In a giant leap for film education, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, has set up a training school exclusively for screenwriters, FTII VIJAY TENDULKAR WRITERS’ ACADEMY, in its Kothrud premises, away from FTII’s main campus in Pune.

On February 23, 2020, Shri B P Singh, Chairman FTII inaugurated FTII VIJAY TENDULKAR WRITERS’ ACADEMY in the presence of Mohan Agashe, actor and former Director of FTII; eminent playwright Satish Alekar; noted screenwriter, senior SWA activist and Executive Committee member Anjum Rajabali; Bhupendra Kainthola, Director FTII; R N Pathak, Registrar; Ketki Pandit, Executive Committee member of SWA and HoD, Dept of Feature Film Screenplay Writing, FTII and Prof. Sandeep Shahare, National Coordinator, SKIFT.

“The Academy is one of its kind in India. The vision of the Academy is to become an educational hub for writing for Cinema, TV and Web; with a spectrum of courses -writing short film, web series, film reviews and criticism, lyrics etc- offered for writers at various levels of experience and availability. The Academy, over a period of time, will help the industry overcome the acute shortage of good and trained screen writers.” said Chairman B P Singh while formally opening the Academy.

“Over the last three years, FTII has been making concerted and continuous efforts to democratise the film education by offering short and part-time courses to commoners across the country under SKIFT ,and opening up opportunities for thousands looking for a career in the film and television industry,” added Bhupendra Kainthola.

Ketki Pandit, who also heads the pedagogical team at the Academy, says, “To begin with, weekend and evening Courses will be launched.This will be a boon particularly for groups such as students,IT sector professionals, aspiring or struggling writers etc. The part-time programme will offer hands-on writing courses for those who have more than curiosity for screenwriting, but can’t afford to invest 2 years in the full-time screenwriting course at FTII. With significant written deliverables, the courses aim to equip the students with an understanding of the form and process, and some writing rigour. Also in planning is a web portal to conduct online courses. The setting of the Academy in an idyllic and quiet location will also help it serve as a Writer’s Retreat.”

The classrooms and staff room in FTII VIJAY TENDULKAR WRITERS’ACADEMY are named after legendary women writers, Ismat Chughtai, Durga Bhagwat, Mahashweta Devi, Amrita Pritam and Krishna Sobti.