Film and Television Institue of India: Evolution and Contribution Since 1960
Film and Television Institute of India i.e. FTII came into existence in the year 1960. It was established in Pune at the premises of erstwhile Prabhat Studios with an aim to impart world-class training in filmmaking and television programming. Since its inception, FTII has truly lived up to its mission and being regarded as the most prestigious film school of our country. It is recognized as a Center of Excellence not only in India but all across the globe, mainly in Asia and Europe.
FTII is an independent association guided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. The Governing Council appoints the director and set the policies of the institute. FTII is a member of CILECT i.e. Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television, which is an international guild of all famous film and television schools.
Initially, it was known as the Film Institute of India but soon after 1974 when the television wing located at New Delhi got shifted to Pune, the scope of learning extended to both Film and television training under one roof. Hence, in order to justify its vision and purpose, the institute was rechristened as the Film and Television Institute of India. Since then, FTII has come a long way in both the fields.
Among the various courses offered by FTII, the popular ones include film and television Direction, Acting, Cinematography, Art Direction and Production Design. Recently, the institute has introduced few short-term courses in the area of Editing, Screenplay Writing, Animation and Computer Graphics, Sound Recording & Sound Design. FTII is fully equipped with modern and advanced equipments necessary for the best quality training and technical expertise.
The infrastructure of the institute includes functional Film studio floors, 35 mm and 16 mm cameras for film shooting, HMI lights of all kinds, latest editing setups, adequate number of Nagras for sound department, full-fledged Graphics department and an exclusive Sound studio dubbing with rock-n-roll projection facilities and the Harrison audio mixing. Moreover, FTII has an extensive book and video library with an ample and awesome collection of knowledge and creativity.
The students of the FTII are getting huge acclaim for their films both in India and foreign countries. They are doing rounds of National and International film festivals leaving an incredible mark of Indian cinema and sensibilities. The alumni of the institute have made their presence felt not only in the film industry but also the television field. Prominent filmmakers like Subhash Ghai, Mani Kaul, Rajat Kapoor, Sreeram Raghavan, Adoor Gopal Krishnan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Raj Kumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra are some of the amazing talents that FTII has conceived.
Apart from the directors, the institute has also produced a lineup of accomplished actors like Nasiruddin Shah, Jaya Bhaduri, Shabana Azmi, Raza Murad, Shatrughan Sinha, Mithun Chakraborty, Tom Alter and Om Puri. Besides, there are few sound and editing maestros who have won accolades for their work in their respective fields, for example, Sound Designer Resul Pookutty who received the Oscar for his film called “Slumdog Millionaire” was an alumnus of FTII. Also, Renu Saluja who was a renowned film editor belonged to the same school of filmmaking.
The institute has churned out numerous cinematography geniuses too. To name a few, we have Rajeev Ravi who started his bollywood journey with Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Chandni baar” and then won Best Cinematograpghy Filmfare award for “Dev D”. Another Notable alumnus is Santosh Sivan who has till date completed more than 45 movies and 41 non-fiction films. Santosh Thundiyil is one more contemporary FTII product who has excelled in the cinematography of films like Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai, Tere Bin Laden and Rowdy Rathore. Some of the FTII graduates who made their mark in South Indian films include Balu Mahendra, Ramachandra Babu and Shaji N. Karun.
When we see films like Black or Lage raho munna bhai, we hardly think about the director or cinematographer of the film since that visual piece of cinema possess all the ability to engage its spectators overlooking its creators. We as an audience always tend to ignore the foundation, which equips a filmmaker with the craftsmanship that made him produce such a beautiful film. Mohan Agashe, a former FTII director and a well known film actor, once said that “ The institute has produced a genuinely colourful range of directors beginning from internationally renowned directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji Karun or Girish Kasaravalli, to David Dhawan with his Govinda-centred tapori films or Kundan Shah with his flair for black comedy a la Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.”
FTII has always been in news for its active participation and contribution in promoting Indian Cinema internationally. For more than 50 years, FTII maintains the history of nurturing the best cinematic talent in the Indian film industry. The alumni of FTII have bagged many esteemed awards for their work in both feature length and short film categories. With their persistent contribution to commercial as well as regional cinema, the students of FTII get due respect and best placement in the media, films and television industry.
With the support of the National Film Archives of India i.e. NFAI, the Films Division and the National Film Development Corporation i.e. NFDC, the FTII has played a pivotal role in the creation, preservation and circulation of our cross-cultural legacy via cinematic medium and its meaningful films. By getting financial aid from the central government, FTII has always taken students from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds; hence a contextual opulence and plurality usually get reflected in the films coming out of it.
Film and Television Institute of India is not just the India’s best film school but also an open place to celebrate and explore the aesthetics and art of filmmaking.