Auroville, FTII tie up to take cinema to a new level

The first batch of a film appreciation course, launched by Auroville and FTII, in progress; participants who completed the course. Special Arrangement  

A heterogeneous group united by a passion for cinema participated in the first of a series of film appreciation and filmmaking courses planned by Auroville in collaboration with the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

On Monday, the first batch completed an eight-day short course on ‘Film Appreciation: History and Aesthetics’ conducted in Auroville by FTII under SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) in collaboration with Auroville Timelines, a media pedagogy and video arts unit, headed by FTII alumni Richa Hushing and Rrivu Laha.

The course attracted 99 participants, including 25 women, from 17 States of age ranging from 18 to 75 from all over India and abroad.

The attendees included a diverse mix both by educational qualifications — PhDs, MBAs, B.Tech., B.Pharm. etc — and profession — acting faculty, psychologist, assistant director, body movement artiste and brand servicing executive.

Sudipta Acharyya, the course director, is also an FTII alumni, specialising in Direction and Screenplay Writing (1997 – 2000).

According to Auroville, participants hailed from Delhi, Mumbai, Nasik, Pune, Vadodara, Bhopal, Ranchi, Bokaro, Hooghly, Durg, Raipur, Gurugram, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Chennai,Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Vellore, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya, Telangana, Kollam, Kozhikide, Palakkad, Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.

“This eight-day film appreciation is the first of a series. We have further a line-up of courses, next one being the ‘Basic Film Orientation Course’ with renowned short filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni,” said Richa, one of the organisers at Auroville Timelines.

“While in the current course, participants are learning the history and aesthetics of filmmaking, the next course will be hands-on, where the participants will actually be able to play with the visual language and shoot their own shorts,” she said. Several short-term and long-term courses are being lined up, starting from foundational to master-class level. The venture also marked a joining of forces between Auroville Timelines and Aurofilm, Auroville’s veteran film department. “With a few long-time Aurovilians, including Gerard and Surya, we are developing the Auroville Film Institute,” said Rrivu Laha of Auroville Timelines.

Unending education

In fact, one of the guiding principles of Auroville Film Institute is unending education and constant progress and technical training for mastery over the art and craft of filmmaking, making the Auroville Timelines’ project in cinema education integrate world cinema and world citizenship, “experimenting with a new pedagogy, encouraging new practices of conscious cinema.”

Addressing the valedictory session, Bhupendra Kainthola, director, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, noted that the FTII launched the new SKIFT initiative to ‘democratise cinema education’ and make it accessible and affordable across India.

“The SKIFT courses are conducted completely by the FTII alumni. We are extremely proud of our FTII alumni, who take time out of their regular professional practice and conduct courses - developing film making and story-telling skills and spreading love for cinema, world cinema in small towns and far off corners of the country,” Kainthola said.

“Auroville is a special place - a place of unending education and constant progress. Richa and Rrivu are working on an annual academic plan now and I look forward to conducting at least 6 courses over a year’s time in Auroville,” he added.

Fredrick, one of the old-timers in Auroville, echoed the sentiments of most when he said, “This course is just one of the immediate and visible reasons you are here. But there are reasons and forces beyond that bring you here - for a special purpose. Auroville is a special encounter. You need to make the invisible of Auroville, visible.”

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 4:47:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/auroville-ftii-tie-up-to-take-cinema-to-a-new-level/article29632836.ece

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