Youngsters nurturing the dream of making it to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) this year may have to put their plan on hold for another year.
FTII is currently in the process of revamping its curriculum based on the suggestions of the academic council, which has also recommended a freeze on 2014 admissions.
“The suggestion will be discussed with the governing council and the final decision will be taken at a meeting on January 30. If at all a decision to freeze 2014 admissions is taken, it will not be for all the courses, but just a few,” says FTII director D J Narain.
The academic council of the institute consists of all FTII heads of departments, renowned academicians, alumni, student representatives and others. The chairperson of both the academic council and the governing council is Saeed Mirza, film director and screenwriter.
Every year, nearly 5,000 graduates from various parts of the country apply for admission to various post-graduate diploma and certificate courses offered by FTII in direction, cinematography, sound recording and sound design, editing, acting, art direction and production design, feature film screenplay writing, direction (television), electronic cinematography, video editing (television) and sound recording and TV engineering. The total number of seats in 11 courses offered at FTII is 132, with each course having 12 seats.
Sakshi Gulati, one of the student representatives at the academic council, is in favour of a freeze on 2014 admissions. She says: “The way of film making is changing rapidly with the emerging technology and digital revolution. A new look at the syllabus is need of the hour. Freezing the admissions will be a wise move; it will not only solve the problem of backlogs but also give the institute time to be ready with a syllabus that is at par with the changes.”
“The syllabus was too vast to be finished in the stipulated time. Over the years, a number of additional exercises and activities have been introduced. Courses need to be reformed radically. We are shifting from analog to digital format and creating a brand new syllabus, which will be at par with the time and technology. It’s not just the syllabus that is going to get changed, but the entire learning process too. If the governing council advocates a freeze, it will give the institute time to implement the new syllabus in an efficient manner,” says Narain. According to him, around three-fourth work on the new syllabus is done and the remaining should be finished in two to three months’ time.
Michael Joseph, consultant, academics, says: “The changes that one brings about can happen only if we understand what exists. We are trying to create a syllabus that will allow interconnection between different departments in the institute and evoke a collaborative spirit. We are aiming at a syllabus that will give students more independence; while there will be practices that will be mandatory, they will also have a choice in a few activities. The larger aim is to create self-driven, lifelong learners.”