Scope of Film Studies in Kolkata

Scope of Film Studies in Kolkata

By Dr. Kisholoy Roy

For many decades now, two of the primary institutes in the country offering comprehensive education in film studies are National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi and Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. These institutes boast of alumni who have become the leading lights of Indian cinema and have won many laurels for themselves over the years. However with the passage of time, institutes offering film studies have multiplied in various other parts of the country.

Kolkata is considered by many as the cultural capital of the country and thus with doyens of Indian cinema like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwick Ghatak and Soumitro Chatterjee it is obvious that this city will have institutes dedicated to learning the various nuances of film making. Prominent among the various institutes offering courses on film education is the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) founded in 1995. This institute has been accorded as the institute of national importance by the Government of India based on its infrastructure and quality of faculty. This institute named after Satyajit Ray, one of the greatest filmmakers that this country has ever produced offers education in direction and screenplay writing, sound recording, editing, motion picture photography and various other domains.

Another leading institute in the city happens to be Institute of Mass Communication Film & Television Studies. The institute is affiliated to University of Kalyani and is approved by the department of higher education, government of West Bengal. One of the major courses offered by the institute is PG Diploma in Film and Television Studies that focuses on the production side of things. One of the major objectives of the institute is to provide skilled people to the thriving Bengali film and television industry who are not just equipped with suitable theoretical knowledge but have good amount of hands on experience. The institute has well equipped computer lab and editing studio which facilitates learning in students.

The Department of Film Studies of Jadavpur University is another exciting destination to learn the art of filmmaking. It was established in 1993 as a result of a suggestion offered by Satyajit Ray. Cinema constitutes the major space in the curriculum but then this department does offer courses in Media Studies and Communication. Students over here are encouraged through projects and fieldwork to develop their own original perspectives towards cinema and to understand and imbibe the positive aspects of cinema being featured in the international arena.

The Film Studies department of St Xavier’s College is another interesting destination to study cinema. Established in 1996, this department aims to make students study similarities and differences between various film movements on one hand and classical Hollywood cinema on the other. It enables students to become critical viewers of films both from personal and social perspective. There are number of practical exercises offered to students since doing is the best form of learning cinema.

Apart from the institutes mentioned above, there are a host of other private enterprises offering film education in Kolkata and by and large the efforts of all the major institutes in cultivating film education have been praiseworthy.