#NewsBytesExplainer: Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute—history, legacy, and alumni
Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray is credited with being one of the pioneers of Indian cinema, considering he put India on the global pedestal through Pather Panchali, Charulata, and Apur Sansar, among others. It's only fitting that one of India's top filmmaking institutes, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, was established in his name in his birthplace Kolkata. Here's a comprehensive snapshot of the institution.
Institute has been going strong since 1995!
SRFTI was established in 1995. As mentioned on its website, "The Institute has emerged as a national center of excellence which offers post-graduate programs in Cinematic studies." "It has succeeded in articulating and disseminating classical and contemporary theories of praxis for the creative minds to leap into the world of professional practice: be it mainstream, parallel, art-house, experimental, or non-fiction narratives."
Multiple courses are offered in different disciplines
Students interested in filmmaking can explore numerous options at SRFTI. Currently, post-graduate programs are offered in different branches: animation cinema, cinematography, direction and screenplay writing, editing, film and television production, sound recording, and design. Management, cinematography, writing, editing, direction, sound, and production for EDM (electronic and digital media) are also taught at SRFTI. In-depth information about other courses is listed on the website.
SRFTI primarily gives preference to Indian students
The institute is tilted heavily toward Indian students, and options for international students are relatively limited. Per the website, "There is a provision of enrolling one foreign student in each specialization of Film wing and Electronic and Digital Media wing. [They] need to apply through Indian Council for Cultural Relations. [They] should get in touch with the respective Indian Embassies and High Commissions only."
Screening rooms can house hundreds of people at once
SRFTI has a towering reputation in the filmmaking circles and it's a member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision). It boasts a well-stocked book library, film library, and screening rooms with a main theater (370 seats), a preview theater, (72 seats) and an open-air theater (over 500 seats).
Some of the top artists who graduated from SRFTI
Over the years, SRFTI has churned out leading directors, writers, and other artists who have gained acclaim in commercial cinema. Some of these are Amal Neerad (director of Bachelor Party), Sagar Ballary (director of Bheja Fry), documentary maker Manas Kumar Bhattacharya, sound recording specialist Hitesh Chaurasia (Gajar), and Pritam Das (Shanghai, Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl), editors Moloy Laha (Ichchhe) and Atanu Mukherjee (Monsoon Shootout).