If you have passed Law College road in Pune recently, you certainly must have noticed the big question mark and other signs put up outside the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The FTII imbroglio, which has received much media attention since it began on June 12th, is still unclear for many. The students of the prominent institute have thus taken help of the medium they know best and made a short film clarifying the issue and explain their standpoint to the uninitiated.
After exhausting all possible means of voicing their concerns, the students of the premier institution have taken to a medium that they know best- Cinema. A short film called “The Story of a Puppet Show” has been made by the students of FTII that showcases their reasons for protesting against Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as Chairman of the Institute along with other panel appointees like Anagha Ghaisas, Narendra Pathak, Rahul Solapurkar and Shailesh Gupta.
Ameya Gore, a 2011 batch Direction student at the Institute explained, “Even after so many days of the strike and much media attention, many people are unclear about the issue. A lot of them, even those from Pune do not know what FTII stands for and the reason why GajendraChauhan and others are not fit to lead the institute. That is when we realized that we need to use the medium we know best- films, to explain our point of view. So we decided to make a short film explaining the crux of the protest. Right since the day the protest was initiated, the students had formed a team to record the events and the protest activities. So the film is a compilation of what happened so far and has been shot and edited by various students of the institute.”
The 19-minute film is uploaded on Youtube and aims to give an understanding about what the students are asking of the Government. Various eminent personalities of the film, theater, arts and even education background across the nation have expressed their support to the protest in it. “The film was ready around a week back and we wanted to screen it in various colleges and education institutes then itself. However most of the colleges in the city refused to let us screen it as they did not want to get embroiled in the issue. So we have uploaded the short film on Youtube and urge people to watch it and understand the core of this issue,” further explains Gore.
It is crucial that Punekars understand and take heed of this issue actively since it is taking place right at our doorstep. If we are to call ourselves a city of culture and education isn’t it critical to subvert political agendas that threaten to govern our premier education institutes? FTII is just one example among many others and if we don’t actively try to understand the larger picture, who will?
Watch it here: