Floundering Film and Television Institute of India needs a change of script
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OUT OF STEP
According to Sakshi Gulati of the FTII students' association, the I&B Ministry has no idea how to run an educational institution. "We as students feel abandoned. We don't have resources to complete our projects. For much of the better period of the delay, the students were fighting against the suggestions made by the Hewitt Committee to the government that would have made the institute out of bounds for many of the not-so-affluent creative minds of the country. The report was subsequently dropped," Gulati said.
Gurgaon-based Hewitt Associates had been appointed by the government in 2010 to prepare a report on how best to upgrade the FTII. In its draft report submitted in November 2010, the company that usually does analysis reports for corporates suggested that the FTII be re-modelled as a public-private-partnership along with introduction of costly short-term courses to transform it into a profit-generating institute. Students had opposed the report vehemently saying that it would make the institute exclusive and homogeneous, catering only to those who could afford the high fees recommended in the draft report. They also felt that rather than a corporate analysis firm, a committee with members associated with the industry should have drawn up a blueprint for the future of the institute.
It was then that the report of the Hewitt panel was rejected and another committee, headed by National Film Archives of India founder chairman P K Nair and comprising people like Kundan Shah, Nachiket Patwardhan, Saeed Mirza, Shama Zaidi, Jabeen Merchant and staff, student and faculty representatives set up.
Seeking a shift to digital in syllabus, Gulati said: "The current film stock will only last a few more years; Kodak has closed down. The world has moved digital, so must the syllabus and the way films are made at the FTII. But we are still caught in a time warp."
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