FTII students oppose 'corporatisation', claim it is euphemism for winding up film institutes
This year, the only Indian film that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival was a student film by the products of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. There is no doubt about the quality of teaching at the famed Pune-based film school.
However, now for the better or the worse, the film institute, along with a couple more, is getting privatised or corporatised. The Indian Express reports that a committee, led by NITI Ayog and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) officials, have scanned 114 bodies in the first phase of their review of autonomous bodies constituted under Societies Registration Act.
Out of these institutes, FTII, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and the Delhi Public Library will be corporatised whereas the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi will be merged with either Jamia Milia Islamia or Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
However, the students and various associated film personalities, particularly those from the FTII, have not taken to this government move too kindly.
Scroll reports that they allege that the 'reduction', as put by the government, is a euphemism for merging these institutes with others or winding them up in their entirety.
The same report quotes Shyamal Karmakar, a faculty member at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, as saying, "“Hopefully, corporatisation will make us responsible for revenue generation, cost-cutting and better use of the budget. If this process censors the students in their thought process or it becomes unaffordable for students, that should not happen. I am choosing to look on the positive side because it seems corporatisation is bound to happen.”
The primary argument, as put forward by those opposing the move, is that the hike in college fees will prevent genuine film enthusiasts from applying in the institute in case they do not belong to economically sound families.