All those aspiring actors and actresses now have a place to hone their talent, filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods International (WWI), a film, television and media arts institute, which was launched in Mumbai recently.
Speaking about the institute, Subhash Ghai, Chairman, WWI, said, “Whistling Woods is my way of repaying the film industry for what I have received from it for the last 27 years. WWI will act as a stepping stone for anyone who wants to make a career in the world of television, cinema or animation. It has been designed to meet the highest international standards – be it in terms of technology, faculty or resources.”
The institute offers state-of-the-art training facilities, an internationally developed and structured curriculum, affiliations with global media corporations and a faculty with experience from both India and internationally.
Ghai further said, “WWI aims to give the fresh crop of talents the right education and right training so that the industry can have a specialised and professional outlook in the future.”
The full time two-year programme includes 84 weeks of comprehensive training and hands-on project experience in specialised streams like acting, direction, cinematography, editing, screenwriting, business of film and television, sound recording, design and music production and art and technique of animation.
Director Nagesh Kukunoor said, “India needs many more such institutions from where filmmakers and technicians will come out and tell original stories. Hopefully, I can share my knowledge about screenplay and direction to the students of this institution.”
The institute is headed by Kurt Inderbitzin, the Dean for WWI and a producer-director from Los Angeles with 12 years of industry experience. Other key faculty members include Shyam Benegal (Chairman, Academic Council), Arunaraje Patil (VP, Academic Affairs), Naseeruddin Shah (HOD, Acting), Anjum Rajabali (HOD, Screenwriting), Rakesh Ranjan (HOD, Sound Design), Rajen Kothari (HOD, Cinematography), Umesh Gupta (HOD, Editing) and Ashish Kulkarni (HOD, Animation).
Benu Sehgal, Head of HR, Guest Relations and Career Resource Management, said, “WWI will also provide campus recruitments to the students graduating from here. We have already received commitments from numerous production and media houses, but I would not be able to divulge these details.”
Arunaraje Patil, VP, Academic Affairs, WWI said, “WWI is not just a film institute, but is also directed towards giving the medium of television a fresher crop of technicians and actors.”
Commenting on the institute’s reach to a middle class student, Patil said, “Education is important and needs money. Loans are available even when you do an MBA. So that is why this institute is for everyone who aspires to be a part of this industry.”
The institute also claims of having international affiliations with Seneca College, Canada and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in addition to technology partnerships with Apple Corporation, Sony, Digidesign, AMD, NVIDIA, and several others.