Fifty-year-old Bhupendra Kainthola, the Indian Information Service (IIS) officer who has been appointed as the director of the Film and Television Institute (FTII), says he has a long association with the world of film and television, having served with Doordarshan and Lok Sabha TV in various capacities over the last 15 years.
Kainthola, a 1989-batch IIS officer, says though he is aware of the issues faced by the premier film institute, he wouldn’t like to comment before “actually assuming the office and studying them minutely”.
Though Kainthola’s family hails from Uttarakhand, he was born in Kolkata and raised in Maharashtra. He proudly calls himself a “Thane boy”.
Kainthola previous assignment was with Doordarshan where he served as an Additional Director General (DD News) with responsibility of management of news operations and output.
“I have spent the last 15 years working in television during various postings with Doordarshan and Lok Sabha TV. In 2006, when Lok Sabha TV was launched, I worked closely with then CEO Bhaskar Ghose to develop the programming, commissioning, operations and, basically, putting in place the entire set-up. During my four-year stint with Directorate of Film Festival (2008 to 2012), the DFF was facing a very tough challenge as national awards for three years were pending. When I joined in 2008, the awards for that year were not announced and distributed. In the next 18 months, we held the award functions thrice and cleared the backlog. From 2010, the process got streamlined,” Kainthola told Newsline over phone from Delhi. He also got associated with filmmakers, actors and technicians in the industry while handling selection of Indian Panorama and organising the film festival. Kainthola says when he got to know that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry was looking for candidates for the post of FTII Director, he was naturally interested. “FTII is an institute of global fame. Who wouldn’t want to serve such an institute? When I saw the notification of the vacancy, I immediately applied,” says Kainthola.
He, however, seemed circumspect while commenting on the controversies surrounding the FTII and his plans to handle them.
“I can only talk about my plans and priorities once I get there. I will take a week or two before I assume the office. But yes. I am informed about the recent developments at the institute,” he says.