MGR Govt. Film and Television Institute is being renovated by PWD

After nearly 25 years, the MGR Government Film and Television Institute, one of the oldest in the country, will get a fresh look.

Tucked away in a corner of CIT campus, Taramani, this institute has produced several doyens of the film industry.

Spread over 17 acres, the institute has nearly 180 students studying five different courses, including direction and screenplay. The campus housed the MGR film city that was closed eight years ago.

But, it is still a much sought-after place for film shootings and film festivals. Students and faculty recalled that a number of renowned film personalities, including actor Nasser, P.C. Sreeram and producer-director Abhavanan, were alumni of the institute.

As part of the efforts to spruce up the campus, the Public Works Department (PWD) has taken up works for renovating the preview theatre on the premises. Several workers are involved in modernising the acoustics and the screen and also in the installation of plush seating arrangement for 120 persons.

“We are also renovating the re-recording theatre and constructing a dubbing theatre and hostel block. The project is being taken up at a cost of Rs. 72 lakh,” said a PWD official. The department will also re-lay roads and construct stormwater drains and rainwater harvesting structures inside the premises.

Faculty members said that an animation studio and additional floors to facilitate more film shooting have also been proposed.

L. Krishnamurthy, the institute’s former principal, said the institute was started in 1945 in Broadway as a wing of Central Polytechnic. It was later moved to the Taramani campus in 1964.

“The renovation activities will help students train in a state-of-the-art environment. The film institute is still a popular location for shooting television serials and movies. Additional floors will help film-makers who are struggling to find studios,” he said.

Faculty members and students also suggested that a museum could be set up in the institute.

“We still have an old film camera used during the Second World War, and editing and sound engineering equipment used during 1950s. This could be of interest to many film aficionados,” said a faculty member.

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