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Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Girish Karnad, R K Laxman and Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Here’s everyone who has headed the prestigious FTII

Notable personalities like Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and many others have headed FTII, Pune in the past. Anupam Kher is following the path of artists who contributed significantly to one of the most premiere film institutes in the country.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi | Updated: October 12, 2017 12:42:22 pm
anupam kher, anupam kher ftii, ftii chairman, ftii past chairman, ftii all chairma FTII has had some notable heads in the past. Anupam Kher is following some renowned names that have provided direction to the institute.

The Film and Television Institute of India was established in the year 1960 and since then the institute has given various prolific artists to our country. With notable alumni as directors, actors, writers, editors, the institute can easily be regarded as one of the best places to learn about the craft of filmmaking in our country.

With the appointment of Anupam Kher as the chairman of FTII, the institute is looking to regain the glory it once held, before the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan. Kher has appeared in over 500 films across various languages and is seen as one of the most accomplished actors in Hindi cinema today. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his significant contribution in the field of arts and cinema. Anupam Kher has won two National Film Awards but the list of his notable works is much longer than that. Some of his best performances include, ‘Saaransh’ (1984), ‘Daddy’ (1989), ‘Lamhe’ (1991), ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ (2006) and ‘A Wednesday!’ (2008), amongst many others.

Born in Shimla, Anupam Kher is an alumnus of the National School of Drama, Delhi. He has also held the post of chairman of the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) in the past.

Here is a list of people who headed the institute before Anupam Kher’s appointment:

Gajendra Chauhan (June 9, 2015 – October 11, 2017)

Best known for his portrayal of Yuddhisthira in B R Chopra’s TV adaptation of Mahabharata, Gajendra’s term at FTII was quite controversial.

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Saeed Akhtar Mirza (March 4, 2011 – March 3, 2014)

An alumnus of FTII, Saeed Akhtar Mirza is popular for creating TV shows like ‘Nukkad’ (1986) and ‘Intezar’ (1988). His directorial work includes films like ‘Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!’ (1984), ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai’ (1980), ‘Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro’ (1989) and ‘Naseem’ (1995).

saeed akhtar mirza, ftii, ftii chairman Saeed Akhtar Mirza

U R Ananthamurthy (March 4, 2005 – March 3, 2008; March 4, 2008-March 3, 2011)

Author and critic U R Ananthamurthy is considered as one of the pillars of the Navya movement. He was honoured with the Jnanpith Award in 1994. His popular works include ‘Samskara’ (1965), ‘Bhava’ (1994), ‘Bharathi Pura’ and ‘Avasthe’ (1978).

URAnanthamurthy, ftii, ftii chairman U R Ananthamurthy

Vinod Khanna (October 12, 2001 – February 2002; March 4, 2002 – March 3, 2005)

A popular leading actor through the 70s and the 80s, Vinod Khanna was known for his acting in films like ‘Mere Apne’ (1971), ‘Mera Gaon Mera Desh’ (1971) ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ (1977) and ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’ (1978). In his later years, Vinod Khanna acted in films like ‘Dabangg’ (2010), ‘Dilwale’ (2015) and a few others.

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Girish Karnad (February 16, 1999 – October 10, 2001)

Actor, director and playwright Girish Karnad received the Jnanpith Award in 1998. His film work has predominantly been in Hindi and Kannada films and through that he has won 10 National Film Awards. His directorial work includes films like ‘Vamsha Vriksha’ (1971) and ‘Kanooru Heggadithi’ (1999) and his plays include Yayati (1960), Tughalaq (1964). His acting work includes films like ‘Nishaant’ (1975), ‘Swami’ (1977) and ‘Pukar’ (2000), ‘Iqbal’ (2005), amongst many others.

Girish karnad, ftii, ftii chairman Girish Karnad

Mahesh Bhatt (November 20, 1995 – September 30, 1998)

With films like ‘Arth’ (1982), ‘Saaransh’ (1984), ‘Naam’ (1986), ‘Sadak’ (1991), ‘Gumrah’ (1993), Bhatt is known for his unique directorial style. Along with his films, Mahesh Bhatt is also known for creating TV shows like ‘Swabhimaan’ (1995-1997) and ‘A Mouthful of Sky’ (1995). With two National Film Awards to his credit, Mahesh Bhatt is still active in producing though he hasn’t directed any films since 1999.

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Adoor Gopalakrishnan (September 1, 1987 – September 1989; November 21, 1992 – September 30,1995)

Noted film director and screenwriter Gopalakrishnan is known for revolutionising Malayalam cinema during the 1970s. Adoor won the National Film Award 16 times and was also honoured at various international film festivals as well. In 2004, the Government of India honoured him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He is known for his films ‘Swayamvaram’ (1972), ‘Mukhamukham’ (1984), ‘Vidheyan’ (1993), ‘Oru Pennum Randaanum’ (2008), amongst many others.

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Mrinal Sen (April 9, 1984 – September 30, 1986)

An acclaimed filmmaker from Kolkata, Sen is credited with representing Indian cinema on a global scale along with his peers, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. His film ‘Bhuvan Shome’ (1969) is credited with starting the ‘New Cinema’ film movement in India. Sen has won 18 National Film Awards across various categories that include, Best Feature Film in Bengali, Best Feature Film in Telugu, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film, Second Best Feature Film and the Special Jury Award. Mrinal Sen was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2003. In 2017, Sen was included as a member of the Oscar Academy.

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Shyam Benegal (February 5, 1981 – September 30,1983; September 1989 – September 30, 1992)

Acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal headed the institute for two terms. Benegal has won the National Film Award 15 times across different categories. He is known for his exemplary contribution to Indian cinema in the form of films like ‘Ankur’ (1974), ‘Nishant’ (1975), ‘Mandi’ (1983), ‘Mammo’ (1994) and ‘Zubeidaa’ (2001) amongst many others. Shyam Benegal was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005.

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R K Laxman (November 1, 1977 – September 30, 1980)

Popular cartoonist and creator of the famous character, ‘The Common Man’, R K Laxman headed the institute for three years. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan (1973), the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Common Arts (1984) and the Padma Vibhushan (2005).

RK Laxman

Sayed Muzaffar Hussain Burney (November 25, 1975 – September 30, 1977)

His term overlapped with AJ Kidwai and the officials at the institute say that they served intermittently. Burney went on to become the vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. From 1981-1984, he served as the Governor of Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur. He also served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana from 1987 to 1988.

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Anwar Jamal Kidwai (November 1, 1974 – September 30, 1977)

AJ Kidwai was appointed when he was the secretary of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry. After his stint at FTII, he went on to become the founder of Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. It is now known as A J Kidwai Mass Communication Centre. It is one of the most prestigious film institutes in the country today.

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With a rich legacy, FTII has stood tall for over 50 years and under Anupam Kher’s leadership, the institute is expected to scale new heights.

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