1. As HOD (Acting) what changes can students expect from the syllabus?
I will ensure that the curriculum is structured and not personality-centric. We will strive to connect the best practitioners across fields from India and abroad. Actors who have lived the theory, musicians, theatre artistes, dancers, mime artistes and cinema experts will be invited to spend a month with students. The nature of the syllabus will be autopilot. Emphasis will be given on holistic training; I believe in training in a well-rounded manner and not in teaching tricks in the name of acting. Acting cannot be taught in the air; actors need to have a working knowledge of all art forms -- it is a phenomenal way of living one’s life. Actors are meant to play several roles and he/she need to have knowledge of the world. Such all-round training will enable them to cultivate mind, body and intellect through knowledge and skills. After graduation, they will be sharply focused. I am an NSD (National School of Drama) graduate; I am aware of the importance of good training -- it has helped me reinvent myself.
2. How much will recent acting trends affect the syllabus?
Trends come and go. To enter the trend effortlessly, training needs to be thorough. We need to train actors for the future.
3. How do you balance between professional assignments and your new responsibility at FTII?
Being in front of the camera and heading the department at FTII simultaneously, is a balancing act. I need to maintain perfect synergy as an actor and also do justice to my current responsibility as HOD. I do not need to be around 24/7 but yes, connecting great talent with the department and doing qualitative work is important. I will be away for a month to shoot for my upcoming movie; as I shared this news with my students they were happy and felt that my visibility in the industry is reassuring for them and their parents. Many found it tough to convince their parents to join this course, so this sort of visibility helps them.
In the news
Actor Mita Vashisht has been appointed as Head of Department (Acting) at Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. She is in talks with indigenous talent as well as experts from India and abroad to give her students the best. She’s just signed a film by Manish Gupta — screenwriter for Sarkar, which also stars Ashish Vidyarthi. Besides, she will be shooting an episode of Savdhan India while her play Lal Ded is running successfully.
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