March 20, 2018

FTII students to boycott academic exercise over new shoot

12 October 2017, 11:41 | Elsie Buchanan

Strikes at FTII Pune

Strikes at FTII Pune

Rohit Kumar, general secretary of FTII's Student Association, said, "They have brought in somebody who supports the right-wing ideology".

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.

Mumbai (Maharashtra), Oct 11: I am sure Anupam Kher sahab will do good work, said former Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman Gajendra Chauhan as he extended his best wishes on Wednesday to the newly-appointed chairman. A group of students from second year have chose to boycott an academic project called "dialogue exercise" citing that the fact that the administration reduced the number of days for the exercise from three days to two while the administration also remained firm on its stand that it will not give more than two days to complete the exercise.

"A government institute that exists to provide education to students from all section shouldn't be driven by the agenda of funds generation, which now seems to be the aim of these courses which has also been the case with government-run institute/universities across then nation", the letter read. Moreover, he said that this is the not the first time when he is handling an administrative post.

Like the growing culture of having only contractual faculty members in the universities/ institutes across the country, FTII also has mostly contractual faculty members.

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-Light-men are not paid now, despite working for six or seven days a week. They are also working in an environment where they have this constant fear of being sacked any time if they don't follow the administration.

"The institute runs five-days-a-week.

I could finish some of these but few are pending", he said.

"The institute does not have enough number of faculties to run the courses and, because of this, implementation of syllabus is getting affected".

FSA president Robin Joy said as per new norms, every shooting shift will be of 12 hours and the exercise has to be completed within two days. "But the students of the third semester made a decision to continue with the boycott despite the solution we offered regarding the schedule". Students say that the courses demand a hefty fee which restricts their careers.

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The student body has urged Kher, who will now be heading the institute, to resolve these longstanding issues.

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an "excellent change" at FTII.

Jay said, "The question is how can a person, who heads a private enterprise, can be asked to head a government institute". Some choose to work in industry and others find alternate ways.

As a part of the curriculum, the second-year students from direction, cinematography, sound design, editing and art direction have to shoot a short film.

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