Maharashtra: Governor inaugurates metal art installation at FTII as part of diamond jubilee celebrations, students say not allowed to attend event

In continuation of its diamond jubilee celebrations, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) unveiled a metal art installation, Nabh Abheepsa (Yearning for the Sky), which was inaugurated by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday. The 21-feet-installation constructed of scrap material, which immortalises the stories and memories of every young artist to step inside the prestigious campus, was conceptualised and developed jointly by the Departments of Cinematography, and Art Direction and Production Design.

Appreciating the metal marvel, Koshyari said, “Spread news of this beautiful artwork through TV and other visual means, so that people from all over the world can come here to see it. It should become a great source of inspiration for writers, poets, artists and painters in the field of innovation,” he said.

Nabh Abheepsa is made of scrapped studio lights, junked arc lights, out-of-use tracks and other discarded material. Prasanna Jain, head of Art Direction and Vikram Verma, head of Art Production, who spearheaded the idea of the installation, were facilitated at the event by the Governor.

“The celebration for our 60th year was halted as the pandemic was upon us in a matter of days. The installation is made up of scrap material of the… instruments once used by our past students. While the installation was completed in a matter of two months, including the time to conceptualise the idea, the official inauguration was delayed in light of the pandemic,” said FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola.

While several dignitaries and alumni attended the event virtually, some on-campus students alleged that they were not allowed to enter the premises.

“I have been at the residential hostel across the main campus since late November last year, when the lockdown eased. We were neither informed about the event nor invited. Instead, on the morning of the event, a handful of us who were here were questioned by security personnel and hostel guards about our plans for the day,” said Sayantan Chakrabarti, a student of the sound department.

Chakrabarti said he and others thought that as students of FTII, they would be allowed for the event. “But we were stopped at the hostel gate itself. In fact, they did not even let us go out for anything.”

Kainthola said he had no idea about any such restrictions. “If a request would have been made by the students, they could have attended the event. The security would have required a proper identification. Apart from that, since Google Meet has a limited login capacity, we sent the link to those who had requested it. We also had screens in three locations within campus for socially distanced viewing of the inauguration,” he said.

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