FTII People


The Unofficial FTII Website

In conversation with Batul Mukhtiar


As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
My earliest memories are of reading. And of watching films. I grew up in the heart of Bombay’s film land, around Grant Road, where all the film distribution offices used to be, and where there was a cinema hall on every turn of the street. My parents, specially my mother watched films regularly. I grew up watching 1-3 films a week, this in the time when there was no television. And reading at least 3-5 books a week, thanks to the multitude of lending libraries around. Art was drawing classes in and outside school, or the embroidery and crochet the women around me were so adept at.

How did you first become interested in film direction?
As a child, reading film magazines, I would often play at giving interviews myself. I play-acted at being an actor. I had no concept of a film director’s job. Just after college, I got a role at FTII in a student diploma exercise. After that, I acted in several student exercises. But from my very first experience of a film shoot, I was clear that I did not want to be an actor. I hated being instructed. I knew that I had to be the one giving instructions.

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OPEN HOUSE W. I. C. A. & W. W. I

Invite you to a day of commemorating and celebrating the works of two leading Cinematographers of our time,

Mr. V K Murthy & Mr. V Babasaheb
The following films will be screened:

‘Life in Full Open’ (Documentary on V Babasaheb)
Dir: Avinash Deshpande
DoP: A S Kanal

‘Ganga Jamuna’
Dir: Nitin Bose,
DoP: V Babasaheb

‘Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam’
Dir: Guru Dutt
DoP: V K Murthy
TIME : 10.30 am Onwards
DATE : 10th May 2014


WICA Office Numbers: 2635 5926, +91 88792 14579
E mail: info@wica.in


In conversation with Antara Lahiri


Antara was born and brought up in Kolkata. She completed her schooling from La Martiniere for Girl’s and college from St. Xavier’s, Kolkata.
Prior to working in Mumbai, she directed a magazine style non fiction daily programme for Doordarshan Bangla. In Mumbai she wrote scripts for and directed MTV MotoAlert.
She graduated from the FTII in 2008 with a diploma in film editing.
In the same year, her diploma film “Narmeen” (directed by Dipti Gogna) won the HBO Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award in the South Asian International Film Festival in New York, and in 2009 Best Short Film at the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles. Her documentary project “A Call Too Far” (also directed by Dipti Gogna) won the Silver Award at the 2007 IDPA awards.
Antara has assisted on projects like Ghajini, Daayen Ya Baayen, Road Movie and Jhootha Hi Sahi. Her independent feature film projects are Gattu (CFSI), From Sydney with Love (Pramod Films), Mere Dad Ki Maruti (Y-Films) and Bewakoofiyaan (YRF Studios). She has edited a documentary for PSBT entitled ‘Gandhi Lives’.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
I grew up amidst myriad creative influences. My grandmother was a graduate of the National School of Drama. My mother is an independent artist and one of the best read people I know. She encouraged me to read from a very early age. Also in my family, most of us have trained in some form of dance and/or music. So most of my childhood was spent shuttling between the library, dance/singing lessons, my mother’s art class or play rehearsals in school. While all this was tremendous fun, my one bone of contention was that my father was super strict about TV and film viewing. So much so that my sister would stand guard at the stairs while I watched Chitrahaar, and at the first sign of my father returning from office we’d switch off the TV and run to our room. The few times I was actually allowed to watch a film, it would be an an old English film playing on Doordarshan (read: Casablanca, Ben Hur, Ten Commandments). There was no cable or VCR allowed in the house. I think ‘Tridev’ was the first Hindi film I watched, that too at a relative’s house. The second film I distinctly remember watching was the Tom Cruise film ‘Cocktail’ at a friend’s house and I remember feeling more than a little scandalised at the waterfall scene.

Somewhere along the way I figured the only way I could freely watch films and TV was to actually study them. That was the sole reason I applied for admission into the Mass Communication dept at St. Xavier’s Kolkata. I celebrated by watching Biwi No.1 seven times in the theatre.

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Kinefinity KineMax 6k Camera

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The KineRAW™ cameras and related products are value-priced digital cinema camera specifically for film or video creations, and are trying to bring the digital RAW advantages into more creations. And Hope more people would join us or cooperate with us to provide better service and experience for our clients.

Find their website here.

6K RAW In-Camera KineMAX is capable of Capturing and Recording 6K Uncompressed CinemaDNG and 6K Compressed CinemaDNG, In-Camera, without external recorder. New 6K OLPF is re-designed and optimised for 6K capturing, and also it makes images sharper even just capturing and recording 6K/4K/3K/2K in-camera. 6K RAW capturing and recording leaves very large room for reframing, trimming, and CG, especially for 4K delivery. At same time, it also features capturing and recording 6K, 4K, 3K, 2K, 1080p, 720p in both S35mm frame and crop mode: that means KineMAX can cover from 720p to 6K, every mainstream resolution in one camera. KineMAX may be the most compact and powerful cinema camera for 6K/4K RAW capturing and recording now.

Jabeen Merchant : Interview

cropped closeup


Jabeen graduated from the FTII in 1995, majoring in Film Editing.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
I have a very clear memory of the first movie I ever saw in a theatre, The Poseidon Adventure. I was about three years old. I knew that it was about a sinking ship because my aunt had told me the story in advance; but I was barely able to decipher the images on the screen and the American accents sounded like complete gibberish. I literally didn’t understand a single thing while watching. Still, the experience seems to have gotten imprinted into my mind forever. Talk about the power of cinema.
Mostly, like all children growing up in the 70s and 80s, I watched the Sunday evening Hindi movie on Doordarshan. Occasional trips to the theatre were made for films that my parents thought were age appropriate. Adventure and wildlife type Hollywood films. Amar Akbar Anthony, but not Sholay when it released. Later on, there was this series of teen romances launching various movie star sons. I didn’t care for Kumar Gaurav or Sanjay Dutt (Love Story and Rocky), prefering Sunny Deol and Jackie Shroff (Betaab and Hero). Alongside, there were the ‘parallel cinema’ classics of the 80s – when I recall those films now, I realise that Shyam Benegal was the giant figure there, although at the time I wasn’t interested in knowing about any filmmaker. Movies were fun, but just a regular part of life that I didn’t think much about.

The other arts, not so much, but literature has been the biggest influence for me while growing up. I’ve always been an obsessive reader – school library period, comics stolen from my older brother, pulp novels from my father, tattered books bought cheap from the corner raddiwala and that wonderful, now forever lost place, the neighbourhood ‘circulating library’. I wasn’t a topper otherwise but I usually got the highest marks in the class for the English exam. My 10th standard teacher was convinced I’d be a writer. In college, naturally, I chose to major in Eng Lit and loved every second of it.

I became interested in cinema and filmmaking mainly while studying mass communications after graduating from college. I joined the SCM course at the Sophia Polytechnic, intending to pursue a career in journalism after I finished. It was a very intensive one year, driven by a passionately committed teacher, Jeroo Mulla, whose own first love has always been cinema. In her classroom, we went through a kind of ‘World Cinema 101’ – a 16mm projector was set up every Friday evening and we watched films specially brought in from the National Film Archive. That was my introduction to Eisenstein, D. W. Griffith, Kurosawa, Bergman, Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, Satyajit Ray, Ghatak, Orson Welles, Chaplin (as more than a slapstick comedian), Kubrick, and also the classic documentary films: Flaherty, Basil Wright, Bert Hanstra, Dziga Vertov… we watched a film a week for that one year, each followed by a detailed session of analysis.

I realised by the end of it that my love for literature and writing actually brought me much closer to cinema than to journalism, although that too came easily enough in terms of skill. The best of cinema, for me, is like the best literature; crafting stories and communicating ideas; sharing a view of the world.

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AJA Cion 4k Cinema Camera

CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA. Record directly to Apple ProRes 422 and 444 at up to 4K 60fps or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps. CION features an ergonomic design and open connectivity to give complete flexibility in the field or studio. More details on their website.Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.58.22 am

New cameras from Blackmagic

Blackmagic URSA

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.51.38 am

URSA camera body with the PL lens mount and large 4K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and the film industry PL lens mount installed. URSA PL is ideal when you need to use feature film industry PL mount lenses for the most cinematic optics available! A dynamic range of 12 stops, frame rate supported unto 60fps and storage specs as: Approx 880 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 3840 x 2160. Approx 220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 1920 x 1080.

The URSA is available in 4 versions (PL Mount, EF Mount, Broadcast and HDMI). More details on their website.


Book 4 d week : Sum. Tales from the afterlives.

Review by Vinoo.

Author : David Eagleman

What a wonderful read this book where the author takes us through forty possibilities of life beyond death. His questions on life, death, love, technology, god, communism, capitalism stay with you long after the book. Insightful, irreverent and hilarious all packed in one book. What better way to illustrate than quote from this book that is wonderfully imaginative.

‘Sum. In the afterlife you relive your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together.

You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.

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Movie 4 d week : Gaman (1978)

Review by Vinoo
Language : Hindi
Director : Muzaffar Ali

 ‘Gaman’ is about urban migration, about people who are forced by circumstances to leave their home and family in search of that elusive dream, a good life. As always happens it takes Ghulam Hassan (Farooque Shaikh) to Bombay, the land of opportunities. Ghulam Hassan lives a simple life with his wife and mother in a small little village in Lucknow. They just about manage to get by. Ghulam Hassan wants to give his family a comfortable life, not one of luxury. The little land that he and his family lives of gets usurped by the landlord. Ghulam Hassan has no choice but to heed to his friend, Lallulal Tewari’s (Jalal Agha), words and try his luck in Bombay. He leaves behind his wife Khairun (Smita Patil, beautiful as ever) and his mother. He becomes a taxi driver and quickly sees life in Bombay through its streets and through his passengers. The underbelly of Bombay, the lifestyle of people there and the plight of migrants are all well summed up through the eyes of a taxi driver. When a driver dies it is announced that ‘Colaba mein 4143 ka accident ho gaya / No.4143 has passed away in an accident in Colaba’ and life goes on. The total apathy at another’s plight and the fact that life has to just go on, no matter what, is put across so brutally.

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Abhaya Simha : Interview


Abhaya Simha was born and brought up in Mangalore (Karnataka, INDIA). After his graduation, got into Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Abhaya Simha finished his direction course in 2006 and went to Bangalore to pursue a career in Kannada Film Industry. His first film Gubbachigalu (2008) won him the National Award for the Best Children’s Film and was screened in several International Film Festivals. His second feature film was a Kannada and Malyama bi-lingual film titled Shikari (2012) starred Malayalam Actor, Mammootty. Third film Sakkare (2013) was a Kannada film which was a romantic comedy starring Ganesh. He has also done documentary films, corporate films and campaign films in all these years.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
My grand father, G.T Narayana Rao was a well-known science writer in Kannada. My father had a bookshop and a publication house in Mangalore. Both of them had interest in theatre, literature etc. I think this had great influence on me during my formative years. Being from a small town, Mangalore the exposure to world cinema was not much at that time. Cinema interested me later when I took up photography.

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