FTII gearing up to face the digital challenge

NEW DELHI: Doordarshan will telecast live the closing ceremony of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and animation films ending tomorrow.

The telecast on the national channel will be from 5 pm, from the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Film and Television Institute of India (Pune) Director D J Narain said today that the Institute was gearing itself for the digital challenge in film making.

"A fortnight ago, Kodak has filed for bankruptcy and the writing is on the wall. Digital technology is the future and FTII is seized of the developments and restructuring accordingly", he said in a press conference in MIFF 2012.

Narain said a Group of Experts constituted by the Governing Council of FTII has prepared a Detailed Project Report for the Institute, laying down the path to be followed. As part of modernisation plan, FTII proposes to have additional facilities in terms of introduction of new technologies, screening theatres, studio floors, classrooms and hostels for the existing and proposed new courses.

At the same time, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is also working on getting the FTII declared a ‘Centre of Excellence‘ through an Act of Parliament.

Narain said the FTII‘s courses are being restructured and all one-year courses are being converted into full fledged three-year courses, consisting of one-year foundation training and two years of specialisation. While new courses will be introduced keeping pace with changes in film-making, the grammar would continue to remain same.

"Digital technology is capable of breaking the stranglehold of heavy capital investment, but creativity needs to be nurtured in an institutional framework", Narain said.

He admitted that while Government control ensures equity, some of the rules and regulations act as constraints in attracting the best talent for the teaching faculty. As a result, FTII has to depend heavily on visiting guest faculty from Mumbai.

Narain said, "while FTII alumni are part of who‘s who of the film industry, the present crop is no less talented". He said three films - Khara Karodpati by Piyush Thakur, One Two by Prantik Basu and Light Animation by the Animation batch - are in Competition section of the Festival.

The FTII has also sent 15 other films in the Retrospective made by legends like Kumar Shahani, Girish Kasarvalli, and Rajan Khosa among others.

Meanwhile, more than 10 films from the Public Service Broadcasting Trust - which is partly funded by Prasar Bharati - are being screened in various categories of the Festival dealing with diverse subjects. They include Sumit Khanna‘sAll Rise for Your Honour, Bit of Both - the Disappearing Horizon, Umesh Agarwal‘s Brokering News (on the menace of paid news), Eer.. Stories in Stone by Shri Prakash on tribal art, Journey to Nagaland (an animation film by Aditi Chitre), Arun Chaddha‘s Mindscapes of Love and Longing (exploring the sexuality of people with disabilities), Shabani Hassanwalia and Samreen Farooqi‘s Online and Available (on social networking sites), Sab Leela Hai by Nirmal Chander, So Heddan So Hoddan by Anjali Monteiro and K. P. Jayasankar, and Lalit Vachani‘sTales from Napa which is the remarkable story of a little village that resisted the forces of Hindu fundamentalism during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat.

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