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Tripurari Sharan, Director, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune will be showcasing his film Woh Subah Kidhar Nikal Gayi? produced by the FTII. Apart from his film, Somnath Sen of Leela fame has also made a film produced by FTII.
What is your film Woh Subah Kidhar Nikal Gayi all about?
It's about some young friends and about their friendship. The socio-political situation in this nostalgia can be very deceptive. During the days where they stayed together - the campus, the college or university, they try to relate to those bonds in their own different way. The element of nostalgia is what provokes us to relate to the bonds of our earlier year. Like I said, this nostalgia can be very deceptive because in later years we walk into different situations. Our own thinking, our own inclination is affected by contemporary socio-political situations.
You have incorporated acting students from your course? Tell us about that?
This film has eight actors and they were all students who passed out early this year from FTII. This is the first batch of students that have passed out of the acting course after a gap of 30 years. The acting course was reintroduced after 28 years.
Will this film have a proper theatrical release?
Our attempt with this premiere is to let people concerned with film distribution, production, etc. have an occasion to look at the film. Now it is not a film being made by a commercial production house. Once word gets around and we find sufficient interest, we will get this film to do a theatrical release. This film is not like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna which will have over 500 prints. We have only two prints- one subtitled and one un-subtitled. As the need arises we will have more prints. I don't know what is going to happen in Mumbai but we will definitely have a theatrical release in Pune. We try at our own level to do many shows of this kind in Mumbai and Pune so that the audiences of the kind that we can find do get an opportunity to look at the quality and content of this film and find ways to take it forward.
Are these two films the first full length feature films that FTII has produced?
There were a few ones which were produced in the early years of FTII but the last one that was made was about 35 years back.
Any reason for this long gap?
I don't know. After the initial years, there must have been some rethinking done from the people who were running it then on the kinds of resources they could use. One of our films is being shot in Digi-Beta. When I talk about technology, except for the laboratory facility we have all facilities. Editing facilities, sound design, etc. is done within the institute with the best equipment according to industry standards. Also you must understand that the acting course wasn't there in the last 30 years. But our students do make diploma films but they are of a much shorter duration. It is not mandatory for students to act in a full length film as it is not a part of their course. So we have tried to get resources from various places to actually announce in a big way to get that kind of exposure. It acts as a substantial show-reel for them. It comes in over and above the necessary work that you do in the institute.
And tell us something about Somnath Sen's film?
Somnath's film is a film within a film. It's titled Diploma because it is all about film school students who do their final year diploma projects. The storyline is that the director is away for a few days and the rest are rehearsing. During the rehearsals a lot of things come up including their inter-personal relationships and how it influences the entire process. Jaya Bachchan has done a cameo role in the film. She becomes the commentator who looks at the past from the point of view of one of the students. Her paranoia refused her to come out of her room to act in the film. She is reflecting on the years gone by. It is very interesting in a backward-forward structure which actually becomes a film within a film.
Jaya Bachchan is an ex-student of FTII.
That's right. I guess she understood our concerns more than anyone who has not graduated from our institute.