FTII Students Write Open Letter To New Chairman Anupam Kher

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Actor Anupam Kher was chosen as the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India on October 11.

In a new development, the students of FTII have issued an open letter to Kher, drawing his attention to the various issues that plague the institute at present. Along with the faculties, he would be helping the students for the betterment. "You see, my grandfather used to say, "A busy man has time for everything".

FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola today said the decision asking the students to vacate the hostel has been revoked and they will no longer have to vacate their hostel.

"It has its issues like workshops and classes being cut down from the syllabus during the course of the semester arbitrarily, confusion existing even among faculties on the new credit-based system".

Justifying the norms of reducing the dialogue exercise to two days, the administration has stated that the objective of reducing the exercise to two days is to complete the semester in time and to avoid backlog.

"This opportunity has come to me at a time when I am relaxed".

The status of the lightmen in the institute, who earlier were permanent staff, but are now contract labour.

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"What the administration is saying is not feasible for students".

-Faculties are hired on contractual basis and fear that they could be sacked any moment.

- Lavish amount of money was spent by the administration on Open Day and Foundation Day should be spent on buying lights, equipment to help them in finishing their projects on time.

"The institute runs five-days-a-week". However, the protesting students have chose to boycott the exercise stating earlier, the students would get three days where they could shoot the film working eight hours a day, however with changed norms, the administration has reduced the days of shooting from three days to two days but they have increased the working hours from eight hours a day to twelve hours a day.

The letter alleges that five students were suspended without any show cause notice because they meant to question the changes in exercise norms.

"It was then that the entire 2016 film batch made a decision to boycott one of the exercises, called the "dialogue exercise". Considering that the students are the primary stakeholders and voting members in the academic council, this move to exclude the student representatives is unconstitutional.

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an "excellent change" at FTII. Some choose not to work in industry and others find alternate ways. The protest was staged against the selection of Chauhan, who students thought lacked the aptitude to head an institute of such great repute. "But students at various instances have been asked to look at the industry practice where cinema is just being looked at as a commodity and not as an art form which serves the larger human cause".

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