanabha Film ‘GLASS’ – 1st Prize – Fiction

Prize consists of – A cheque of Rs. 20000/-, Certificate & a Memento.

Sahara Rider -Devendra Meher Film ‘Sahara Rider’ – 2nd Prize (Shared) – Non Fiction Prize consists of – A cheque of Rs. 15000/-, Certificate & a Memento.
Renu Savant- Aaranyak

Vijay Kalmakar

Best Short Fiction Film award at Asian Film FestivalThird Eye Mumbai , 2015.

Best Film Aaranyak in 3rd NSFA Pune

Best Direction for Aaranyak in 62nd National film Award in non feature film category. . Swarna Kamal and 1.5lakh cash prize

Best Editor for Aaranyak in 3rd NSFA pune

Song we Wrote- Sandhya sundaram BEST AUDIOGRAPHY category Audiographer :- Sumit Kuhate in live action competition in 13th Pune internation Film Festival.
Tushar Kharalkar – Sadabahar Brass Band (Dir: Tushar More) Best Art and Production Design for Sadabahar Brass Band in 3rd NSFA in pune
Return to innocence – Dir: Deepanjan Laha Gold medal in Student animation category for Return to Innocence  in 11th IDPA award in Mumbai
Seek & Hide, Manoj Nitharwal Special mention with certificate in 62nd National film award in non feature film category for Seek and Hide.

New York Indian Film Festival (OUTSIDE)  Best short film

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.” –  Australian Aboriginal proverb

To observe, to learn, to grow, to love.


14th June, 8 pm It’s the third day of our strike and ex-AAP member Yogendra Yadav is on campus to express his solidarity to our cause. We are happy but also wary of the protest being politically hijacked. The head of the media team, a close friend, is sharing her concern with me about these dangers. She is worried. She is a natural leader, a born-fighter and survivor and this is not her first fight against tough odds. She will also do this as many times as needed, but the memories of that one night refuse to leave her. When she was leading one such protest in her college. Where four men from a political party followed her at night. She was just 19 and terrified.

I place my hand on hers. I see her still shaken from the old old memory. I also see the courage that makes her go on.

16th June, 10.30 pmFourth day of the strike and I am taking a dinner break before we re-group for another round of exhaustive meetings. I am stressed and tired and mum calls. I haven’t spoken to her in ten days and have been wondering why neither she nor dad has called to check on me yet. She doesn’t know about it. I fill her in. She is completely removed from the world of politics and she asks some very simple (not simplistic) questions. I tell her in brief and she replies, in an upbeat and encouraging voice, ‘You kids go ahead! Datt ke strike karo and make sure you get what you want. The Government can’t do this!

I hang up and feel all stress has left me. The innocence and honesty in my mom’s straight-talk has unwound something inside me. Refreshed me. I decide to make this my go-to memory every time the stress of the protest gets to me.

17th June, 4 amThe sixth day of our strike has just ended. An intense meeting with all students has just ended. A group of us are still hanging around outside MT (Main Theatre) grappling with unresolved questions. A dear friend and one of us who is leading the strike says he got a call from his mother, who has been out of town and just returned to the news of the strike. In the middle of the conversation his mother suddenly asks him to hang up because she was scared his phone is being tapped. Stunned, he hangs up. We sit in silence and look into his eyes. He is not scared, but immensely moved. He has never ever heard such paranoia in his mother’s voice. It stops him. It compels him to look deeper and ask more questions of himself.

19th June 6 pm: Eight days have passed. Eight exhausting days of media interaction, solidarity calls to the world, strategising, debating and above all self-introspection.

Each day we put ourselves through the intensive rigour of asking ourselves tough questions. Of striving to remove the curtains the world has put on our souls in order to get in touch with the core. The core from which our art pours forth. The core that is all we have. For the art that is all we have. What are we really fighting and who? Are we becoming what we are fighting? What for? And for whom? These questions refuse to leave us. Everyday we find an answer, everyday we find a new question. And it goes on evolving.


I like questions. They open up a whole new world; it’s like taking a trek through a yet undiscovered dirt road. The kind of exploration trips Enid Blyton’s kids take into the forest, spurred by curiosity, excited to meet the unknown. And then find something they have been looking for, a resolution. Till the next search begins. Life resides in the journey, after all.

We spent the first six days of the strike intensely strategising our moves. Only to realise we are beginning to play the same games we are fighting. We had begun to deliberate and measure our words and actions. We were censoring ourselves while we were fighting censorship. Why weren’t we tapping into or creative sides, our emotional sides? We were becoming hardened because we had stopped looking at our fears. In our drive for a ‘purer’ way of functioning, we were allowing ourselves to become corrupt. We were fighting, not standing up for anything we believed in, becoming totalitarian ourselves. Where is the tolerance in us, that we are looking for outside? Are we becoming part of the same mob we are up in arms against? Where are our individual, rather human voices? Fear is born of fear and fear feeds fear. Why are we shying away from our own fears when fear-mongering is what we are against? In that case, are we really standing up for ourselves, or running away? And running towards what? Labels and images? In between rejection and acceptance there is a flux. Why weren’t we engaging with it so that we can ‘be’ what we are standing up for?

pic 8

This protest has pulled all of us out of our cocoons, jolted us out of our complacency. I see all of us grappling with our deepest fears and facing them, looking for cracks in the walls we have built around ourselves to break them, trying hard to understand the world we live in and our relationship with it. The girl who was followed, she is facing her fears because of this. The boy who heard his mother’s paranoia has discovered a more human aspect of this struggle. I, someone who has always been scared of confrontation, am beginning to understand the nature of a fight and my place within it. And it is spreading.

Pic 16 We are students, still learning. We are budding artists, still growing. We are fumbling, we are foolish, we are emotional, we are impulsive, we are sensitive but that’s what makes us who we are. We are vulnerable and struggling to find our strength in it. That’s the only way to create for us. Until we accept this we don’t grow.Pic 29

There is an alive-ness on the campus these days. A vibrant, throbbing life I haven’t experienced in my one and half years here yet. We are waking up. To ourselves. We are faltering, falling too, picking ourselves up and others alongwith us, only to be met by the next seemingly unscaleable wall. But that’s part of the process of growing up, no one promised it was going to be easy, anyways. It’s awe-inspiring to see life bloom like this in front of your eyes. In people you live with, study with, care about, relate to, whose fears you share, whose angst you understand, whose walls you can see but can do little about… And in oneself, whose impasses one is almost tired of countering anymore. It takes immense courage, this insistent self-criticality. But I’ve realised, this is what FTII expects out of us. Honesty to oneself. All else will simply follow.

Pic 27

I see the living, breathing nature of our struggle. There is so much beauty in it, so much innocence, its humbling. And it has united us in a deeply stirring way. In taking the individual journey inwards. Together.

There is a churning that is happening in the womb of the erstwhile Prabhat Studios that has something life-affirming about it. It will see us through, I think.

For us, it’s not about FTII anymore. Neither is it about certain agendas of the Government we or you happen to see as ‘wrong’. It’s about all of us who are ‘fighting’ something.

How can we stop fighting and stand up instead?

How can we be the change we want to see?

Simple questions we are still trying to find an answer to.

– Fatema Kagalwala

To know more about the strike pls read –

Why we are doing what we are doing –

Beena Paul on the deeper problems of the issue –

Ajith Kumar B and Kamal K M on FTII’s dilemma –

Prayaag Akbar on nationalism and killing cinema –

A brilliant feature on culture and identity –

Sanjay Kak on BJP’s scorch-earth policy –