Actor Gajendra Chauhan on Tuesday termed his controversy-filled stint as the chairman of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune as his “biggest contribution to the film industry”.
“When I joined this institute on January 1, 2016, it was almost non-functional. The student batch of 2007-8 for three years diploma course were awaiting for their certificates despite remaining in the institutes for eight years. No admission were conducted in 2014-15 session. The 49 students could complete their diploma in 2016 after I joined and cleared the stagnation,” he said at a meet the press programme here.
Chauhan, whose appointment was bitterly opposed by the students, said he had invited top academicians to the institute, improved syllabus, created a choice based credit system and upgraded three years diploma course in to Masters degree in all 6 streams – acting, direction, editing, graphics, cinematography and post-production editing.
“In the earlier period, the students were unable to understand cinema in total. They could study cinema in parts, I think this was my most important contribution to students in this field..” he said.
He also he had cleared the construction of two new studios, which would enable funds to flow from their rental for shootings.
About the controversy over his appointment, Chauhan said it was political since the chairman’s posting is a political appointment.
Paying tribute to Shashi Kapoor, who had passed away on Monday, Chauhan said that once he was advised by the veteran actor to maintain good behavior so that work could continue and said he was still following the instructions which helped him “survive in this tough world”.
On the Padmavati controversy, he said its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali should keep his options open and improve in the areas where there are objections. “If I had been the producer, I would have contacted the royal family first with the script,” he said.