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Ramachandra PN : In a Chat With a Film Director

Ramchandra PN - Director

Ramchandra PN is a 1991 ‘Screenplay writing and Direction’ graduate from the ‘Film and TV Institute of India’.  Over the years, he has been making documentaries, features, short films and TV programs. His first feature film SUDDHA (The Cleansing Rites) in Tulu language won him the Best Indian Film at the Osian Cinefan Festival of Asian Films, New Delhi Indian 2006. It also won him a Hubert Bals exhibition grant in the following year, through which he showed the film at over hundred Tulu speaking villages in Coastal Karnataka South India. His second feature film PUTAANI PARTY (The Kid Gang) in Kannada language won the Best Children’s film at the Indian National Film Awards in 2009. It was also in consideration for nomination for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. His third feature HAAL-E-KANGAAL (The Bankrupts) in Hindi language is making its screening rounds. He is also occasionally involved in film academics, conducting film workshops in various institutions.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
Like most children growing up in the 1970s in any small town Karnataka, I was a die hard fan of the Kannada super star Dr Rajkumar. Later on, one shifted allegiance to the angry young man of Hindi films, Amithab Bachchan- after getting star struck by some of his films like Don, Amar Akbar Antony and Parvarish. I don’t think there was any inclination serious towards cinema, during childhood.

How did you first become interested in film direction?
It was in college that I got involved in Kannada theater; as an actor first and then in back stage and direction. I also took a liking to still photography, thanks to a Pentax camera that was gifted to me by a relative. It surprised me when my guru in theater told me that there are schools in India that teach film direction. By the time I finished my degree, I was pretty sure that I needed to be a film director.

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The Train Leaves At Four

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  • ‘The train leaves at four’ is a docu-fiction film of about 55 minutes. The film was shot with a family belonging to the ‘Baiga’ tribe, living in remote Madhya Pradesh, adjusting to “development” and will provide important insight into the question: YE KISKA DEVELOPMENT HO RAHA HAI AAKHIR KAAR?As Lamu packs his sack to migrate towards the city to work along with the labour contractor, his aging mother grieves in silence. Even her other two sons are not around to console her.

    While the eldest is working on the field, the youngest has set out early this morning towards the government office. He hopes to be employed in the village itself. Those hopes are soon shattered though and he is left overwhelmed. Much of what goes on in the government office – the official paperwork, the government schemes is lost in translation.

    By the evening, as Lamu waits for the train to arrive, the contractor’s condescending attitude and stinginess already makes it clear that he has signed up for a disaster, but it is too late for him to go back.

    Meanwhile, crestfallen and influenced by his brother, the youngest son too confronts his mother and expresses a desire to leave for the city.



Vatsala Goel : Cinematography

Vatsala Goel 01

Vatsala Goel is a film cinematographer and an alumnus of The Film & Television Institute of India  (Batch of 2009, dialogue and diploma films as cinematographer are “Virag” and  “Chaita ki ek Dupahari” ). She is from Calcutta, completed her graduation in B.A. English Hons from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta University and served as the Photo Researcher at Forbes India Magazine in Mumbai before joining FTII in 2010. Her first feature film, a documentary named Train Chaar Baje Ki Hai/ The Train Leaves at Four” recently screened at the 17th MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai, and will be screening at the 21st Kolkata Film Festival on Nov 18th. The film has also made it to NFDC Film Bazaar’s recommended list of films in 2015. All her projects have travelled successfully to multiple film festivals such as the IFFI, Goa, IDSFF, Kerela, Clapstick, Kolkata, NSFA, IDPA, IFFLA and more. Currently she is based out of San Francisco, but actively looking to shoot feature projects in India. This is her website and IMDB Page.

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema?
Both my parents are artists and so I was exposed to a variety of art from around the world and different mediums from an early age. We also have a great library of art catalogues and books at home, and so occasionally we’d spend weekends browsing these together. I guess that was my earliest exposure to image-making.
At home we watched Doordarshan classics on our small color TV. But when cable TV came in, we got sucked into it so much so that my father had to cut off the subscription! In those TV-less years, I turned to comic books such as Tintin, Asterix and Tinkle for lunch and dinner time entertainment.
I believe it was the sense of frame-by-frame motion captured in them that somewhere planted the germ of film making in me.

In college I wanted to keep away from rote learning so I took Film Studies along with English literature. Together they really nurtured my sense of storytelling through images and words.

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Sony PXW FS5 : Affordable S35mm 4k


PXW-FS5 handheld Super35 4K camera

The new Sony FS5 is a Super 35mm size sensor camera that’s handheld and outputs 4K. uture plans are to offer raw recording as well. It allows you to shoot HD at 240 fps and reduced resolutions at 960 fps. You can get the Sony 18-105mm E-mount Servo Zoom for smooth zooms at a constant aperture of F4. It also supports built-in wireless streaming.

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Arindam Ghatak : Interview with a Film Editor


Arindam Ghatak is a film editor who graduated from FTII in 2006 (diploma films as editor- Chabi Wali Pocket Watch and On My Deathbed). He is from Kolkata, did his graduation in Psychology from Fergusson College, Pune after quitting his engineering course, after which he worked as a journalist with the Indian Express, Pune for a little more than a year before joining FTII in 2002. He has edited films like Rocket Singh, Salesman of the Year, Go Goa Gone, Happy Ending, Guddu Rangeela, Tanuja Chandra’s yet un-released Raakh, among others. He has also edited several documentaries like Urmi Juvekar’s Shillong Chamber Choir and the Little Home School, Surabhi Sharma’s Pregnancy, Prescriptions and Protocol, Altaf Mazid’s A Duet With the Water God (it won a national award), Parasher Baruah’s Waste and several others, as also Neha Choksi’s Leaf fall, Aftermath, Iceboat, Found Green for video installations. Currently, he is based in Mumbai…

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?

I don’t think I had one particular influence as a child, nothing specific that I can remember. In fact, I don’t think it was the ‘arts’ at all. That happened much later. In fact, films were pretty much a forbidden zone at home. My mother was very strict and a lot of emphasis was laid on academics and I was a good student. But on the other hand, she took my sister and me to watch films like Superman and Born Free and ABBA and Goopy Gayne Bagha Bayne and 20,000 Leagues under the sea when they released in the theatres. Bollywood and film magazines were forbidden but my aunts (it was a sort of a joint family till a few years after my grandfather passed away) loved filmy gossip and Stardust, Filmfare, Star n Style etc were always lurking around in some corner of the house which I would quietly sneak up and read sometimes when my mother would be away at work.

I also liked to read books and comics but it was random stuff- Enid Blyton, Archies, maybe a classic here, a Sidney Sheldon there. But I was a day dreamer and spent hours in the afternoon in our lovely verandah (The verandah was on the first floor of a two story house. It was quite big, especially in length, had a lot of light streaming in, a huge krishnachura (gulmohar) tree literally leaning against it. Neither the verandah exists anymore nor the tree.) staring out into the street (a little bylane in south Calcutta), sometimes reading, sometimes jumping through my skipping rope and soaking in that afternoon light on holidays. I can almost feel that light. I think impressions like these are what drew me to cinema and I have strong impressions stored somewhere within me from almost every moment of my life. Art, Literature, photography, music, cinema itself happened to me much later when I moved to Pune at 17 to study engineering. I spent ten years in Pune and that changed my world- the people I met, the life I lived, the films, books, music  I was exposed to, my love affairs, working as a journalist at the Indian Express, studying at FTII, living in hostels- I think I ‘grew up’ in Pune, a late bloomer!!…

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In a chat with CK Muraleedharan

CK Muraleedharan’s IMDB profile is here. He has shot movies like Johnny Gaddar, Agent Vinod, Munna Bhai MBBS etc.
This informal chat was shot and edited by Monet Kanti Saha.

Prerna Saigal: Editor


Prerna Saigal is from Delhi. She has worked as an editor for films like Peddlers (Dir: Vasan Bala), Tigers (Dir: Danis Tanovic) and Bombay Velvet (Dir: Anurag Kashyap). “Attempting to leap even while taking baby steps, she does not mind the falls as the highs will always be special”

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
Community viewings of movies. Since I lived in a joint family those experiences. Not just the film but the collective experience, that drew me in.

How did you first become interested in film editing?
It started with editing college projects. The idea of putting together audio visuals was exciting enough, fiction or otherwise. Cinema of course seemed like a natural transition.
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Arri Alexa Mini

ARRI announces the new ALEXA Mini, a versatile additional tool in the ARRI ALEXA camera range that combines a compact and lightweight form factor with the same unparalleled image quality that has made the ALEXA system a gold standard for the industry. Designed for specialized shot-making, the ALEXA Mini perfectly complements a full ALEXA shooting kit and allows crews to eliminate the complications of working with third-party cameras by keeping everything within a single system that is trusted all over the world.

Equipped with a 4:3 sensor, automatic de-squeeze mode for anamorphic productions and frame rates of 0.75-200 fps, the ALEXA Mini records ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW either in-camera to CFast 2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder that can record image streams from up to four ALEXA Minis simultaneously — a compelling option for multi-camera setups such as 360° plate shots. Images from the ALEXA Mini will perfectly match those from all other ALEXA cameras, making the final grade easier and quicker.

Nikhil Mulay : Live And Film Sound


As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, music, photography?
Growing up, my father was my biggest influence towards music and cinema. We were the one of the first people in our society to get a vcr and that is when my love for films started! Every weekend was a trip to the video store to rent 2-3 films and watch them all in one sitting. I remember the first film we saw when we got the vcr was The Wall by Pink Floyd. Not many kids my age got to see that!

How did you first become interested in audiography? Most people don’t know about this field of cinema?
My love for music helped there. My father is a big audiophile and so are most of his friends. One of his friends had this huge Bose system with a CD player(in 1985!) and I would go to his house every evening to listen to music. Loved the sounds that came out of the system. Being exposed to good sound from a young age really helped me train my ears. You know what the result should be, even when you are starting out, and you try and work towards that goal.
I really became serious about audiography when I was doing my bachelors in electronics engineering. It just started with DJing for friends’ parties. Then I got hold of audio software and the tinkerer in me took over.
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Pushpendra Singh : Interview


An alumnus of the Film & Television Institute of India and Berlin Talent Campus, Pushpendra began his career as an actor playing one of the leads in Amit Dutta’s Venice award winning film ‘Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya’. He then went on to assist Amit Dutta on his next feature ‘Nainsukh’ and the latest ‘Sattvi Sair- The Seventh Walk’. He has also assisted Anup Singh on his feature ‘Qissa- The Ghost Is A Lonely Traveler’. 

His film ‘Lajwanti’ (directed, produced and acted by him) and Ich Will Mich Nicht Künstlich Aufregen Aka Asta Transfer ( as an actor) directed by Maximilian Linz premiered at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival in 2014. 

Currently he teaches at Film & Television Institute of India in the department of Acting. 

As a child what were your early influences towards cinema? Art, literature, graphics, photography?
I studied in a boarding school where every Saturday we were shown Hindi movies. Occasionally we were shown a Malayalam or an Hollywood film. But, it was during the vacations that once I saw ‘Pather Panchali’ on Doordarshan and related to the images despite it being in Bengali. I started watching regional classics on Doordarshan since then. I looked forward to watching ‘Gandhi’ every October 2nd on Doordarshan.

I was fond of literature since my childhood. Raduga Publications from Russia would come to our school with Hindi and English translations of the Russian folk tales and I started collecting those books.

How did you first become interested in film direction?
It was while working with Barry John in his theatre group in Delhi, we would not only act but even direct small acts based on certain themes. Barry exposed us to Cinema outside India and since then I was interested in directing a film one day.

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