Anupam Kher says he will not use his position at FTII to promote his school Actor Prepares
It was a much-awaited day for the newly-appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Anupam Kher, when he visited the institute on 16 October for the first time since his appointment.
The film institute’s student body has been protesting against Kher’s candidature and they even posted an open letter raising concerns about administrative and academic shortcomings of the institute. Amid all the buzz, Kher had a rather “interesting” welcome as the students reportedly played drums and shouted slogans, reports Mumbai Mirror.
Kher chose to come by taxi instead of a car, as he “didn’t want to carry the burden of whatever" he has achieved after his stint as a student at FTII years ago.
“I always believe that students move away from their parents and come to such institutes to learn and grow. That is important and that is what we are here for,” says Kher on being asked how he plans to bring students back to classes as they are on a strike. “As far as joining classes is concerned, we will talk about it on 17 October. I will be conducting a master class with all of them,” adds the Saaransh actor, in an interview to Mumbai Mirror.
Diverging from questions pertaining to specific issues, Kher maintains his ambivalent stand on the current scenario at FTII. “We should start everything on a positive note. It is easy to list out problems and far more difficult to find solutions. I am sure that like their predecessors, these students will also earn name and fame from their work. But if we keep looking at problems, we will never be able to resolve anything. I am an optimist and I have also learnt that listening helps at times.”
A lot of speculations were doing the rounds after Kher’s appointment regarding a conflict of interest as he also owns Actor Prepares, a private acting school in Mumbai. Kher refutes the allegations and says, “I think it’s an asset that I have 14 years of experience. I have spent a lot of time on the Mumbai school – from an 8x10 room to the level it is at today. But that hardly means I’m going to stand here and distribute pamphlets telling students to join my school instead.”
Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha, who is also an alum of the prestigious film institute had a rather interesting take on Kher's new role. "Anupam is eminently qualified for the job. He knows cinema. He is a capable actor. But would he be able to devote enough time to the workings of the FTII? Let us not pretend otherwise: Anupam has inherited a very complicated job. The politics on the FTII campus is complex and sensitive. As someone who has been observing its workings very closely for years, I can only say let’s keep our finger crossed," he said, reports Bollywood Hungama.