FTII People


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Surabhi Sharma : Interview

Surabhi graduated from FTII in 1998, having majored in Film Direction.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
Well, my early influences towards cinema was cinema- hindi films, all kinds of films, anything that could be viewed in the cinema hall. I must say that in the late 70s and early 80s it was possible, to a certain degree, to watch different kinds of films in cinema halls. NFDC showed films, there was the usual fare of commercial films, CFSI occasionally organised sunday morning screenings, Films Division got to show their films at the start of each film, Hollywood films could be watched, occasionally there would be a regional film or a World cinema film that would be screened.This was in Ahmedabad. I think I grew up with the idea that there were many kinds of films. My parents being hindi film buffs took me for a film almost every friday, to most new releases.I saw good films, lousy films, ludicrous films, fun films. I read as much as a general avid reader would, nothing spectacular or special. Only in college did one get exposed to world cinema in a somewhat serious way, and to art and photography.

How did you first become interested in film direction?
I am not sure when I decided that it was direction i want to do.

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Avijit Mukul Kishore : Interview

Avijit graduated from FTII in December 1995, majoring in Cinematography.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
My early exposure to cinema was through Hindi film music heard on the radio, or  played on a record player. I do remember images of films watched in a theatre. Like Navin Nishcol walking towards camera on a Bombay street in ‘Victoria No. 203’, a truck running over a mill worker in ‘Deewar’ and the lights coming on around the screen at the end of ‘Aap Ki Kasam’ as Rajesh Khanna walks away from camera. For me these are the earliest memories of cinema – one obscure shot from a mainstream film.

There was a theatre called Alpana across the road from where we lived, in Model Town, Delhi. Once a friend of my father’s led us past the manager’s cabin, through the projection booth to a small parapet in front of the projectors, from where we watched Deewar! I only remember the truck from the film and was mortally afraid of trucks after that.
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S Manasvi : Interview

S. Manasvi, born on the 29th of September 1975, is a qualified architect from Madhav Institute of Technology and Science (MITS), Gwalior. He then did his course in Film and TV Direction from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. After graduating from FTII in 2004, he made corporate films, adfilms, music videos and wrote for Television. He has been credited the dialogue writer for Left Right Left (SAB TV), Choti Bahu (ZEE TV) and several other shows.
He made his debut as a film director with Rajshri Productions’ Love U…Mr. Kalakaar! featuring Tusshar Kapoor, Amrita Rao, Ram Kapoor, Madhoo, Kiran Kumar, Jai Kalra, Prem Chopra and Prashant Ranyal.
This film was released on the 13th of May 2011 and got mixed response from critics and audience alike.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
Cinema used to be once or twice a month thing in our home. Very select films that my parents thought were ‘suitable for us’. So a majority of them were films by Hrishikesh Mukherji and Basu Chatterji. My mother being a literary person herself, introduced me to Hindi Literature (as well as regional works translated in hindi) at a very young age.

How did you first become interested in film direction?
I did a theatre workshop when I was 10 years old and it was then that I realized that its more fun to direct than to act. By the time, I was 14, I started making my own films on paper in form of comic books, matchbox tv etc and even designed posters for those imaginary films.
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Shanker Raman : Interview

A chat with Shanker Raman, graduated from the FTII Cinematography batch in 1995


As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
As a child I wasn’t a film buff or even close to it. Going to a cinema hall was a luxury. My film viewing was restricted to the Sunday evening films shown on DD. All through my growing years I was never encouraged to watch films leave alone form an opinion about them.

Did you start with photography? If yes, why did you choose to leave photography to take up motion picture professionally?
I did start with Photography.
In my second year at St Stephen’s College the photographic society organized a photo competition called “Aperture”.
I went in casually to see the exhibition and remember being dazzled by the photos I saw.
Particularly this photo essay by dear friend and photographer Gautam Singh titled “From home to college”
That was the turning point.
I inherited an old beat up Pentax SLR from my brother. In college, I had access to a darkroom where we would get subsidized printing paper and chemicals to process and print our negatives.

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