The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) will erect permanent sets of locations frequently required in film shoots, on the lines of a film city, at its Kothrud campus. The proposal was recently approved by the Governing Council of the institute headed by Gajendra Chauhan. The institute has a 36 acre land plot near the Doordarshan studio in Kothrud which is now being developed to meet the growing needs of the institute.
“An in-principle approval to the proposal to develop such locations was given by the first Governing Council meeting held on January 7 this year, which was headed by the new chairman, Gajendra Chauhan. At the same time, the proposal to prepare a detailed plan for the construction of the two indoor studios at the new campus has also been approved. The proposal will then be placed before the Academic Council along with the estimated cost of the project,” said UC Bodake, Registrar. The sets may include places such as a hospital, railway station, a middle-class home, temple and a ruined house, for which students have to hunt and spend time to get the required permissions, or are frequently created at the institute.
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Once the estimate is prepared, the project will then be submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which will then make a budgetary allocation for the expenditure on the projects.
Some, however, feel that such a project will have limited utility. “Why would anyone use a set which has been used in 20 other films? A director has his own ideas about a location, a house, window or chair. Students here scout dozens of places before settling on one. Also, an artificially erected set would never have the feel of a real location. I doubt if many students would opt to use the sets. The institute should instead focus on hastening the construction of indoor and outdoor sound studios,” said Swapnil Ninawane, an ex-student of film direction.
According to officials, until the two indoor studios come up, the council has decided to explore the possibility of utilising the Doordarshan Studios present nearby. FTII’s existing campus has five studios of which, only one – Studio One – is used regularly while the rest remain underutilised due to lack of facilities.