5th Veda session with Rekha Bhardwaj on August 17, 2017 from 4:30 pm onwards.
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~ Gandhiji's spiritual guide Shrimad Rajchandraji inspires film fraternity this Independence Day ~
This Independence Day, the 806th show of the historical and dramatic masterpiece - ‘Yugpurush - Mahatma's Mahatma' opened to a packed auditorium with over 1000 attendees at Juhu, Mumbai. Whistling Woods International's (WWI) 5th Veda cultural hub was proud to be associated with this highly acclaimed play, which has touched the hearts of people around the country. The play is an inspiring and riveting portrayal of the close association between Mahatma Gandhi and his spiritual mentor, Shrimad Rajchandraji, and has been produced by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD), a spiritual organisation founded by Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai.
Several dignitaries from the film and theatre industry, including Shabana Azmi, Saroj Khan, Abbas Mastan, Anees Bazmee, Anu Malik, Poonam Dhillon, Satish Kaushik and many others attended the event and expressed their immense awe through constant applauds for the play. Also, in addition to the students from Whistling Woods International, the show also witnessed attendance of students from various other institutions. The young audience was deeply moved by the heart-touching message of the play.
The evening started with the lamp lighting ceremony by the celebrities present at the event. It was followed with the screening of various AVs related to the play and associated organisations.
"In my moments of spiritual crisis, Shrimadji was my refuge." - Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ch. Raychandbhai)
To share Gandhiji's life principles, renowned filmmaker Subhash Ghai's 'Whistling Woods International' joined hands with SRMD to host the play for the film fraternity. Mr. Ghai staged the play, especially for the film and theatre community, as a tribute to the core values and philosophy of the nation - indeed a fitting way to celebrate this special day, reminiscing about the values that brought us independence and today, form the bedrock of our culture.
Commenting on the play, Subhash Ghai, leading filmmaker and Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International said, "Yugpurush is a magnetic play touching an ever-burning issue of Violence vs Non-violence. Whistling Woods International is proud to present it to all theatre lovers."
Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, Shrimad Rajchandraji's ardent devotee and the Founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur shared, "The birth and life of the Great Ones are worth remembering. They awaken our latent strength and kindle the desire to become like them."
A major highlight was that this special show celebrated the 'World Organ Donation Day'. Mr. Ghai along with the team of 'Yugpurush' and SRMD created awareness about the importance of Organ Donation, on this occasion. They inspired those present to take the Organ Donation pledge in order to serve and help mankind. WWI has always encouraged arts and culture in the country along with supporting various social causes. Its association with SRMD is another step forward in that direction.
In addition to the Transmedia Gujarati Screen and Stage Awards received previously for the Best Drama, Best Director and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, 'Yugpurush' was recently bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award 2017 for 'Best Drama'. With acclaimed director Rajesh Joshi of Code Mantra-fame at the helm, the play has been scripted by well-known playwriter, Uttam Gada of Maharathi-fame. The music direction is done by popular composer duo, Sachin-Jigar.
The play also supports the cause of Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital - a new 200-bed multi-specialty charity hospital for the economically underprivileged in South Gujarat. SRMD's aim behind the year-long celebration of Shrimad Rajchandraji's 150th birth anniversary is to spread Shrimad Rajchandraji's spiritually uplifting teachings to the maximum number of people from all walks of life.
Encouraging and appreciating the cast and crew of the play, the day came to a close with Mr. Ghai felicitating them amidst the thunders of applause.
~Improv Comedy Mumbai educated the students on the craft of impromptu comedy on-stage as part of the 5th VEDA cultural session~
This week, the auditorium of Whistling Woods International resonated with non-stop laughter as Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM) graced the 5th Veda session. The enlightening session gave the students a glimpse into the world of impromptu comedy. The guests for the evening were ICM group members – Ankit Challa, Jahnavi Dave, Naveen Kaushik, Pawan Chawla and Surya Rao, who received a standing ovation by more than 500 students at the institute.
The session began with the ICM team sharing their numerous experiences and revealing what goes behind the scenes to make impromptu sessions happen. Naveen Kaushik shared, “Improv Comedy is no longer known as Improv Comedy around the world; it is now called Theatre Sports.” The team emphasised that the craft is like sports, where the team practices and then comes on stage to deliver, not knowing how the game will progress.
The ICM ensemble took charge of the stage and left the audience in splits. The members informed the students that delivering on-stage, just as in any other sport, comes down to practice and hard-work. Naveen said, “We all practice together at least twice a week and that helps us in delivering on stage with ease.” He further added, “When we began, we followed a certain methodology and specific rules. Once we got a hang of it, we could then unlearn it, to bring our own elements into the sets.”
The group also taught some acting exercises to the students and shared some tips. Naveen said, “Comedy is all about punch-up and not punch-down. It is not about putting any community or any individual down, it is about taking a situation and playing on it strengths.” Jahnavi Dave further added, “Play at the top of your intelligence. Don’t say anything on stage that you would not like being said to you.”
They performed impromptu hilarious and innovative acts based on the students’ suggestions, which made the audience crack up with laughter. Students were amazed and fascinated by the way the ICM team elicited laughter in the audience. They even invited a few students to be involved in the sets, which raised the entertainment quotient.
The Improv Comedy Mumbai team then engaged in a Q&A session with the students. A packed auditorium of young talented students gave a standing ovation to the artists for their comedy timing and knowledge. The session ended with Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, thanking the team for spending time at the institute, followed by felicitating the guests with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause.
~He shared his journey from a sad childhood to being a Padma Bhushan recipient~
“I don't believe in the luck factor. I believe in seeking, exploring and hard work. It is only practice, persuasion and preservation that enables an ordinary person to become an extraordinary man”, emphasised Anupam Kher, a legendary actor of India with over 500 films in 35 years to his credit, at the inauguration of the sixth season of the 5th Veda cultural hub with about 600 students attending the acting workshop held at the Whistling Woods International (WWI) campus.
“You too can become extraordinary only when you really work extra hard and differently from others and leave your audience surprised”, said the renowned actor while sharing anecdotes from his journey in the film industry. He shared stories about how he fought with Mahesh Bhatt to get the old man’s role in ‘Saaransh’ to how he became a star by getting an opportunity to play a pivotal role in Subhash Ghai’s film ‘Karma’. While on stage, during the interaction, Anupam Kher enacted a scene along with Subhash Ghai on how he got the role of Dr. Dang in the film.
Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI acknowledged Anupam Kher as a man with great sense of humour and wealth of knowledge about cinema and life, while simultaneously possessing a warm child-like personality.
During the interaction with Subhash Ghai he pointed out, “Most children belonging to small town grow up with imaginations, while children in cities grow with targets and calculations. That’s why most of the finest artist have their roots grounded in small towns of India.” He even shared some great quotes of wisdom by his father, which he followed religiously and in turn enabled him to attain greater success in life. He then spoke about the three illustrious years he spent at the National School of Drama, from where he graduated and won a gold medal. He taught the students how breathing techniques play an important role in defining an actor’s voice. He also shared that yoga and meditation are the most important elements in an actor’s life in order to have a control on his body, mind and soul.
On being questioned by a student about the secret behind his success, Anupam Kher revealed, “I don’t take myself seriously and that is my biggest strength.” The talented actor also stressed on the importance of having a command on the language, be it in a play or onscreen. He encouraged the students to be able to read and speak in Hindi to be an actor in the Hindi language films, plays and television.
Commenting on the occasion, Subhash Ghai said, “When an actor inspires a director, then magic is created on celluloid. It then becomes imperative for the director to highlight such immense talent. Anupam Kher inspired me to write the best lines for him in Karma and Saudagar.”
The interaction was followed by a Q&A session with acting students with a strength of more than 80 students at WWI, and Anupam Kher patiently answered every question with examples and stories from his life experiences.
"Subhash Ghai's vision has come to fruition and the institute has made incredible contributions to the Indian cinema," said ace director Shyam Benegal at the 10th Whistling Woods International Convocation
Whistling Woods International (WWI) today celebrated the 10th Annual Convocation of its 18th & 19th graduating batches, at St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra. The event witnessed a full-house with close to 1000 people; right from industry professionals, students and their families in complete attendance. The graduating students, full of excitement, were acknowledged for their achievements with awards and commendations.
This year, the ace Indian director and screenwriter Shyam Benegal and legendary actor Shatrughan Sinha were conferred with the 'Whistling Woods Maestro Award', for their invaluable contribution to Indian cinema. Prof S Parasumaran, Vice Chancellor at Tata Institute of Social Science, gave an inspiring speech as the keynote speaker at the event.
The ceremony began with Subhash Ghai, Meghna Ghai Puri and Ravi Gupta along with the guests, lighting the lamp, followed by an inspiring video on the institute's incredible journey over the last decade.
Commenting on the occasion, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International, shared, "With this graduating batch, we, at Whistling Woods International have accomplished ten successful years. It gives me immense pleasure to share that we have delivered on what we had committed, when we had set out to start the institute in 2006. With the constant efforts and support extended by Meghna, Rahul, Ravi Gupta, the faculty here have successfully shaped the institute to be what it is today. I am honoured to be a part of WWI's journey into completing its first decade. I wish that legendary personalities like Shyam Benegal sahaab and Shatrughanji continue to inspire us to create more well-honed industry ready professionals and thereby help students make their careers in a holistic way."
Commenting on the occasion, leading director Shyam Benegal shared, "It is an honour to not only be present here today, but also to be associated with an institute like Whistling Woods International. Subhash Ghai's vision has come to fruition and the institute has made incredible contributions to the Indian cinema, by honing the talent in our country. It has been a fantastic journey so far and I look forward to the years to come."
Advising the students on their journey ahead, ace actor Shatrughan Sinha said, "From the time I graduated I have followed only one mantra: In this competitive world prove yourself to be better than the best but if you fail to do then at least make sure you are different from the rest, and you will find your destination. Believe in yourself and charge ahead with confidence. You have been fortunate to have had such a strong mentor by you side, Mr. Subhash Ghai, who has also been my guide in life. I have learnt all the good things in life and, also the tricks of trade from him."
Thanking everyone present at the annual Convocation ceremony, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International, said, "It's a wonderful feeling to see these young students walk out today in the industry as trained young professionals. Most of them already have great jobs and the others have plans to pursue further studies. Eleven years ago, on the same date we had inaugurated this institute and pledged to create a world-class institution, which will make the industry proud. There is a strong sense of accomplishment and fulfillment amongst all of us at WWI today, as we gear up to take the journey further for many more decades to come. I congratulate the students and wish them all the very best for their future."
Whistling Woods International boasts of more than 1600 alumni successfully working in the Media and Entertainment industry, having bagged prestigious projects in filmmaking, animation and acting. Recent and popular projects, include, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Mohenjo Daro, Sultan, Udta Punjab, Kapoor & Sons, Masaan, The Jungle Book, Fan, Neerja, Bajirao Mastani, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, PK, Highway, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania to name a few, as filmmakers in various capacities and Shashank Arora - Titli; Rajshri Deshpande - Angry Indian Goddesses, among others, as actors in prominent roles in critically acclaimed and award-winning films.
~ Subhash Ghai celebrates International Yoga Day with students and staff of Whistling Woods International ~
The International Yoga Day was celebrated amidst much fan-fare at Whistling Woods International (WWI). The event witnessed the esteemed presence of Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI along with the members of Brahma Kumaris and Deepti Talpade. They practiced a number of yoga asanas with faculty members and students at the WWI campus, thereby, highlighting one of the most integral aspects of Indian culture.
The celebration of yoga day began with the screening of educational videos, which demonstrated the techniques and benefits of yoga. The video screening was then followed by a soulful performance by the students of WWI School of Music.
While addressing the students of WWI, member of Brahma Kumari said, "We have taught our younger generation to read, write, solve mathematical queries, but not to think to be creative. The practice of yoga in our daily lives helps us think above the obivious."
On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Subhash Ghai said, "Yoga is an internal bath for the body, mind and soul and every individual should practice it ardently. I've been practicing it myself for the past 40 years. Yoga in India is considered to be a 3500-year old ancient practice for the mind, body and soul. The youth of this country needs to understand the value of this amazing gift of our age-old culture. There is an urgent need for the youth to recognise that yoga can help them stay calm and achieve greater success in the modern world of cut-throat competition."
The students and faculty members enthusiastically participated in the celebrations on the day. The institute has inculcated healthy habit of practicing yoga in its students by making necessary resources and amenities available to them on campus.
Concluding the event with a vote of thanks, Subhash Ghai said, "At WWI, we have regular yoga classes on campus. Being a creative institute, yoga and meditation is an integral part of our educational philosophy."
Based on merit, 35 students from grade 7 - 10 from schools across Mumbai have been selected as the TIMES NIE star correspondents. These students visited our campus and attended a session conducted by our Founder and Chairman, Subhash Ghai. They were also taken on a campus tour, where they got to see and know about the equipment that our students use to make films.
Kommune Poet Group performs at the Season 5 Finale of 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International
~ The poet group graced the session with their presence and soulful poetic performances ~
It was a soulful evening at Whistling Woods International (WWI) as the young and popular poetic group, Kommune arrived and performed at the 5th Veda session, bring the 5th Season to a poignant conclusion. The students, at the institute, witnessed some amazing performance by Rabia Kapoor, Rakesh Tiwari, Nawaldeep Singh, Hussain Haidry and Shamir Reuben, who also doubled up as the host for the evening.
The session was charged with emotions when the first performance by Rakesh Tiwari, who described what it meant to have a place called home, moved the audiences and he was given a standing ovation. Equally beautiful pieces were narrated by other members of the Kommune group. The group shared the nuances of effectively performing on stage. Commenting on the same, poet Shamir Reuben said, “It is great to use the entire stage when performing your piece. Use the complete stage, use the lighting and strong hand gestures, it always help in directing the attention back to you from your audiences.”
A few selected WWI students also performed on stage and shared some of their poems. The students received the loudest cheer and were appreciated by the Kommune group for presenting their poems. Speaking about the session, Meghna Ghai Puri, President WWI said, “Groups like Kommune performing at the 5th Veda session is a great motivator for students who also want to follow the same path. The group members delivered brilliant performances and taught the students the finer details of delivering poems on stage.”
Towards the end of the session, token of appreciation was given to the guests amidst the thunders of applause.
“I WOULD LISTEN TO MY SONGS, ANALYSE AND LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES,” SAID RENOWNED SINGER ALKA YAGNIK TO THE STUDENTS OF WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
~ The ace singer highlighted the importance of diction, practice and adapting to styles of different composers
She threw light on challenges playback singers face in Bollywood and what it takes to make the cut ~
One of the most illustrious singers of Bollywood, Alka Yagnik entered the auditorium for the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI), amidst roar of claps and much enthusiasm and excitement. The session witnessed Subhash Ghai (Founder and Chairman, WWI) unearth details about the singer’s life and her journey spanning over 3 decades in the industry.
Alka Yagnik began by sharing, “My mother was my first guru.” Her mother was a classical singer and was quick to recognise the talent in her daughter. Her parents then encouraged her singing and supported her through the journey. As a 4 year-old she would also sit with her mother, who was training at that time, and would listen to her mother sing. She also narrated the tale of how she would often listen to Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle singing on the radio, at the time when other girls her age were busy playing with friends.
The conversation then veered towards Alka Yagnik creating her mark in Bollywood and her journey as a playback singer. She then shed light on the challenges in playback singing and shared tips with the students on exercising voice muscles.
Sharing her experience with students, Alka Yagnik revealed, “Playback singing is not as easy as it seems. You are singing for a character and your song should make it easy for the actor to emote and shouldn’t make it difficult for them. It is also a challenge for a playback singer to adapt to the different style of each composer. But then having achieved that, nothing compares to the happiness of a composer telling you that your singing perfectly adapts to their styles.”
Subhash Ghai took the opportunity to praise the singer on her one-pointed focus and dedication to her craft and advised students to follow her footsteps. Towards the end of the sessions, clipping of Alka Yagnik’s songs were played out and she revealed interesting stories behind each number. The first clip, was her popular number, ‘’Ek, Do, Teen,” picturised on Madhuri Dixit in Tezaab. She revealed that she had high fever on the day and though it would be impossible to sing such a high-energy number, but she was persuaded and finally sang the song. She was taken by surprise when she went on to win a Filmfare award for the song.
Clips of ‘Taal se Taal Mila’ (Taal), ‘I Love My India’ (Pardes), ‘Pardesi Pardesi Jana Nahi’ (Raja Hindustani and ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ (Tamasha) were played. Subhash Ghai shared that she has won a Filmfare Award for each of these songs. Additionally, the celebrated singer shared more behind-the-scenes events which captivated the audiences. The session ended on a sweet note with Alga Yagnik’s melodious voice charging the ambience which made the evening that much more special.
THERE IS NO GENDER DIFFERENCE IN MOVIE INDUSTRY BUT ONLY MERITS - FARAH KHAN SHARES HER EXPERIENCES AT A WORKSHOP AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
FARAH KHAN a woman star power in movies and entertainment world of Mumbai answered a question asked by a student whether women face bigger problems in entertainment industry? She expressed, “This industry works merely on merits irrespective of your gender, cast, religion and families. I always notice that girls within the industry are more hard-working and have proved themselves better than boys at times. I see lot of girls as writers, directors, editors,production designers, entrepreneurs growing fast today"
In a candid conversation with Subhash Ghai during cultural workshop known as ‘5th Veda’ at Whistling Woods international , Farah Khan shared the qualities necessary to be imbibed by new entrants while stepping into this over sensitive industry. She advised students ‘when you join any unit please check yourself first that if you’re a ‘problem solver- not a problem giver’ to your team or seniors. This Multi arts and crafts industry gives you one job but it also opens many avenues for you to observe and learn more about other fields too. As I learnt as an assistant to Mansoor Khan in ‘Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikande’, how to edit a song on paper. It was Aamir Khan, my original teacher who used to answer all my questions on filmmaking and eventually I became a director when SRK noticed my capability and offered me ‘Mai hoon na’ .
Sharing her childhood pains and financial stresses she had but she developed her talent for dancing by watching best of movies and choreographing them within her small friends unit . Her journey to become a top woman director of mainstream cinema had many ups and down but she has always been excellent in human management, sudden crisis, difficult situations and so on. She has been a solver to get the job done.
After sharing various stories about her award winning and blockbuster dances on screen Farah Khan invited students to come on stage and to dance with her to the song ‘Chhaiya Chhaiya’ . It brought thundering applause from students for her super gesture .
She commented at WWI campus that students at Whistling Woods are the luckiest that the best of the industry come here to connect with students mainly because of love and respect for Subhash Ji who himself has been a legendary filmmaker and teachers to many. I enjoyed this two hour session with students and look forward to com again.
Meghna Ghai Puri thanked Farah Khan for such open conversation and valuable inputs she gave to students during the 5th Veda session which is meant for students to learn from legends directly.
“GO AND STAY IN THE VILLAGES FOR TWO WEEKS TO BECOME AN ACTOR,” SAID ACE ACTOR MANOJ BAJPAYEE TO THE STUDENTS AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
~ He stressed on the importance of travelling to the villages and small towns and meeting as many people as possible, in order to become a better actor at the 5th VEDA session ~
Renowned actor Manoj Bajpayee graced the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI) and stressed on the importance of staying connected to the roots of the country. He encouraged the students to travel but not as tourists, rather as locals to grasp the nuances of people in each region of the country in order to fine tune their filmmaking and acting skills.
Manoj Bajpayee shared that as actors and filmmakers in India, the students will be telling stories about the Indian society at large akin to the Hindi film industry. He mentioned this makes it even more imperative to understand the mentality of people in different regions of the country and not just the cities.
Sharing insights with the students, actor Manoj Bajpayee said, “You as the students of filmmaking and acting need to have a good hold over the language, culture and people of the country. Go and stay in the villages and small towns for two weeks to become a better actor and understand the rural sensibilities. This will effectively help you enhance your filmmaking skills, required during the course of your career.”
In this 5th Veda session, moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman of WWI, Manoj Bajpayee shared his journey right from his childhood days to becoming a successful actor in the country. He faced rejections but went on to work in theatre with several groups. He even set up his own group. He continued to keep learning and sharpening his craft. Such was his passion and he continued to follow his heart.
Few clips of his best performances from movies including ‘Raajneeti’, ‘Aligarh’,‘Aks,’ ‘Gangs of Wasseypur,’ ‘Shool’ and ‘Satya’ were screened, where he shared the stories behind each shot or scenes of the respective film.
The informative session ended with Manoj Bajpayee taking a brief workshop on improvisation, wherein two students performed a given scenario and he shared his insights on how to better the characters and the scene. He appreciated the students and even went on to dance with them on his popular number from ‘Satya’, while receiving a standing ovation by over 400 students of the institute.
Association of Cine & Television, Art Directors & Costume Designers visit WWI for interactive workshop and screening of ‘Spartacus’ by Stanley Kubrick on March 25, 2017 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm
Legendary poet, Gulzar saab inaugurated the student’s Poets Society, ‘Kachchi Qalam’ at Whistling Woods International’s 5th VEDA Cultural Hub
“It is high time for every school and university in the new India to introduce the subject of poetry as part of their curriculum or form poets clubs/society or hubs for the students to develop a sense of excellence in life skills”, said filmmaker Subhash Ghai while moderating the workshop on art and technique of poetry with the legendary poet and lyricist, Gulzar saab at the Mumbai campus of Whistling Woods International (WWI).
Gulzar saab appreciated the documentary made by the students on the evolution of poetry in the world and Indian cinema. He also shared experiences from his early life – from when he used to participate in Antakshari with his friends and create his own lines in shayari, adding a flavor to the art to his initial working days when he used to work in a motor garage, mixing paints. It was destiny that introduced him to filmmaker Bimal Roy through a friend and finally he wrote his first song, ‘Moraa Goraa Ang Lai Le, Mohe Shaam Rang Dai De’ for the film Bandini, which brought a new flavor into the world of lyric writing of Hindi cinema.
The insightful evening commenced with six students reciting the poems written by them to pay tribute to Gulzar saab - the legend. The auditorium resonated with thunderous applause as Gulzar saab blessed them and appreciated their approach to write original poems.
The highlight of the 5th VEDA cultural hub of WWI was when Gulzar saab inaugurated the student’s poetic society, ‘KACHCHI QALAM’ initiated by Subhash Ghai and the students of the institute. Gulzar saab drew the inaugural curtains off the launching page of the poetic society and wrote an original line to mark the start of the beautiful initiative – ‘Dil Agar Hain Toh Dard Bhi Hoga, Iska Koi Nahi Hai Hul Shayad’. The 400 students present in the auditorium gave a standing ovation for his gracious gesture of inaugurating the poetic society at the WWI campus.
Complimenting Gulzar saab, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI said, “You have left a fragrance of good poetry with us today in this campus which will keep inspiring our students with so much talent of creative writing.”
The highly-energetic interactive session with Subhash Ghai and Gulzar saab revealed the difference between ‘poetry’ and ‘lyrics writing’. “As a poet I make my own statement but while writing lyrics I am commissioned to write for a film’s story or situation”, shared the legendary poet.”
The Academy award winner for the song ‘Jai Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire and Padma Bhushan, Gulzar saab confessed his inclination towards Bengali literature, which later inspired him to write many memorable songs for several Bengali filmmakers and he eventually also got married to a Bengali actress, Raakhee.
He also advised the students to explore the numerous realities of life in order to get better at their art, in addition to exploring various genres of writing, especially poems. The poetic evening came to a close with his beautiful lines as an advice to the students – ‘Ye likhne ki vidya hain, likhne se aati hain, likhte rahiye; Ye karne ki vidya hai, karne se aati hain, karte rahiye.”
Speaking about WWI, Gulzar saab said, “I feel extremely honoured and happy to be back here after three years. The moment I entered the campus, I felt like taking admission and getting back to studying. The students here are lucky to have gotten the opportunity to study at an institute of such high prestige, and I wish them all the very best for their future endeavors. I would advise the students to explore and write about the various nuances of life.”
Our President Meghna Ghai Puri lead the way at FICCI Frames 2017 in panel on 'Media & Entertainment Workforce: Bridging the Talent Gap'. She moderated an invigorating discussion with stalwarts from the Media & Entertainment industry & leading Educational institutions. Panellists included Prof. Ramola Kumar, Dean, Delhi School of Communication; Mr. Vikrant Pande, Academician, Teamlease Skills University; Dr. Sanjay V Deshmukh, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai; Mr. Ramesh Sippy, Film Director and Producer and Mr. Abhinav Chopra, Chief Human Resource Officer, Viacom18.
“Knowing poetry is a must, to excel in acting along with life skills,” said Shabana Azmi during the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International
~The five time National Award winner received a standing ovation from more than 400 filmmaking students of WWI at the 5th Veda event~
An endless thunder of claps echoed through the auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI), when ‘Padma Bhushan’ awardee, Shabana Azmi walked up the stage at the 5th Veda cultural hub to address an enthusiastic audience. The event commenced with a spiritual AV, featuring the evolution of acting over the years in Indian cinema, followed by a series of monologues performed by the filmmaking students for the guest of honor. The session was moderated by Founder & Chairman, WWI, Subhash Ghai.
One of the finest actors in Indian cinema, Shabana Azmi shared her acting experiences with the audiences right from her FTII days, and how studying there was an eye opener for her. With an aim to celebrate the actor’s contribution to Indian cinema, various clips were shown from her movies, right from her first to the recent National award winning movie, Neerja. She also shared a few lines written by Javed Akhtar and threw light on the importance of poems in our lives.
Being an actor, she believes that it is always beneficial if an actor is also a poet, as it gives them the required command over the language.
Speaking about her experience at Whistling Woods International she said, “I don't feel like I am a guest here, I feel like a family member of WWI. I have been a part of this institute since its inception, and it is always a pleasure to visit the campus. I want to congratulate each student present in the auditorium, as they have got a wonderful opportunity to study here. I would like to wish all the students good luck for their future.”
The eventful session concluded with a token of appreciation given to the evergreen veteran Shabana Azmi by Meghna Puri, President of Whistling Woods International.
“I always wanted to be a singer, not a lyric writer”, confessed Amitabh Bhattacharya at the 5th Veda session of Whistling Woods International
~National Award winner Amitabh Bhattacharya, interacted with more than 400 students at the WWI campus and gave them an overview of lyric writing~
The auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) witnessed utmost excitement among the students, when renowned lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya walked up the stage to address a zealous audience.
The session kick-started with an interesting AV on different forms of poetry and how it has evolved over the years. It also highlighted the contribution of well-known poets to the Indian cinema, and shed light on the art of poetry writing. Founder and Chairman of WWI, Subhash Ghai, moderated the session making sure that the esteemed guest came up with some impromptu compositions for the students to learn the technique of lyric writing in detail.
While talking about it, Amitabh Bhattacharya, highlighted the key difference between poetry writing and lyric writing, and how both have its own set of rules and regulations to be followed. When asked about how to compose a song from the scratch, he said, “The words I use in my lyrics today, are the words I used to hear in my childhood in my hometown. I always wanted to keep some connection with my roots, hence I found this way. I have not taken any professional training in lyric writing, it comes naturally to me.”
The 5th Veda session with Amitabh Bhattacharya underlined the importance of lyrics in mainstream Indian cinema. He shared his journey to fame in the film industry, and further entertained the audiences by singing some of the blockbuster songs he has penned including ‘Emosanal Attyachaar’ from Dev D, ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’ from Dangal, ‘Channa Mereya’ from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, ‘Ankahee’ from Lootera to name a few. The highlight of the evening was when he sung the unreleased version of the title track of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, leaving the audience mesmerized with the beauty of the meaningful lyrics and his personal rendition.
Towards the end of an eventful session, he also mentioned how he still listens to the tune first, before writing the lyrics for his songs. He also shared a few anecdotes and behind the scene working experiences with renowned Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.
Talking about Whistling Woods International he said, “I completely enjoyed the session, I think Subhash ji has done an amazing job by building a school which provides a platform to the young talents. The vibe here is completely different and I was thrilled when I heard the students sing. I think they are phenomenal.”
“I never learnt Kathak and Bharatanatyam, but always danced to the music and lyrics, since my childhood until today”, confessed Saroj Khan while attending the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International
The auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) reverberated with sounds of enthusiasm and excitement, as the National award winning choreographer Saroj Khan addressed the students as part of the institute’s 5th Veda sessions. The session began with a documentary reflecting the evolution of dance over the years and the various classical dance forms in India, followed by a special AV curated by the students on Saroj Khan’s journey in Bollywood. The screenings were followed by an engaging session with Saroj Khan, which was moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI.
During the session, Saroj Khan touched upon various aspects of her life – the downfalls, barriers and struggles, some precious moments in the journey, and the people who supported her, all of which contributed to her success. She also elaborated on how dance is not only an art form, but a ‘spiritual experience'. The legendary choreographer also showed signature steps from some of her blockbuster Bollywood songs, taking students in an absolute frenzy.
It was an engaging session, as she brought in a whole lot of cheer, energy and motivation amongst the 400 students present, and also made them dance to the tunes of “Tamma Tamma”, (original song choreographed by her). The highlight of the show was when she danced to the evergreen song “Choli ke peechhe kya hai”, which received a standing ovation.
During the session Subhash Ghai said, "It is an honour to have Saroj Khan with us today to grace the occasion. This session was organized with the aim of preserving the classical form of dance in today's contemporary world. It is because of her, the relationship of a director and a choreographer grew in the industry.”
While talking to the students, Saroj Khan gave them a very important lesson about ‘how you should always love what you do, be loyal and honest to your work, and never forget your roots’. Talking about WWI she said, “This is like my home. The students here are amazing dancers and I enjoyed spending time with them. I wish them all the very best for their future.”
~The key highlights included the screening of ‘Margarita with a Straw’ on 14th February, 2017 (Tuesday), an insightful panel discussion in association with Varija Life on 17th February, 2017 (Friday) and finally wrapping up with the visit of differently abled members along with faculty and staff from FPH on 22nd February, 2017 (Wednesday).~
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Media Arts institute, dedicated an entire month towards the theme ‘Celebrating the lives of the Differently-abled @ WWI’, which aimed at spreading awareness about the special needs of differently abled people. The Film and Media institute, situated in the heart of Mumbai, has always believed to have a key role in the social welfare of the city, and an ethical responsibility towards the environment. Through its course of operation, WWI has proudly associated itself with several NGOs such as, Salaam Baalak Trust, Organ India, Laadli - A Population First Initiative, Aseema and working in support of LGBTQ filmmakers through the KASHISH - Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, among others for the welfare and development of the lesser privileged. With the aim of giving back to the society as responsible global citizens, students are encouraged to not limit their learnings to their curriculum, but much more. Following the tradition, ‘Celebrating the lives of the
Differently-abled’ as a part of the institute's CSR activity, saw more than 130 members from Mumbai based NGO the ‘Fellowship of the Physically Handicapped (FPH)’ gracing the occasion with their presence, as they visited WWI campus.
One of the key highlights of the special week was a panel discussion held on in association with Varija Life titled ‘Recognising Ability over Disabilities’, to understand the special needs and abilities of differently abled people. The esteemed panelists included educationists like Varija Bajaj, Founder - Varija Life, Geeta Castelino, Head - CSR, Welingkar Institute of Management and Research, Rabiya Nazki, HOD - Producing, Whistling Woods International, Shama Sikander - Actor, Paras Sharma, Clinical Psychologist, The Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Somnath Sen, Director - Outreach and Affiliations, Whistling Woods International. With over 200 students in attendance, the panellists shed light on the need for a sustainable change in the society, and how the society at large must realise and come forward to acknowledge and contribute towards the development of the lesser privileged section of the society.
Speaking at the event, Meghna Ghai Puri, President - WWI said, “We feel extremely proud to host an event which aims at transforming the lives of so many students. It was indeed an honour for us to host an insightful panel discussion in association with Varija Life and consequently to have the members of FPH visit our campus. This I feel will go a long way with our students as they have been sensitised to the needs of these special individuals and will help them portray through the medium of film in a more powerful way.”
Indie Pop Singer, Mika Singh sang his unrecorded composition and blockbuster songs and shared his secret mantras with the students at 5th VEDA cultural hub
~ The renowned singer was at Whistling Woods International interacting with the students ~
“Mika may appear as a rock star with attitude on stage, but in reality, it is hard to find such a down-to-earth man”, said Subhash Ghai after his conversation with Mika Singh during a music workshop held at Whistling Woods International (WWI) as part of the 5th Veda cultural hub for over 400 students of filmmaking, music and other fields of media & entertainment studies.
During his interaction with the students, Mika Singh revealed that he failed in grade 5 and never continued his formal education. But he learnt the greatest lesson from life, “No job is small or big. Keep learning from every aspect of life that interests you. And in order to be loved, you have to love others. Also always pay respect to elders, gurus and seniors and take their blessings. It’s their blessings that help you pave a successful career.”
During his visit, he visited the School of Music and interacted with 30 music students. While interacting with the students, he picked up the guitar and started playing the ‘classical tune’ from Karz. “I always wanted to be just a music composer but eventually became a singer along with being a composer. I’ve plans to start my music studios in Delhi and invite WWI students to join my team”, he further added.
The popular singer complimented WWI for the facilities provided to media aspirants. Throwing light on his successful musical journey, he shared various anecdotes behind each blockbuster songs he delivered. He shared that he never refused even the smallest opportunities that came his way during his early days and went on climbing the ladder of success with lot of patience and respect for others. The session was a perfect musical evening, his life’s journey infused with blockbuster songs he sung while playing the guitar. He also trained few students, helping them understand techniques he learnt as part of his journey.
He thanked Subhash Ghai for giving him a chance to sing ‘Mann Mein Baji Guitar’ from Apna Sapna Money Money, a Mukta Production, which boosted his career and he feels lucky to share the stage with him.
“DO OR DIE IS THE ONLY PLEDGE AN ACTOR HAS TO TAKE TO BE GOOD ACTOR”, said multi-talented Piyush Mishra, while addressing the students at Whistling Woods International
~ The acclaimed actor was the guest for the evening at the 5th Veda cultural hub ~
The auditorium resonated with one husky voice of veteran Piyush Mishra when he stood in front of a packed audience at Whistling Woods International (WWI), addressing the students as part of the 5th Veda sessions. He enthralled the students with songs written by him like ‘Husna’ while playing the harmonium. He shared harrowing stories from his childhood days. The madness that inspired him to sing, to play harmonium, to learn sitar, to go on stage and perform and so on. This was the method adopted by multi-talented Piyush Mishra, who received acclamation and accolades for his performance of a prosecutor in the film, ‘PINK’ opposite Amitabh Bachchan. Mishra also shared how he would reach a film set well before time while shooting with the legendary actor, since he had heard about how the latter is strictly punctual when it came to arriving on film sets.
The renowned actor also revealed he could have been a better star of the country if he was not suffering with his inner Ego in his early days of career. He confessed he has come of that and repents the negative habits & attitude.
The session took a poetic turn when the acclaimed actor recited a few impactful lines from a couple of his famous poems, leaving everybody in attendance enthralled.
He further added “Nobody inspires anyone to act; the inspiration should come from within. I think I am blessed as a creative person, and that is how I got things right as an actor, singer, writer, poet, and a screenwriter.” The highlight of the evening was Piyush’s performance of his famous song ‘Aarambh Hai Prachand’ from the film Gulaal, for which he received a standing ovation.
“PERFORM NOT IN FRONT OF YOUR FRIENDS, BUT TO A PUBLIC AUDIENCE, TO GROOM YOURSELF AS A PROFESSIONAL”, SAID ACE COMEDIAN VIR DAS TO THE STUDENTS AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
~ The star was at the institute this week, addressing the students at the inaugural 5th VEDA session~
Renowned actor-comedian Vir Das, who has made a mark in the global stand-up comedy fraternity, conducted a hilarious yet thought-provoking session with 400 students at Whistling Woods International (WWI), marking the beginning of the Season 5 of the 5th Veda sessions.
To be a happy person and especially to be humorous, Vir Das urged the students to find out the stupidity in human behaviour or beliefs and laugh at oneself first. This attribute reduces the stress one is facing in life every moment. He also encouraged the students to be creative in writing by writing anything, even if it sounded stupid. He shared his journey and how facing stupid situations enabled him to become a top comedian in the present time. He advised the students, “To be a good performer, be courageous and get on stage even if you are not prepared or have the knowledge. Just participate and react with the audiences.”
“Never perform in front of your friends, because they’ll always certify you as a good performer. Rather perform on a public platform in front of an unknown audience, that’s the only way to groom your talent”, he further said.
Commenting about WWI’s campus & it’s vibes, he said, “Being here at WWI is an honour and I think it is one of the best campuses I have been to. The students here are really enthusiastic and full of energy. I think WWI has taken a step forward in educating people about comedy and few years down the line, it can have its own stand-up comedy course, hopefully.”
~ WWI also celebrated its 3rd Alumni Annual Meet on its Founder & Chairman Subhash Ghai's birthday ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI), India's premier Film, Communication, and Media Arts institute, has garnered an indelible reputation across the globe for its strategically designed, industry-driven courses, distinguished faculty, and world-class infrastructure. Gearing up to embark on its 11th year of operations, WWI celebrated its momentous 10 year anniversary in all its glory on a befitting occasion, Founder and Chairman Subhash Ghai's birthday. The 3rd Alumni Annual Meet made the evening a much more celebratory affair, an event filled with nostalgia, inspiring speeches, and wonderful music performances commemorated a successful decade of producing the finest media professionals in the country and around the world.
Head of Academics at WWI, Rahul Puri welcomed the dignitaries and gave a heart-warming opening address to lay the tone for a memorable event. Students from Whistling Woods International School of Music then took the centre stage with a performance tuned to touch the hearts of everyone in attendance. Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI brought in a sense of pride to the occasion by reflecting on a glorious decade comprising remarkable achievements, some noteworthy ones being:
- WWI has partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for its degree and diploma programmes
- WWI has entered into a partnership with Google under which it hosts Asia's second & India's first 'YouTube Space'. Further, WWI runs Asia's only 'YouTube Educator Lab' for teaching courses in content creation for digital platforms
- The campus is host to the 'Sony Media Technology Center', which comprises top-of-the-line HD and 3D content creation and digital cinema projection equipment
- Hosts the state-of-the-art media lab in collaboration with Foxconn Group
- WWI is recognised as a 'Great Place to Study' by Skilltree Knowledge Consortium at the House of Commons, UK
- Recognised as one of the most influential institutes in India in 'The Indian Institutes 2015' by Forbes India Marquee
- The Hollywood Reporter has rated WWI as one of the Ten Best Film Schools in the world
- Accepted as a full member of CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision) – a global association of film schools
- Meghna Ghai-Puri was awarded an honorary fellowship from Bradford College, UK for her contribution to global Film & Media education through WWI
- 1100 and more alumni successfully placed in the media and entertainment industry
Subhash Ghai (Founder & Chairman WWI), who felicitated the staff who have been associated with WWI from its inception, said, "As I look back at the bygone decade, I can proudly say that we have come a long way in fulfilling our vision of being a stepping stone for media aspirants to tap into their full potential. This is not just my birthday but birthday of every alumni. Under the guidance of the best in the industry offering sound academic and practical advice, we look forward to taking our endeavour ahead of training students in a way that makes them employable and industry-ready. I congratulate our most valued partners – alumni, faculty, staff, collaborators and students, for making Whistling Woods International the globally renowned institute it has become today."
Commenting on the 10th year anniversary of WWI, Bollywood Actor and Alumni of WWI, Anil Mange, said, "Alumni Day for me is not just a get together event, but sharing memories and all the good times we spent together. This meet is all the more special because it celebrates a successful 10 year anniversary. I'm very much connected with WWI as I keep visiting the campus during events or even as a faculty. Even today, I can freely seek guidance here. Subhash Ghai Sir, Meghna Ma'am, and Rahul Sir are always approachable and are there to help us. There are so many creative people out there in the industry from WWI who I meet every day, making me feel extremely proud of my alma mater."
Session with Neil Sadwelkar on Digital Strategies and HD Workflow on January 12 -13, 2017 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. Neil Sadwelkar is a renowned DI & Technical Consultant.
Morning School Star (Ratlam) attended a 3 day workshop on Filmmaking at Whistling Woods International from December 5 to 7, 2016. The workshops covered all the aspects of filmmaking like Editing, Direction, Producing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Sound Recording & Design and VFX.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), India's leading institute for Film, Communication and Media Arts, today, launched its latest venture Whistling Woods International School of Design in association with ECV, a leading Design school in France. India's first full time Degree program in Visual & Communication Design in association with The Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS).
Unveiled at a grand opening conducted at WWI, the launch was initiated by the traditional lighting of the lamp, graced by key representatives from Whistling Woods International and ECV including Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI; Meghna Puri, President, WWI; Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI; Patrick Hermand, Founder, ECV, and Xavier Masse, Dean, ECV, Paris and Director, International Curriculum Development. The event also witnessed participation of the advisory board members, who are also notable professionals from the industry such as Subhash Awchat, Omung Kumar, Sethunath Padmanabhan, Neeraj Roy, Rouble Nagi, and Farid Bawa.
A one-of-its-kind institute, School of Design offers Bachelor's in Visual Communication and Design, which is a comprehensive three year programme, divided into six semesters. The school aims to inculcate an extraordinary concept of education that goes by the tagline, 'Do What You Love'. The idea behind the school is to focus on making the students industry ready through a unique style of training, which allows them to pursue further education at ECV, France. This platform will fulfill the need of a formal and constructive place where people can get together, develop a network and have a state-of-the-art infrastructure to help them achieve their dreams.
Chairman and Founder, WWI, Subhash Ghai, said, "This is a proud moment for all of us, as a dream that had been taking shape over the last few years, has turned into reality. We feel honored to have collaboratedwith ECV, a Design institution that has earned a name for itself on the global map. The rationale behind this collaboration is to bring a unique global perspective to the curriculum, which would go a long way in shaping aspiring Design & Communication students to become world class professionals."
The first year of the programme will provide a perfect foundation for the students, who will learn the basics of Art, Aesthetics, Drawing, Multimedia, Colour Theory, and Design Principles, thereby developing a thorough understanding of the arena as a whole. In their next two years, students will be introduced to detailed areas of skill development such as Corporate Design, Typography, Art Direction, Web Design, Design Processes, and Publishing Design. Live projects and multiple internships will bring students up-close and personal with the industry they aspire to be in, lending a 360 degree approach to the entire programme.
Commenting on the partnership, Founder, ECV, Patrick Hermand, said, "ECV is over 30 years old with a presence in 5 cities across France, along-with an active international network across 60 organisations. We believe that 'design' is the core to everything you do, and we are confident that Whistling Woods International School of Design will help aspirants in this dynamic field, to become thorough professionals. Whistling Woods International has a very high reputation in the industry with regards to the technology & quality of education they provide, and we are extremely excited to partner with them for this venture."
Professionals from Super16 -Copenhagen, Denmark visited WWI from Nov 19 to Nov 21,2016.
Masterclass with Anay Goswami on November 17, 2016 from 2:00pm onwards.
North Metropolitan TAFE visits Whistling Woods International on 15 November, 2016. They attended a lecture on Indian Cinema and visited the facilities provided by WWI.
~Renowned choreographer, Shiamak Davar brought the 4th Season of the 5th VEDA cultural hub to a close with an action-packed grand finale where 400 students danced to the tunes of the WWI anthem~
The 5th Veda auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) resonated with enthusiasm and excitement at the presence of world-class choreographer, Shiamak Davar. He brought the 4th edition of the 5th Veda cultural hub to a close with an action-packed session on various western dance forms that have found home in India. Shiamak brought in a whole lot of cheer, energy and motivation amongst the 400 students by making them dance to the tunes of WWI anthem, which was the highlight of the evening.
The highlight of the event also included a documentary created on a mesmerising act, Selcouth, choreographed by Shiamak Davar and performed by his students. The screening of the AVs were followed by an engaging Q&A session with Shiamak Davar and his student Aneesha, moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI.
During the session, Shiamak touched upon various aspects of his life - downfalls, barriers and struggles, precious moments and people who supported him, that helped him become what he is today. He also demonstrated various dance moves with his and WWI students to give an in-depth knowledge about the various dance forms. He also elaborated on how dance is not only an art form but a spiritual experience. It not only needs practice but also patience to learn and earn the fame you deserve.
He categorically mentioned that “Never let fame play the game”. Believing in yourself and your capabilities is important to outstand, but never let it go to your head. During his interaction, he told the students that they are very lucky to be a part of WWI and learn under the mentorship of the multi-talented showman of the Hindi film industry, Subhash Ghai.
"Knowledge of an art form is the utmost important aspect", said the versatile rockstar Javed Ali at the 5th Veda session held at Whistling Woods International
Young and talented singing heartthrob of Indian Cinema, Javed Ali touched the souls of a number of young hearts with his mesmerising musical performance at the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI). He not only sang and entertained the audiences but also gave some important lessons to the students of School of Music, WWI. 5th Veda session this week was conducted in a different format where students moderated the session and did some brilliant performances and practices with Ali.
Javed Ali, a singer known for his contribution to Indian Cinema has not only made his name big in the Hindi film industry but is also extremely popular with other regional language music (i.e) Tamil, Telegu, Bengali amongst others. He has also contributed to various genres of music like Qawwali, Sufi, Folk, Romantic and Classical, to name a few. Ali, mentioned while addressing the students that the Knowledge of music was the only thing his father emphasised on during his training days. According to his father, "knowledge of music is much more important than practicing it."
He also advised the music students to do riyaz only when one feels like practicing. The only motive to practice music it to practice for yourself, music is never done with an objective, it has to be the voice of your soul only then will it do justice to the listeners and your hardwork. He also quoted "Fame always comes with responsibilities; one must know how to deal with those responsibilities before their claim to fame".
During the interaction with the students, WWI auditorium thundered with claps on his performance of 'Aa Ja Oo Meri Tamanna' from Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahaani & 'Kun Faya' from Rockstar amongst others. While signing off Ali also mentioned that students at WWI are lucky to have a mentor like Subhash Ghai who has precise knowledge of music himself.
An endless thunder of claps echoed through the auditorium of Whistling Woods International after the spectacular 'SELFIE' play was staged at the 5th Veda Cultural Hub
This week saw the most amusing response from the audience when the versatile television lady leads performed the spectacular theatre play 'SELFIE' written and produced by director Paritosh Painter and directed by Tanaaz Irani. Engaging the audience for over two hours the play touched the souls and left the auditorium with a standing ovation and endless claps for over 5 minutes. The crowd of 400 students not only enjoyed the play but also learned different aspects of direction, during the play.
With the lead ladies - Tanaaz Irani, Kishwer Merchant, Shweta Gulati, Priya Malik and Dimple Shah this play came into existence in July 2016. 'SELFIE' is Tanaaz Irani's third directorial play but by far is the most successful one in terms of the response received from the audiences.
Irani, known for her appearance on small & big screen said "There is a difference of perspective when a lady director directs a play/movie/theatre. This play showcases the nuances, which will show a woman's perspective over emotions differently." She also mentioned never be afraid of hardwork and have enough patience, I've also waited for such a script for 15 years to be proud of what I have made.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI thanked the 'SELFIE' team who performed the play at the 5th Veda Cultural session. While closing the session he said, "We are glad Paritosh and Tanaaz accepted our offer to perform in our campus. The response we observed today by 400 students of WWI in not imaginary, it's simply amazing to observe the thunder of claps for such a duration, clearly which means something spectacular just happened. 'SELFIE' is not only a play about various emotions but is also a mirror to various characters women have to observe in their day to day life. We are thankful to all the artist who took the pains and made this possible today at WWI."
Film Forum with the team of Masaan on October 12, 2016. Screening at 2:30pm followed by guest interaction from 4:45pm onwards.
Sony India relaunched the Sony Media Technology Centre (SMTC) in Mumbai at Whistling Woods International film making school with the introduction of 4K and HDR production equipment in addition to their existing 3D content creation equipment. With Sony Media Technology Centre (SMTC), Sony aims to generate greater awareness around their professional grade film making equipment, post-processing software and everything in between. Students can enroll in batches of 10 for any of the numerous programs that Sony Media Technology Centre (SMTC) offers. The first of which will commence on the 10th of October 2016. And it's not just students but media professionals from the sports and film industry can attend these workshops and get a hands-on experience with Sony professional 4K HDR video cameras.
Sony Media Technology Centre (SMTC) was initially launched in 2011 and was the third such establishment in the world but has since been bolstered with the establishment of a 4th SMTC in China. With the booming sports and entertainment industry in India, Sony aims to provide know how to professionals from these industries. Courses or training modules will focus on 4K and HDR content production using XAVC as the de-facto format for 4K content acquisition. There will also be seminars for 4K live products centered around Sony's 4K cameras (viz. the F65, F55 and F5) and OLED monitors. Shinya Koshie, National Head, Professional Solution Division, Sony India stated, "Sony is delighted to take the technology innovation ahead by enhancing the Sony Media Technology Center. With 4K and HDR becoming important tools in Broadcasting and Filmmaking field, SMTC will act as a great platform for aspiring filmmakers and industry professionals."
Mikio Kita, Deputy Senior General Manager, Media Segment Business Division, Professional Solutions and Services Group (PSSG), Imaging Products and Solutions Sector, Sony Corporation said, "SMTC is Sony's first and only such facility in India, and fourth such facility in the world, preceded only by USA, UK & China. With the 4K & HDR technology knowhow now being available along with Sony BRAVIA 4K HDR TVs, it will pave the way for a new way to enjoy television viewing in the future. He added, "SMTC initially had been launched in India in the year 2011 by Sir Howard Stringer (Then Chairman, CEO & President of Sony Corporation) and Mr. Subhash Ghai (Chairman, Whistling Woods International). Since then, SMTC has been providing training to all leading media professionals and students of WWI. With this collaboration between SMTC and WWI, the first phase of 4K cinema market development has been successfully laid."
Sony Media Technology Centre (SMTC) equipment portfolio:
- HDC-4300 - 4K/HD System Camera
- PWS-4500- 4K / HD multi-port AV storage unit for IP network
- BVM-X300- 4K OLED Master Monitor
Apart from these, SMTC would also host other products like:
- BPU-4500 – BASEBAND PROCSESSOR UNIT
- XVS-6000 – Production Switcher System
- PVM-X300 – 4K Professional Video Monitor
- PMW-PZ1 – 4K/HD Memory Player
Mumbai, Sunday, 02 October, 2016: It was a treat for all the film lovers along with students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) to attend workshops, screenings and panel discussions amidst the festivity, as they participated in the biggest celebration hosted in the field of Indian Cinema, Celebrate Cinema 2016, by the ultimate showman, Subhash Ghai, at his dream institute. Participants learned the basics of movie making and allied arts in the world of cinema, media and digital media through various workshops held over two action-packed days.
In the lush green campus of WWI with existing YouTube Space and SONY Media Technology Centre, the participants experienced state-of-the-art infrastructure, technologies and facilities. They learned the tricks of various aspects of filmmaking and media studies under the guidance of experienced faculties and industry guests, starting from the inauguration ceremony on September 29, 2016 to the closing ceremony on October 01, 2016. WWI campus offered several amazing workshops, exhibits, screenings, celebrity-studded panel discussions and masterclasses at Celebrate Cinema 2016. Amazing street plays and short films made by students at Whistling Woods International on various subjects including journey of cinema and social causes like 'Drug Abuse' were showcased at the festival.
The purpose of Celebrate Cinema as an annual property of WWI is to invite students from all sections of society to learn, participate in activities and win awards and scholarships and motivate them in opting media courses as a mainstream career option. During the couse of the event, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI also awarded scholarships to two underpriviledged students.
Over 70 experts including celebrities from Indian Cinema and Media industry participated in ‘Celebrate Cinema 2016’. Celebrities and prominent personalities who visited the campus included names like Directors - Vishal Bhardwaj, Anand L Rai, Abhishek Chaubey, Satish Kaushik, Actors - Boman Irani, Ritesh Deshmukh , Mahima Chaudhry, Swara Bhaskar, Shreyas Talpade, Gulshan Grover, Jim Sarbh and Shashank Arora, Writer - Sudip Sharma interacted with the students, sharing their experiences, struggles and secrets of success.
Highlights of the 5th edition of Celebrate Cinema included the inaugural session where students under various societies of WWI, under the mentorship of Subhash Ghai displayed their talent to the audience and media. ‘WWI Society for Social Causes’ screened three short films on 'Drug Abuse, which received thundering applauds. Film ‘Udta Punjab', a film on drug abuse was screened followed by a masterclass with director Abhishek Chaubey and writer Sudeep Sharma. The session was amazingly moderated by Subhash Ghai along with special invitees,Dr. Eldered Tellis heading the NGO named, Sankalp Foundation Trust along with a victim who revealed how he indulged into drugs and his rehab after 9 years.
Other highlights included three street plays by ‘WWI Drama Society’ for two days in the campus for visiting students and aspirants. ‘WWI Singers and Poet’s Society’ staged a musical show at the inaugural ceremony supported by WWI School of Music students. WWI 5th Veda team screened a short documentary on Indian Cinema collated by the team of students.
Anu Malik shared the secret of his National award winning song ‘Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’ during his interaction with the students. WWI School of Music student, Vaishnavi, surprised the audience with her performance of a song written and sung in Japanese language. Subhash Ghai screened his short film on communal harmony made in 1993 with stars kids Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Tiger Shroff along with their fathers.
Meghna Ghai Puri and her team were the perfect host, who received 4000 participants from various NGOs and colleges. Rahul Puri, Head of Academics and Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice President, organised over 40 workshops, masterclasses, screenings and panel discussions on each and every subject related to media and film industry by 70 experts from the industry and faculty members of WWI.
At the closing ceremony Subhash Ghai moderated an open panel discussion on ‘Film Director - Actor Relationship’ with panelists Mahima Chaudhry, Shreyas Talpade, Gulshan Grover and Satish Kaushik. All the celebrities spoke about their relationship with various directors including Subhash Ghai and the grandeur festival, Celebrate Cinema’16 hosted by Whistling Woods International came to a close.
Subhash Ghai thanked the media and other guests who became a part of the two day action-packed festival.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia's largest Film, Communications and Media Arts institute inaugurated the 5th edition of its annual property, Celebrate Cinema. The exciting, glamorous yet educative two actioned-packed days saw an amazing response of students of film, fashion, animation & media and communication aspirants with a 2500 people foot-fall on the first day of Celebrate Cinema'16. With multiple workshops by industry experts, celebrity-studded panel discussions, movie screening and masterclasses, the event took off on grand note on its very first day after the inauguration ceremony with Boman Irani and Anand L Rai, which was held yesterday.
In the true tradition of WWI, the festival kick started with a lot of cheers and excitement within the participants who made their way to attend the two day long action-packed festival in the lush green campus of WWI at Filmcity. Like every year, the 5th edition of the festival was also inspired with a social cause of 'SAY NO TO DRUGS.' Documentary's made on the associated cause were extremely heart-touching to the audience present at the session at large, which was then followed by screening and panel discussion with Director and Writer of Udta Punjab.
Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI on the occasion of the launch of Celebrate Cinema, said, “This year WWI is not only celebrating the 5th edition of Celebrate Cinema but is also rejoicing a landmark year for the institute as we complete 10 years of creating competitive and industry-ready professionals. What better a beginning could be than having a wonderful session on the most important element of today's cinema i.e. 'Comedy' and 'Social Responsibilities'. It was an honour to have people like Boman Irani and Anand L Rai at the inaugural ceremony and Abhishek Chaubey, Sudip Sharma, Swara Bhaskar, Jim Sarbh and our very own alumni, Shashank Arora on the first day to talk about the topics that the masses resonate with the most. Celebrate Cinema has always received tremendous affinity and popularity from movie lovers and enthusiasts in the past. We look forward to witnessing another successful feat of the festival, where attendees can celebrate their love for movies and get access to all aspects of it in the most exciting and informative manner."
The highlight of Day 1 included panel discussion with the team of Udta Punjab who spoke about the severity of drug in the Indian society and role of cinema in changing the perceptions amongst the youth about substance abuse. Abhishek Chaubey, director of Udta Punjab, said, "The suffering due to drug intake has been a prolonging issue in India however by far there are movies made focusing specifically on this issue. Udta Punjab addresses the root cause of the issue and shows the power of Indian Cinema as an influencer."
The panel discussion on Filmmaking 20:20 addressed different aspects of how actors choose roles while reading different scripts. The discussions was extremely relevant to the audiences as majority of the present were aspiring actors and filmmakers who were intrigued to know what it feels like to make and receive offers, from directors to actors.
“Celebrate Cinema, as the name suggests, is a platform to celebrate the legacy and tradition of the various aspects of Indian Cinema. These two action-packed days not only provide the attendees with an opportunity to learn to celebrate their love and affection for Indian movies but also offer a platform to interact with professionals, who are an inspiration to them. As each year, this year too we feel proud to announce scholarships to two underprivileged students who are extremely passionate about making their careers in this industry.” said Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI
Additionally, to raise awareness and extend it to a larger youth audience, around 2500 students from various institutions across the city were given open access to free workshops held during the event. Day 1 came to an end with an exciting magic and illusion act by mystician Ugesh Sarcar, who engaged the audiences with his talent based on the theme 'Your Mind is Mine'.
Highlights of the Day-1 at Celebrate Cinema'16
- Panel Discussion on 'Importance of Humour in Indian Cinema with Boman Irani, Director – Anand L Rai and Somnath Sen moderated by Subhash Ghai
- Movie Screening of Udta Punjab
- Masterclass with Director - Abhishek Chaubey and Writer - Sudip Sharma, Udta Punjab and Eldred Tellis moderated by Subhash Ghai
- Panel Discussion on Filmmaking 20:20 with Swara Bhaskar, Jim Sarbh & Shashank Arora moderated by Anjum Rajabali
- Magic and Illusion Act session by mystician Ugesh Sarcar
- Special Workshops by Sorabh Pant, Zakir Khan, Rabiya Nazki, Lubna Salim, Sophy Sivaraman and Karan Butani
- Street Play by students of WWI Drama Society to spread awareness about drug abuse
Looking forward to the finale of the two-day fiesta, everyone called it a day.
So, if you love the movies here's what you can watch out for at Celebrate Cinema 2016 Day 2
YouTube Digital Panel with Satya Raghavan, Gurpreet Singh, YouTuber Rickshawali, Prajakta Koli (MostlySane), YouTuber Be YouNick & Chaitanya Chinchlikar
Panel discussion on 'Literature to Cinema' with Vishal Bhardwaj, Amish Tripathi, Pubali Chaudhuri, Sriram Raghavan & Basharat Peer
The last day of the event also include other key highlights like, Masterclass on 'Directing Actors' that would be conducted by Subhash Ghai along with Govinda, Mahima Chaudry, Shreyas Talpade and Gulshan Grover. Additionally, an interactive one-on-one with Anu Malik followed by a panel discussion with new-age singers like Akriti Kakkar, Brijesh Shandilya, Samira Koppikar & Tony Kakkar
To celebrate the growth of cinema with Whistling Woods International, visit the Celebrate Cinema Festival today at Filmcity complex, Goregaon.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s largest Film, Communications and Media Arts institute inaugurated the 5th edition of its annual property, Celebrate Cinema. The evening started with lamp lighting by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, renowned actor Boman Irani and director Anand L. Rai, at a grand ceremony held at the WWI campus in Filmcity. The opening ceremony kick started with a power packed performance by the students followed by an exciting and interactive panel discussion on the ‘Importance of Humour in Indian Cinema’, moderated by Mr. Ghai. Celebrate Cinema provides an opportunity for all cinema lovers, aspiring filmmakers, media and fashion professionals, to attend various workshops, screenings and celebrity-studded panel discussions. Popular personalities and veterans from the film fraternity share their experiences and motivate aspiring film and media students and movie aficionados, providing them an insight into the real world of the film industry. In the true tradition of WWI, a year-long scholarship was conferred by Boman Irani and Anand L Rai to the under-privileged students, Pulkit Bhavsar and Sunny Kadam, which was the key highlight of the inaugural ceremony of ‘Celebrate Cinema 2016’.
To pay our tribute to the renowned cinematographer and one of our most beloved faculty, Late Rajen Kothari, we observed Cinematographers' Day on September 26, 2016.To mark the day, we will had amongst us the renowned artist, Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, to share his experience.
Original, hilarious yet a captivating ‘Massage’ of all emotions was seamlessly presented by Rakesh Bedi at the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International
This week Whistling Woods International (WWI), saw one of the most versatile television actor and theatre artist, Rakesh Bedi at the weekly 5th Veda session. Engaging the audience for about 90 minutes Bedi performed his one of the most appreciated monologues ‘MASSAGE’ to give WWI students the original sense and feel of theatre acting.
Bedi, known for his appearances in short roles in Bollywood movies like Deewane Huye Paagal, Raja Bhaiya, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Chashme Buddoor and TV shows like Yes Boss amongst others performed the ‘MASSAGE’, a hilarious monologue that has been ruling over theatres for over 13 years now. The one and a half hour play witnessed the auditorium resonate with a beautiful and expressive massage of all emotional aspects of mankind.
The emotional play was expressed so beautifully that the audience flowed along with emotions that the actor demonstrated. The auditorium aroused with appreciation and claps like never before, leaving the actor overwhelmed and nostalgic. ‘I have performed this play differently for 13 years now but never ever received the response I have got here today’, said Rakesh Bedi.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI couldn’t thank the actor enough to be present at WWI and give such insightful learning to the students of WWI today with his performance. While closing the session she said, ‘We are proud to have such sessions at WWI, which give a live experience to the aspiring students. The response by the audience today is enough to say how thankful we are to have Mr. Bedi at WWI to perform his renowned play amongst the students here today. We look forward to seeing him again at the institute soon.”
One of India’s finest actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, shared his life’s journey and secret mantras of acting at the 5th Veda session
The house-full auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) shouted out loud to experience an event of lifetime - an interactive session with India’s one of the finest actor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The actor not only shared his experience of struggle of 20 years but also several anecdotes from his journey, from live theatre to mainstream cinema.
The session kicked off with an interesting AV on acting as a talent, followed by a documentary on key mainstream actors who made their way to success through rough paths. The AVs were followed by an intellectual Q&A session moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI. Nawazuddin felt welcomed and was touched by the gratitude and love expressed by the students and staff of the institute.
During the session Nawazuddin recalled his college and early acting days, where he faced an unmatched struggle. He related himself to the present batch of WWI and shared all possible aspects, barriers and struggles he faced, before the ‘claim to fame’ he experiences today came by. He told the students that “being an educated actor helped me immensely. Yet it was important to know not to take myself too seriously.”
The versatile actor not only engaged with the students about his journey and experiences but also shared with them several acting tips and his secret mantra to success. While addressing the students he mentioned, ‘Undying passion of practice for 10 years is the key to his success and stardom today’. Nawazuddin explained the students on how live theatre and mainstream cinema are both equally challenging in their own capacities and also performed some characters from his plays and movies to give the audience an experience of both platforms.
The highlight of the evening was the tribute paid to the actor by the students of Whistling Woods International, who showcased their acting skills and were appreciated for their efforts and talents by the renowned actor himself. During his interaction with the students he also mentioned how fortunate they were to be a part of an institute like Whistling Woods International, to nurture their skills under the expertise and guidance of the ultimate showman, Subhash Ghai and they must make the most of it.
"Connect to your own roots and do not ape others", advised Ila Arun at Whistling Woods International's spellbinding 5th Veda cultural workshop
Ila Arun, the versatile folk singer, artist and music composer, like several guests in the past, enthralled the students at Whistling Woods international's (WWI) 5th Veda session with her singing and dance moves and super-energetic persona and passion for music and dance. The weekly cultural workshop and hub, organised by the institute, was moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI.
The veteran folk singer, artist and music composer spoke about the importance of Indian folk music and its role as an integral part of the Indian Cinema and music industry. The undisputed queen of contemporary Indian folk-pop music put on an uninterrupted 90 minutes high-energy performance for the young students in a fully packed auditorium during the 5th Veda session and inspired them to be original. "The only way to be no one else in your creativity is to connect to your own roots and your own self", said Ila Arun.
Playing his usual best as the host and moderator of the session, Subhash Ghai chatted with the singer bringing out her unique vivaciousness and warm personality. She cited several anecdotes, spoke about multiple aspects of folk-pop as a genre, her journey as a singer, and the dynamics of folk songs in not just Bollywood but Indian cinema at large.
The evening came to a close with a bang as students danced and sang along with the renowned singer to the tune of the famous superhit number 'Chholi Ke Peechhe' from Subhash Ghai's film, Khalnayak, which was the highlight of the evening. Ila Arun also sang her evergreen folk pop number, 'Dilli Shehar Mein Maaro Ghagro', leaving the audience mesmerized.
After the Dilip Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar scholarships announced by Whistling Woods, the Institute now has announced The Amitabh Bachchan scholarship.
Filmmaker Anand Pandit of Anand Pandit Motion Pictures has sponsored 5 lacs for this film & media scholarship in the name of Veteran Actor Mr Amitabh Bachchan. This year‘s scholarship was awarded to Ms.Shraddha Thorat, a filmmaking student of Whistling Woods International (WWI).
"I feel a scholarship is a small contribution to immortalise the biggest icon of Bollywood as well as give an opportunity to those who show true talent," commented filmmaker Anand Pandit.
The Amitabh Bachchan Media Scholarship will be awarded each year to the students of Cinema and Media after a meticulous and exhaustive evaluation process. This will include their skills, creativity, imagination, art of implication amongst other parameters. This scholarship will not only benefit the students monetarily but will also motivate them to strive harder to achieve the said recognition.
"I hope this scholarship will push students of cinema to strive for excellence. It is a wonderful gesture by Anand to harness and nurture new talent. He is a dear friend and I am humbled by his gesture in instituting this initiative. I hope this scholarship helps talented individuals to pursue their love for cinema," said Shri Amitabh Bachchan.
On the occasion, Mr. Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods International said, "I am extremely grateful to the ace filmmaker Anand Pandit to launch this scholarship initiative for the students of Cinema and Media to motivate them to perform better and raise the bar of competition amongst them. Every year one student who fine tunes his/her work and merits in their respective skills, will be awarded he scholarship in consultation with Mr. Bachchan and Mr. Pandit."
With the announcement of the scholarship, Shri Amitabh Bachchan handed over the Amitabh Bachchan Media Scholarship trophy, certificate and cheque to Shraddha Thorat, the winner of this year‘s scholarship initiative from WWI.
“At WWI, we have always recognised young talent and have motivated students to add merit to their growing careers. After the Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar scholarship that we at WWI offer, it‘s an honour to have a scholarship programme in the name of Veteran Actor and Megastar Shri Amitabh Bachchan. It‘s a privilege for the students and the institute to receive acknowledgement and appreciation from none other than the Megastar himself”, added Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International, on the launch of the initiative.
Whistling Woods International (WWI) took immense pride and pleasure to host and join hands with the Spiritual Guru, Sri M to support his initiative, MyTree Plantation. Sri M visited Mumbai in the endeavour of adding a new leg to his 'Walk of Hope' initiative. During his visit, he launched the MyTree Plantation drive in two phases; the first one being at the Maharashtra Nature Park and the second one at Whistling Woods International. The event hosted at WWI witnessed presence of personalities like Subhash Ghai, Meghna Ghai Puri, Sri M along with Raj Zutshi, Vijay Raaz and Sheeba Chaddha. A total of 10 auspicious trees were planted across the campus to support and extend hand towards the initiative.
The MyTree Plantation drive at WWI began with an address by Sri M to the students of the Institute & their parents. Sri M enlightened the students with the importance of communication & dialogue in any sphere of life. While addressing the students, he mentioned, ‘A conversation can lead to solutions, hence it’s most important to initiate them’.
“Whistling Woods International is a divine place surrounded by nature and that’s the reason for our association with the institute. Meghna, ensured that at WWI the planted trees will be well taken care of and I now look forward to witnessing the sight of the beautiful Banyan Tree growing strong and fast and inspiring students to stand tall and rooted, bearing fruits like the tree. I thank everyone at Whistling Woods International, especially Subhash Ghai ji and Meghna and her team for their contribution and associating with us for a noble cause”, said Sri M.
Associating with the initiative Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods International said, “Mother Nature is the epitome of love and I believe it is our duty to ensure the balance is maintained in nature for the betterment of mankind. I encourage everyone to plant one tree on their birthday, every year, before cutting cakes. This is the least we can do to show our love for Mother Nature. We are grateful to Sri M to contribute his time and associate with us at WWI.”
Appreciating the noble cause, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, expressed her gratitute to Shri M. She believes that such intiatives will instill strong values in the lives of WWI students. "Being future filmmakers, they have the power to make socially relevant content. Hence, such initiatives enlighten them to be responsible and global citizens of the world at large.” she said.
The tree plantation drive at WWI was a huge success with the cooperation received by the team at WWI and Manav Ekta Mission. The students and parents also contributed their support towards the initiative taken up by Whisting Woods International and Sri M and his Satsang Foundation.
'From their first composition in boarding school to Baby Doll...Meet Bros shared all their secrets in a 5th Veda session at the Institute'
The unheard whistles and cheers of excited students vibrated through the auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI), when the Music Director Duo. Meet Bros. stepped in for the third 5th Veda session of the academic year 16-17. The cultural session with the Music Director duo highlighted the era of Indi-Pop and Punjabi music in main stream Indian Cinema. The brother duo was full of energy and in sync with the crowd in the auditorium as they shared their journey, right through their student days to their journey to fame in the industry today.
The session began with an interesting AV on the origin of music, forms of music that evolved with time and how is the art celebrated amongst individuals today. The AV was followed with another visual which took the audience through the journey of Indi-Pop music and the origin of fusion music in India, with the highlights of various singers and musician which raised the bar of music in the country.
The highlights of the event included various experiences of music composition done by the Meet Bros. from 2005 till date. The brother duo was vibrant and electrifying, they engaged with the audiences by singing all their chartbuster compositions which included – Baby Doll, Chittiyaan Kalaiyan and Hangover to name a few. They also did some dance moves to keep the audiences involved and captivated with their presence. The awestruck audience also voiced along with the brother duo and enjoyed the session thoroughly.
The session moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI made the Meet Bros. do some on the spot compositions as well. The brother duo also touched upon various aspects of their life, barriers and struggles, precious moments, breakthroughs and their motivation to divert their careers from the field of Acting to Music Direction. They also quoted their secret mantras for a successful career to the students of WWI. The duo said: “The only person who can inspire you is you yourself. The only way to grab success is inspire yourself and be happy about what you do. A successful composition is also the one, which is good to hear to the ears of the audience and not the composer; and always believe in what you strive for.”
During the interaction with the students, they also mentioned that the students of WWI were lucky to have a place like WWI to train their skill sets under the guidance of Subhash Ghai sir for the best possible career growth and opportunities and they must value it from the core.
“Always welcome criticism and failure, praise is poison”, said Pandit Shivkumar Sharma at the 5THVeda Cultural Hub Masterclass
Pandit ji left 400 students of Whistling Woods mesmerised with the sounds of the Santoor!
The Whistling Woods International (WWI) auditorium was radiating vibrant energy as the legendary Santoor player and ace musician, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, shared his life’s journey and experiences with over 400 students of filmmaking and music at the 5th VEDA session, last evening.
The Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awarded legend narrated his journey of life from being a vocalist to a tabla player and further his journey with santoor. His journey in the field of music began at the age of 5 and since then he was always inclined towards classical and instrumental music.
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, on the occasion, said: “It was indeed a great experience to interact with the students at Whistling Woods International. Knowledge, which they receive at this age and time in the form of seminars and classes is the ultimate learning for their careers. I think WWI is a gift of Subhash ji to the film industry. I don't think there is any other institute in the country which brings everything connected with filmmaking under one roof. It’s said that we must reciprocate to the values and favours that we receive from the society and Subhash ji has really succeeded in doing that.”
Pandit ji also has contributed to Indian cinema with his music compositions in movies like Silsila, Chandni, Lamhe and Darr to name a few. The students of music and sound design at Whistling Woods International, were privileged to have a legend like Pandit Shivkumar Sharma interacting and sharing his knowledge with them. He also demonstrated various traits to learn the art of an instrument for the students opting for a career in music and sound design. He blessed the students and wished them luck for their future endeavours and left the crowd mesmerized with his enthusiasm and aura.
To discuss and decode the phenomenal success of Sultan, the person behind the conception of the movie, Ali Abbas Zafar was amongst the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) on Tuesday. The screening of the film, Sultan, which was held before the interaction was a thrilling experience for all the students. As the event proceeded, the students got a great opportunity to interact with the maker of Sultan who was honoured by the Founder and Chairman of WWI, Subhash Ghai.
Ali explained the relationship between various aspects of film in-depth, right from the plot, to scripting, to creating a character, identifying the audience etc.
The students asked several questions to the director during the interaction, which threw light on the main lead of the film - Salman Khan’s qualities and his commitment towards his work and the kind of individuality he brings to this film. Ali quotes his belief as, “There are certain roles which are meant to be done by certain actors. A role only becomes iconic if you cast it well.” Ali said that while writing the script, he wanted to create a character that everyone could identify with. And the take-off point for the movie was when he found that character, a character who embodied the very meaning of life.
While addressing the students, Ali emphasised on the importance of team dynamics while making a film. He advised the students that filmmaking is a team sport and every individual involved should be in the same line and follow the same vision. And the most important relationships to be taken care of according to him are the ones between the director and the actor, and the director and his cameraman. These relationships give shape to the movie.
Being extremely delighted with this knowledge-oriented session a student quoted, “We got insights regarding many scenes of this film that we would have not known if Mr. Ali had not shared it with us.” Ali left the students with a message that if you have faith in the characters of the story and you strongly believe that you are the right person to tell that story, then you are bound to be successful.
“Patience and practice are the biggest keys to success”, advised the celebrated dance legend Remo D’Souza to students of Whistling Woods International
Renowned Choreographer-Director-Actor, Remo D’Souza inaugurated the 4th Season of 5th VEDA cultural hub at Whistling Woods International
The auditorium shouted out loud with the presence of ace choreographer-director-actor, Remo D’Souza, who visited Whistling Woods International (WWI) last evening to inaugurate the 4th season of the 5th VEDA cultural hub. Remo brought in a whole lot of cheer, energy and motivation among students, an envious welcome for any student on joining an institute or a school, with his awe-inspiring dance moves and tales about his journey to fame in the industry.
The session kicked off with an interesting AV on the benefits of Yoga and how it helps an individual, both mentally and physically. This was followed with an AV on the previous three seasons of the 5th VEDA, giving an insight about the cultural hub to the guests and the new batch of students.
The highlight of the event further included a documentary made by the students that showcased the origin of dance and varied dance forms from across the world. After watching the documentary, Remo said, “I came here to teach you all. But after watching this documentary on dance, I feel you have taught me so much”. The screening of the AVs were followed by an engaging and insightful Q&A session with Remo D’Souza, moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods International.
During the session, Remo touched upon various aspects of his life, barriers and struggles, precious moments, breakthroughs, he faced to achieve and become of what he is today. He elaborated on ‘patience’ and ‘practice’ being the crucial mantras to success and cited a few incidents from his life. “If you aren’t patient enough, you will miss on the success which might have come your way”, said Remo, and reiterated “Always believe in what you strive for”. Believing in yourself and your capability will give you enough strength and passion to work towards it and of course the keys still remains, ‘patience’ and ‘practice’. During his interaction with the students, he told the students that they were very lucky to be a part of an institute like Whistling Woods International, to nurture their skills and grow to compete with the world as well-prepared industry professionals and they should make the most of every opportunity they come across during their tenure at WWI.
Post a heartfelt and interactive session with the students, Remo, with his fellow dance assistants, performed for the students and enthralled the whole auditorium with his contemporary and jaw-dropping moves. The evening concluded with a student’s performance as a special tribute to Remo, on behalf of the entire batch, after which the entire auditorium joined in to dance on the popular and peppy track, Badtameez Dil from the film, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’.
The Versova beach cleanliness drive, a part of the larger ongoing Swachh Bharat Campaign across the country, this Sunday, saw producer-director and Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International, Subhash Ghai, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International, along with acclaimed actors and alumni of Whistling Woods International (WWI), Rajshri Deshpande and Anil Mange, and the current students from various batches/programmes of the institute, extended their support towards the initiative.
With active involvement in the campaign since its launch, the father-daughter duo extended their contribution by encouraging students of their institute, WWI and its alumni, the youth, to join the movement. Citizens residing in the vicinity and neighbourhood areas joined them and together they cleared up some parts of the beach, making a notable difference to the suburban hotspot for Western Mumbaikars, to be able to enjoy activities held on the beach- running boot camps, health and sports enthusiasts in its natural state.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), celebrated today the 9th Annual Convocation of its 16th & 17th graduating batches, at St. Andrews auditorium, Bandra. The event witnessed a vibrant afternoon with around 1000 people consisting of industry professionals, parents of the students and students full of alluring hopes and energy, where their achievements were acknowledged and appreciated with awards and commendations.
This year, legendary singer, Lata Mangeshkar and acclaimed actor-producer, Vinod Khanna, were conferred with the ‘Whistling Woods Maestro Award’, for their invaluable contribution to Indian cinema. Visionary entrepreneur and multiplex baron, Ajay Bijli, Managing Director and Chairman, PVR Ltd, addressed the students with an inspiring speech as the keynote speaker, sharing his words of wisdom and key entrepreneurial skills.
The ceremony began with Subhash Ghai, Meghna Ghai Puri, Ravi Gupta, Manmohan Shetty, lighting the lamp, followed by a video demonstrating various milestones achieved by Whistling Woods International, the leading film, communication and media arts institute, in a span of 10 years since its inception. One of the key highlights of the event was the performance of Aishwarya Majmudar of Kaanchi & Prem Ratan Dhan Payo fame, who left the audience in awe as she rendered some songs of Lata Mageshkar ji as a tribute to the legendary singer.
Also seen at the event presenting commendations to students were film director, Amol Gupte, Chairman, Adlabs, Manmohan Shetty, film producer Rajkumar Barjatya, among others.
“With this graduating batch, we, at Whistling Woods International have accomplished ten successful years. It gives me immense pleasure to share that we have delivered on what we committed when we set out to start the institute in 2006. The constant efforts by Meghna, Rahul, Ravi Gupta and the faculty have been instrumental in shaping the institute and I am honoured to be a part of the fulfilling first decade journey. I wish that legendary personalities like Lata ji, Vinod Khanna and industry stalwarts like Ajay Bijli, continue to inspire us to create more well-honed industry ready professionals and thereby helping students make great careers in a holistic way”, said, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International.
Thanking everyone present at the annual Convocation ceremony, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International, said, “It’s a great day today for all of us as we celebrate the graduation day of the 16th & 17th batches of Whistling Woods International at the end of our 10th year of running the institute. Ten years back on the same date we brought in force my father’s long held dream of opening a world-class teaching school for film aspirants in Bombay and today we are recognised as one of the leading film, communication and media arts institute in the country, a sense of achievement for all of us as we gear up to take on the journey for many more decades to come. I congratulate the students and wish them all the very best for their future.”
Whistling Woods International boasts of more than 1100 alumni successfully working in the Media and Entertainment industry, having bagged prestigious projects in filmmaking, animation and acting. Recent and popular projects, include, Mohenjo Daro, Sultan, Udta Punjab, Kapoor & Sons, Masaan, The Jungle Book, Fan, Neerja, Bajirao Mastani, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, PK, Highway, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania to name a few, as filmmakers in various capacities and Shashank Arora - Titli; Rajshri Deshpande - Angry Indian Goddesses, among others, as actors in prominent roles in critically acclaimed and award winning films.
The first time ever students of a fashion design school showcased creativity via uniquely themed fashion movies and collections
Whistling Woods International School of Fashion hosted the 2nd edition of its fashion graduation show ‘AIYANNA 2016, yesterday evening. The show saw models from the fashion industry walking the ramp in brilliant couture collections each with an innovative theme followed by the screening of fashion movies, designed and created by the graduating batch respectively. It’s the first time ever for a fashion design school to have offered an opportunity to the students to showcase their creativity via movies bringing out the competitive stylist in their own distinct way.
The collections and fashion movies at the graduation show were judged by a jury panel which included well-known personalities from the Indian fashion industry, namely, Meher Castelino – Fashion Journalist & Consultant, Sonal Jindal – Entrepreneur & Designer, Medusa and Shereen Sikka Bharwani – Creative Director at Love And Other Bugs LLP. The students of the graduating batch were mentored by veterans and experts like Anjana Sharma and Aparna Badlani to name a few.
The glitzy evening witnessed prominent guests from the film fraternity and corporate world like, Subhash Ghai - Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International, Prahlad Kakkar - Indian Ad Film Director, amongst others. Other special guest from the fashion industry including Snower Sania - Fashion Designer and Stylist & Owner of label – Summer Snow, Vibha Keshwani - Costume Designer & Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Shalini Mehta - Fashion Stylist & Editor, shalinimehta.com also attended the event.
The themes of the collections and movies, proudly and beautifully presented by the students of the school, were inspired by varied categories of art, culture, travel and literature from across the globe. While the garment collections were titled, IGENEOUS, LA DEGEL, PLAY, AMAARA, WABI-SABI, COSMIC NAVY, the titles of the fashion movies were REBIRTH, AEON, LUCID DREAM, NARA-NARI.
Neeta Lulla, Founder & Dean of Whistling Woods International School of Fashion, said, “It’s wonderful to see the brilliant outcome of the students’ immense hardwork put in through the years, today and not forgetting to mention the efforts and mentoring by the faculty and fashion industry veterans from time to time. I am extremely proud to see the graduating batch overpowering the threshold of being industry efficient. In this duration of the course, we have offered the best guidance to groom each student and make them efficient to take on the fashion world. I wish them all the best for their future endeavors.”
“I believe that institutions are not built by bricks and locations alone. I am extremely proud of the students, faculty and committed staff to make every successful step at WWI possible. For the stars of the event, I would just like to say: You stand at the end of one road, but are also standing at the beginning of another. Always remember to be courageous, diligent and humble! We wish you all the very best for your next steps in life. ” said, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International.
Winners across categories:
Best Movie & Best Styling – Amrita Banerjee for her fashion movie ‘NARA-NARI’
Best Commercially Viable Collection – Simran Oberoi for her collection ‘COSMIC-NAVY’
Best Apparel Construction – Vaidehi Dharap for her collection ‘PLAY’
Best Collection & Designer – Tamana Kothari for her collection ‘IGNEOUS’
Bollywood playback singer Palak Muchhal sang songs to celebrate the day at WWI
In the second year of its 5th Veda initiative, Whistling Woods International (WWI), celebrated International Yoga Day today with Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff and Bollywood playback singer, Palak Muchhal, taking part in the activities held at its campus to observe the day. Before the yoga performance, Palak sang a few lines from various Bollywood film songs requested by Mr. Ghai. Later, both Tiger and Palak participated in doing a few yoga asanas and Suryanamaskar along with WWI students, faculty and staff, in the audience, under the guidance of a trained instructor.
WWI has marked International Yoga Day since it was first held last year, after the United Nations supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea to declare June 21st as an internationally-recognised day for yoga, a discipline which helps practitioners to stay fit and improves physical and mental well-being.
This initiative by Subhash Ghai comes from his strong belief about yoga as a practice to enhance creativity, calmness and the well-being of not just the students of his institute but a message to a much larger audience including millions of Indians across the country on this day. The event this year had a short film portraying the benefits of yoga and how its implications bring about changes in one’s whole personality and where-abouts.
WWI Founder and Chairman, Mr. Subhash Ghai, said, “I have been practicing yoga for over 25 years now and it’s become an intrinsic part of my daily routine. It helps me stay calm and has played a vital role in helping me achieve the success I have in my career.”
Actor Tiger Shroff, said, “This is my second year marking International Yoga Day with the students of WWI. It’s a great initiative by the institute to encourage students to take up yoga as a regular part of their fitness regime. Yoga has multiple benefits and one of them is it improves concentration which is a must for the students. I highly recommend incorporating yoga into one’s daily routine.”
Whistling Woods International (WWI), one of the world‘s leading film, communication and media arts school announced a partnership with Sony LIV, Sony Pictures Networks‘ (SPN) premium digital video entertainment platform via Mukta Arts‘ digital venture, Connect.1. Underlining the brand‘s commitment to enhance the users‘ entertainment-viewing experience, Sony LIV‘s association with WWI and its digital venture Connect.1, will entail showcase and promotion of short films produced by students of the institute. These films will cater audiences across all age groups and will be featured under the section, “Mini Talkies”, on Sony LIV.
Curated by Sony LIV, the short films will be of varied genres ranging from drama, thriller, action to romance and comedy, including several award winning films which have been screened at national and international film festivals. This partnership marks a new beginning for the WWI students to create outstanding and engaging content, inspiring the extended community in the media and entertainment fraternity, adding to Sony LIV‘s existing diverse and growing library.
Uday Sodhi, EVP and Head — Digital Business, Sony LIV, said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Mukta Arts, which will further enhance our extensive content library and allow our users to sample the latest content developed by the upcoming talents trained at Whistling Woods International. This association opens up avenues to collaborate with Connect.1 - the digital division of Mukta Arts, to create engaging and entertaining content for our users and establish Sony LIV as the premier digital destination for top-quality entertainment.”
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International; Chairman, Mukta Arts Limited, added, “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mukta Arts and Sony LIV for the association which will open a range of opportunities for both the brands. Over the time, Sony LIV has established itself as the go-to destination for today‘s mobile-first consumer. This association will showcase the works of the students of Whistling Woods International, helping us amplify the reach and recognition of our talented students.”
Headquartered in Mumbai, Mukta Arts, is an Indian film production company known for its association with several blockbuster movie hits such as Taal, Pardes and Ram Lakhan amongst others. These successful hits from the production house of Mr. Subash Ghai have pre-defined directorial credibility for Mukta Arts in the history of Indian Cinema.
With his Film & Media Arts institute Whistling Woods International (WWI) entering its 10th year, and having had the success of it being rated as one of the ten best film schools in the world, Founder & Chairman Subhash Ghai is delighted to announce a scholarship for meritorious yet indigent students in the name of Bharat Ratna awardee Lata Mangeshkar ji.
The LATA MANGESHKAR SCHOLARSHIP will carry a 100% fee waiver for a 2-year / 3-year programme at Whistling Woods International.
Subhash Ghai and Meghna Ghai-Puri, President of Whistling Woods, accompanied by a few students, met Lata ji at her residence. The purpose was to invite her to receive the ‘2016 Whistling Woods Maestro Award’ for her legendary contribution to Indian Cinema, at its 9th Convocation on July 18, 2016. She gracefully accepted the invitation, and had all praise for the vision of Subhash Ghai & Mukta Arts in setting up of Whistling Woods International in 2001, as an institute of global standards in the education of the art, commerce and science of Cinema. As she said in her video message that she recorded for the institute, “I am honoured to receive such a prestigious award from a world-class institute like Whistling Woods International and I bless them for a great future.”
During this meeting, Lata ji also happily accepted a proposal from Meghna to institute an annual scholarship at WWI in her name. Lata ji said “I am deeply touched by this great gesture of Subhash ji, Meghna and their team. It’s an honour for me.”
Subhash Ghai added “It is our great honour to have Lata ji’s acceptance for our attempt to inspire the next generation of Indian filmmakers. This scholarship in the name of India’s pride and an institution for us all, Lata ji, will continue to benefit students for decades to come.”
Subhash Ghai also revealed that while WWI does provide scholarships to meritorious yet indigent students every year, this is the 2nd special 100% scholarship instituted in the name of a legend of Indian Cinema. Three years ago, Whistling Woods International had announced the DILIP KUMAR SCHOLARSHIP and over the past 3 years, three students have availed of this scholarship (2014 — Amit Hegde, 2015 — Rohit Valecha & 2016 — Amol Srivastava).
Surya Halder (a BSc Film Making student) received the Lata Mangeshkar Scholarship for current year(2016).
Guest interaction with Pubali Chaudhuri on May 18, 2016 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Screenwriting. Pubali Chaudhuri is a renowned screenplay writer.
Conducted in association with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, students took up this social initiative to promote the noble cause of donating blood
‘Donate Blood, Save Lives,’ said a poster created by the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) who initiated the country’s largest student-led Blood Donation Drive at the institute today. A simple yet powerful message was conveyed by these students who got an overwhelming support from over 350 donors for their campaign. It was an open for all camp conducted in association with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
The donation drive was an excellent showcase of students putting their skills to use for the greater good of the society. It also helped the people to understand that their little contribution can prove to be of great help to others.
What set this drive apart from other such campaigns were the innovative activities planned by the students. They showcased their talent and entertained the donors through street plays, short story and poem recitals, dance performances, and painting competitions. They had even decorated the institute’s lobby with a photo gallery in sync with the theme, ‘Extending a Helping Hand’. With reference to the theme, the students also encouraged every supporter and donor to leave colourful imprints of their hands on the ‘Pledge Wall’ and encouraged everyone to support the noble cause of blood donation.
Speaking on the occasion Meghna Ghai Puri, President of Whistling Woods International (WWI), said, “It is a proud feeling to see our students have not just learnt their curriculum, but much more. It is admirable to see them synergize and put together an initiative for a noble cause. It takes dedication and perseverance to administer a Blood Donation Drive of this stature; their effort towards this is commendable. We will continue to support them in this, and other similar endeavours.”
The spirit of humanity and helping save a life had created an aura of positivity at the campus. The camp was a day long activity which started at 11 am and went on until 4 pm.
Channelise your pain into your passion and never ever give up!” said musical genius Salim Merchant to students of Whistling Woods International
Renowned Bollywood music composer Salim Merchant surprised the crowd as he shared never-heard-before stories, made honest confessions and jammed with the students
Everyone was in for a surprise as the vibrant Salim Merchant took the audience on a musical joyride during his interactive session with the students at the Whistling Woods International’s 5th VEDA cultural hub. The globally renowned Indian music director shared never-heard-before stories, made honest confessions, and jammed with the students.
The session started with an interesting AV that took the audience through the journey of music over hundreds of years. Post that, there was a remarkable ‘blues’ performance by the students, which kick-started the evening with zeal and enthusiasm. Impressed by the performance, Salim Merchant rushed on the stage even before he was called! And then what began was two hours of pure unadulterated fun, knowledge and captivating music, as the legendary filmmaker Subhash Ghai himself moderated the session.
While interacting with the students he expressed, “Whistling Woods students are fortunate to have an institute of international standards that gives them an opportunity to learn what they are passionate about.”
A master in both Indian Classical and Western music, Salim shared his journey of struggles, trials, tribulations, and success. He went on to make a confession that he went through troubled times and channelized that energy into making music, which turned out to be very soulful. “To be a successful artist, it is important to convert your pains into your passion,” said an honest Salim.
While talking about the trials a composer goes through, he shared an anecdote on how he made almost 4-5 different compositions before getting a final nod on the popular award-winning melody, ‘Chak De India.’ “No matter what, please don’t give up. Just don’t give up!” he shared as a learning from his experiences.
The audience was completely captivated as the youth icon complimented his experiences with songs and melody and inspired the students. He performed many of his hit songs like O Re Piya (Aaja Nachle), Haule Haule (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Ali Maula (Kurbaan) and Aashayein (Iqbal). He stated, “I never work! I am on a life-long vacation because I do what I love,” echoing the motto of Whistling Woods.
The finale session of the 3rd Season of 5th VEDA came to a close with a bang. Salim Merchant along with the students offered an impromptu jamming session as they sang English and Hindi songs with live music.
As a part of their weekly 5thveda session, WWI hosted India’s favorite comedian, Kapil Sharma
This week, Whistling Woods International (WWI)’s 5th Veda cultural hub saw none other than Kapil Sharma - the man with the funny streak who gets the nation laughing out loud. He left a crowd of 500 students in splits with his humorous performance. 5th Veda is a cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, to develop the artistic skills of budding filmmakers and media students.
The mood was light and the tone candid as Kapil gave the audience a peek-a-boo into the story of his trip to success. “One big take away for me in this journey has been to identify with one’s strength. Staying genuine and strengthening what one is good at is the key to success in this industry where one will face several challenges,” he said.
The evening started with a short yet enlightening AV on the origin of comedy, stand-up acts and the best comedians from across the world and India. Subhash Ghai welcomed the comedy superstar, Kapil Sharma who took over the stage and what followed was a laughter riot in the auditorium.
He shared several anecdotes from his personal life with a pinch of humour and left the audience’s funny bone tickled. While sharing his experiences about entering the industry, he said, “My success strategy that I wish to share with students is that stay true and genuine to your strengths. I appreciate the fact that at such young an age you all are focused regarding your careers paths. You are in safe hands under the mentorship of Subhash sir at one of the finest institutes in India.”
Subhash Ghai said, “It is an honour to have Kapil with us today. I thank him for sharing his valuable insights and expertise with the students of WWI.” The fun-filled evening of the 5th Veda session came to a close with Subhash Ghai & Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, felicitating Kapil with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause.
GRAMMY-AWARD WINNER PANDIT VISHWA MOHAN BHATT IMPARTS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH A MESMERISING PERFORMANCE AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
Creator of Mohan Veena left the audience awe-struck at the 5th Veda session
‘Mesmerising’, ‘spiritual’, ‘transcendent’, ‘never seen before’ were the only words anyone leaving the auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) had to say post the 5th VEDA session with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. The veteran musician gave a mesmerising performance with his trademark Mohan Veena, leaving a crowd of more than 450 students awe-struck.
The 5th VEDA cultural hub at WWI initiated by founder & chairman, Subhash Ghai witnessed Grammy-award winner, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, take over the stage with grace and charm. Speaking about his musical background, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt elucidated on the various forms of Indian classical music. To give a better understanding to the students, he even demonstrated the intricate rhythmic counting systems using the Mohan Veena, live on stage.
The teaching-performance session that went on for more than an hour was a combination of Indian classical music alongside fusion infusions. He even offered soul-stirring rendition of patriotic songs including the national song, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’. To add to the mood of the evening, he performed Bollywood numbers – ‘Tu Hi Re’ (Bombay) & ‘Dil Hai Chota Sa’ (Roja), on special request of the students.
Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt was accompanied by versatile tabla player, Anubrato Chatterjee, who excelled throughout the evening with invention and intuition. The performance started with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt taking over the stage with a substantial control, gradually leading to a beautiful jugalbandi(exchange of ideas) between him and Anubrato, where he encouraged the students to also participate along, leaving the environment resonate with sheer musical bliss.
The event commenced with an audio visual documentary on ‘Art & Technique of Classical Instruments and its evolution’. Paying tribute to the renowned musician, the students of School of Musis performed the recitation of ‘Carnatic Rythms’ using vocals.
Thanking Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Subhash Ghai said, “It is an honor to have such a distinguished musician with us today. This workshop was organized with an aim of preserving the art of cultural music in today’s contemporary world. We are fortunate to have one of the legends to grace the event and foster the essence of classical music in our students.”
The musical session came to a close with a never seen before, spellbinding rendition of the National Anthem, ‘Jana Gana Man’, leaving the audience infused with the proud feeling of being an Indian.
from 4:00m -5:00pm in Auditorium.
Enthralled students with a heart-wrenching performance of songs from Italy & all regions of India
It was a musical feast for the music lovers & students with Shaan’s wonderful 'India Darshan’, where the versatile singer sang a medley of songs representing every state of the country, leaving the audience enthralled with a standing ovation.
At Whistling Woods International (WWI) a weekly workshop is conducted under the 5th Veda Cultural hub, convened by Subhash Ghai, Shaan shared insights on the history and power of Indian male playback singers from K L Sehgal, Talat Mahmood, Mohd Rafi to Udit Narain, Kumar Sanu to Sonu Nigam and Arijit Singh to name a few. He added that all these great singers have an individual style but had one thing in common, which is the quality of rendering emotions to the lyrics through their voice. He shared his experiences of singing songs in Bengali, Kanada, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and also an Italian song, which, he sang with Italian & Hindi lyrics on the spot to show the students that music has no language. “Music is universal and singers have the great ability of leaving a beautiful legacy through their songs" -he added.
The event commenced with an audio visual documentary on art of singing and it’s evolution, made by the students of WWI, which impressed Shaan greatly and he complimented the team for the quality education being imparted to the students at Whistling Woods. Paying tribute to the great singer, the students of School of Music performed the recitation of ‘Carnatic Rythms’ using vocals. WWI students also gave a cover performance of ‘Hey Shona’, which was originally sung by Shaan.
While moderating the session Subhash Ghai shared “It is an honor to have Shaan with us today to grace the event. This workshop is organised with an aim of preserving the art of Indian classical singing in today’s contemporary times, where people are mostly fascinated by western music.”
The session came to a close with a flawless fusion performance by Shaan on his best hits including ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh’, ‘Chand Sifarish’, ‘Tanha Dil’ and many more.
Franz Kraus – CEO, ARRI, Germany and Thomas Binsert – Sales Director, ARRI, Germany visited Whistling Woods International for an interactive session on April 4, 2016
Inspiration 2016 takes Bhubaneshwar by storm as xx students attend the national seminar focused on media and entertainment
Inspiration is a nation-wide media knowledge seminar organized by the students of WWI
The auditorium was not just filled with students, but enthusiasm and excitement, as Whistling Woods International held the Inspiration 2016 seminar at The Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), Bhubaneshwar. Organized by the media and communication students of WWI, Inspiration is India’s largest student-led nation-wide media knowledge seminar. In its sixth edition, Inspiration will travel across 7 cities starting from Ahmedabad and moving on to Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Kolkata and Guwahati to inspire students to do what they love.
On this occasion, Rahul Puri, Head-Academics at WWI said, “Bhubaneswar is full of talent and seminars like these allow students to get the much needed exposure as they get to interact with people from different walks of life people from different walks of life. Every profession requires appropriate training to enhance skills and learn the technicalities and understand the basics. Therefore, whoever is planning a career in media and entertainment; should firstly pursue formal training and education.”
The event at Bhubaneshwar witnessed industry professionals like Rahul Puri (MD, Mukta Arts Pvt Ltd | Head of Academics, WWI), Dayanidhi Dadhich (Event and Media Entrepreneur),Somnath Sen (Director of Outreach & Affiliations, WWI), Avisekh Rath (Actor), Pinki Jha(Renowned TV Host, RJ Radio Chocolate 104 FM) and Honey Patnaik (Renowned journalist) conducting an insightful session. The panellists discussed opportunities and career scopes in the media and entertainment industry with the young audience. The event also witnessed Krishna Beura (Indian playback singer) as a chief guest for the evening.
On the occasion of being invited to be a part of the panel, Pinki Jha, Renowned TV Host, RJ Radio Chocolate 104 FM, said, “It’s always a pleasure to share my experience and knowledge that I have gained from the industry with the future generation of our country. I must indeed congratulate the film and media industry for having a brilliant institute that educates the young minds through such initiatives.”
Every year along with the seminar, Inspiration also gives a special award to recognize budding talent within the media and entertainment industry. This year, Dayanidhi Dadhich, a renowned advertisement event and media entrepreneur and Prakriti Mishra, an acclaimed Odia actress have been felicitated with the Young Achiever’s Award by the institute for their achievements.
Prakriti Mishra, (Advertising event and, media entrepreneur) appreciated the thought behind Inspiration and said, “It feels great to be acknowledged as a young achiever. It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the students present at the seminar and it has been an incredible few hours interacting with them. I must praise Whistling Woods International for giving our country the much needed global education in film, media and communication and enlighten young minds through such initiatives.”
Inspiration is a series of media-knowledge seminars with industry stalwarts conducted pan-India by Whistling Woods International
Whistling Woods International (WWI) kick-started Inspiration 2016; their much-awaited series of nation-wide media knowledge seminars organized by the Institute’s Media & Communication students. It was a full house at Ahmedabad Management Association as students from across the city gathered for an insightful session with industry experts. This is the sixth edition of Inspiration 2016 which will travel across 7 cities starting from Ahmedabad and moving on to Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati to inspire students to do what they love.
Open to students across colleges, the event witnessed industry professionals like Divyang Thakkar (Actor, Bey Yaar and Kevi Rite Jaish and an alumnus of WWI), Aditi Raval, (Social Media Expert and EX-RJ), Nirnay Kapoor (Head, Gujarat Bureau, India TV), Shailesh Goyal (Director/Founder, Stimulations PR) and Falguni Vasadava-Oza (Associate Professor, MICA). The panelists discussed opportunities and career scopes in the media and entertainment industry with the young aspirants.
Panelist Falguni Vasadava-Oza, Associate Professor, MICA, said, “It is an honour and privilege to be a part of this event organized by Whistling Woods International. The institute is an inspiration in itself that aims to encourage students who aspire to make it big in the media industry. I am glad to have been a part of this brilliant initiative and interact with enthusiastic students.”
The atmosphere was vibrant as hundreds of people gathered to attend a panel discussion on ‘Media Industry: Careers & Opportunities’ with experts from across the media, entertainment and design industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Puri, Head-Academics, WWI said, “This city is full of talent and it is great to see an overwhelming response to the seminar. Our intent is to encourage the youth to listen to their heart and guide them how to do what they love. In order to pursue a career in Media & Entertainment, it is important for every budding professional to gain formal training to better understand the profession, enhance their skills and learn the technicalities of the profession.”
Every year along with the seminar, Inspiration also gives a special award to recognise budding talent within the media and entertainment industry. This year young and upcoming actor Divyang Thakkar has been felicitated with the Young Achiever’s Award by the institute for the accolades he has received for his work in Gujarati cinema Internationally.
On winning the award, Divyang Thakkar said, “It feels great to be acknowledged as a young achiever by your Alma Mater. It’s good to see the enthusiasm and passion in the students present and I enjoyed interacting with them. I am proud of being alumnus of an institute like Whistling Woods which takes efforts to guide students across the country and encourages talent.”
“I envy you students,” said an honest Mahesh Manjrekar as the team of superhit movie Natsamrat interacted with the students of Whistling Woods International
As a part of their weekly 5th Veda session, WWI showcased award-winning Marathi movie Natsamrat to the students followed by a heart-to-heart conversation with the cast and crew
The stage was set as three legends shared the podium at Whistling Woods International (WWI). Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Manjrekar and Nana Patekar came together to enlighten the students about acting, direction and everything about cinema and theatre in an interactive session post the screening of the super hit Marathi movie Natsamrat. This was a part of the 5th Veda series which is a weekly art and culture session for the students of WWI.
An adaptation of noted playwright, Kusumagraj’s iconic Marathi play "Natsamrat" which was first staged in 1970; the movie has gained commercial success as well as critical acclaim. The Director Mahesh Manjrekar, Lead Protagonist Nana Patekar, Screenwriter & Dialogue writer Abhijeet Despande, and Producer Vishwas Joshi were present to share their experiences, struggles and triumphs with the students. Noted Producer-Director and Chairman of WWI, Subhash Ghai moderated the session.
The multi-faceted and extremely talented Mahesh Manjrekar said, “I envy you students; there was no WWI in our times! It is great that you have this platform to explore your talent and enhance your art. I wish we had an opportunity like you all to learn from industry stalwarts and get exposed to global cinema.”
The students were intrigued as the team shared their journey and interesting details about the process of filmmaking. Nana Patekar was his usual quirky self and had the audience in splits with his wry wit.
While talking about acting and working with various directors, Nana said, “One needs to have an ability to emote what the director wants you to. I believe an actor is someone who needs to have a bank of emotions, which he can bring it out whenever and however required. Emotional continuity and flexibility are traits inevitable for an actor. A director can manipulate, but an actor cannot.”
The team also shared some interesting facts like how their shooting schedule of 65 days was wrapped in 36 days itself. Given it was an adaptation of a play into a movie it required great finesse and careful treatment for a successful projection of the story.
While moderating the session, Subhash Ghai shared, “This movie could have been a disaster if it was not shaped correctly. It was major challenge for the director to ensure he strikes the right cord. I congratulate the team for making a masterpiece which has gained immense popularity as well. I thank the complete cast and crew for sparing their time to share their expertise with the students of WWI.”
The Play was conducted on Monday 28th March ’16 from 4:00pm -5:30pm in Auditorium.
WWI adds another unique school to its current ambit of nine schools covering various genres
Whistling Woods International (WWI) expands its vision in becoming India's premiere Media & Communication institute by joining hands with India's veteran Ad Guru, Prahlad Kakar. The two visionaries, Subhash Ghai and Prahlad Kakar, today launched a unique institute, Prahlad Kakar School of Branding & Entrepreneurship (PKSBE) to introduce Business Entrepreneurship & Leadership programme to young aspiring students.
"With India riding high on Make In India and the Prime Minister Modi's scheme to encourage start-ups in India - this programme comes in at the right time to encourage Indians to hone their talent as Entrepreneurs and Leaders", said Meghna Ghai-Puri, President, WWI.
A one-of-its-kind institute, PKSBE aims to inculcate an extraordinary concept of education that goes by the tagline, ‘Beyond Fear’. This enterprise is aimed at all those young dreamers who want to follow their dream but are too scared to even articulate them.
The idea behind the launch of this school is to focus on making the students industry ready through their unique style of training. This platform will fulfill the need for a formal and constructive place where people can get together, develop a network and have a state-of-the-art infrastructure to help achieve their dreams.
Chairman and Founder of WWI, Subhash Ghai, said, “We are extremely pleased to introduce Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship here at our campus. We are always seeking like-minded associations to enhance the training we can provide under the WWI umbrella. While under our existing schools we have courses teaching film, communication, media arts, fashion and music, PKSBE will cover another important aspect of the media and entertainment-based education. We are hoping the unique approach of Prahlad will help people to look at entrepreneurship and training with a brand new lens.”
PKSBE is also committed to provide its students several opportunities and experiences through its path-breaking and rigorous activities like scuba diving, sky diving, mountaineering, global community programs, horse riding, golf, boot camps, reptile sensitisation (the stuff the nightmares are made of) etc. as part of the curriculum.
PKSBE majorly focuses on two courses, namely, Ad Filmmaking & Branding (1 year) and Fellowship in Business and Entrepreneurship (2 years).
1. Ad Filmmaking & Branding (1 year)
This program focuses on creating free thinkers, individuals who are ferociously independent in their thinking, loyalty, and commitment. One who would not just be an advertising filmmaker or advertising professional, but would also become a huge asset for any organisation that had the courage and foresight to hire them.
2. Fellowship in Business & Entrepreneurship (2 years)
The students will be put through hugely demanding academic curriculum dovetailed with a series of outdoor activities, which will make them confront and overcome their greatest fears. The course will enable the students to hone their capability for entrepreneurship (risk intelligence), decision making, crisis management, crisis prevention (anticipation) and believing implicitly in Murphy’s Law, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’.
At PKSBE, the mentors will groom their students not just theoretically but by getting them to experience real life learning’s too. The institute’s eminent advisors & mentors include big names like Diwan Arun Nanda, Piyush Pandey, Capt. Gopinath, Lina Asher, Dhiraj Rajaram, Mahesh Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Dr. Velumani, Gary Kirsten, Raghu Ram & Rajiv Laxman, Chef Jolly, Jamling Norgay, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, amongst others and best of the mentors from the Genesis Film Production School.
Prahlad Kakar, Chairman & Founder, PKSBE said, “PKSBE aims at creating a whole new generation of professionals, who are fearless at decision-making, which will turn them into successful entrepreneurs. I believe that we are the sum total of all the fears that we collect subliminally as we grow. Our propensity for risk is governed by our courage and character to overcome the fear that we carry within us. Most potential entrepreneurs are risk averse because they are paralyzed not only by the fear of failing but also by the fear of fear itself. We have devised a curriculum where we subject our kids and future leaders to their greatest fears and help them to perform.”
Tajmahal Ka Udghatan – A play by Salim Arif on March 17, 2016 from 5:00 pm in auditorium. The play is Written by Ajay Shukla, Produced by Lubna Salim, Designed and Directed by Salim Arif. Actors are: Amit Behl, Vrajesh Hirji, Bakul Thakkar, Lubna Salim, Neetu Pandey ,Pooja Nair and others.
8 GREAT POETS ALONG WITH 400 FILM STUDENTS PAID TRIBUTE TO LATE NIDA FAZLI AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL CAMPUS
‘Aaj Ki Shyam – Nida Fazli Ke Naam’ – a mushaira evening hosting well-known poets and lyric writers was organized by Subhash Ghai for the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI), the film and media school, to pay tribute to the legendary poet and lyricist Nida Fazli. He was known for his famous poems like ‘Duniya jise kehte hain jadoo ka khilona hain’, ‘Kabhi kisi ko mukkammal jahan nahi milta’ and many more to remember forever. Nida Fazli passed away on February 8, 2016. No other shayari (couplet) is best suited to describe the loss of great Hindi & Urdu poet, Nida Fazli who wrote ‘where Krishna met Allah’.
Remembering and paying tribute to him, eight eminent poets from across the nation came together on the stage of WWI auditorium including Swanand Kirkire, Kausar Munir, Danish Javed, Jalees Sherwani, A M Turaz, Mayur Puri, Deepti Mishra and Shakil Azmi, who regaled the students of filmmaking and media with their best of poems and recitation.
Swanand Kirkire of Parineeta, Paa, Barfi! and PK fame recited a new poem for the first time for the students amidst thunderous applauds. Mayur Puri who has films like Happy New Year and Bajrangi Bhaijaan to his credits paid his tribute to Nida Fazli with his own poem on the deceased poet.
Kausar Munir who penned the lyrics for films like Tashan, Ishqzaade, Dhoom 3, Bajrangi Bhaijaan recited her poem, ‘Mast Calender’, narrating the moods of every month of the year in her contemporary style. While Shakil Azmi who has won more than 11 literary awards and authored several books, left the students thinking with his thought-provoking poetry. Renowned poetess Deepti Mishra revealed her great experience with Nida Fazli and recited beautiful poems. A M Turaz, poet and lyricist of Guzaarish, Bajirao Mastaani, Wazir and many more made the evening more exciting with his beautiful yet meaningful poems narrated in a unique manner. Famous writers Danish Javed and Jalees Sherwani managed to strike a chord with the students by sharing dark-edgy yet simple shayris (couplets) based on life. Witnessing into the excitement in students and the audience, the entire session was extended upto three hours.
The entire programme was followed by the screening of a documentary on the evolution of poetry made the students. The 8 poets congratulated Subhash Ghai and his team of 5th VEDA cultural hub at WWI who encourage the importance of poetry and language amongst the students in the campus.
Appreciating the students’ enthusiasm and understanding of Mushairas, Danish Javed said, “If younger generations like you starts appreciating poetry, this art form will never die, rather the poets will live and be remembered through their poems and couplets, forever.”
Whistling Woods International buzzes with fervour, with its annual festival - INBOX
Over 500 students, alumni, faculty and management organized and participated in the annual festival
Whistling Woods International (WWI), India’s premier Film, Communication and Media Arts Institute successfully concluded its two-day annual fiesta, INBOX. It witnessed more than 500 enthusiastic students from the genre of filmmaking, scriptwriting, animation, media and communications and others came together for INBOX 2016. The fiesta also involved teaching staff, alumni and management in this yearly festival.
Speaking on the success of the event, Meghna Ghai Puri, President WWI said, “Here at WWI we believe in doing what we love. Our students learn and celebrate movies, music, art, culture throughout the year. The response of ‘INBOX’ this year has been amazing and we are glad that so many students, our staff and also our alumnae graced the event by their presence and active participation.”
The WWI campus was buzzing with exciting contests like FIFA, Basketball, Best Out of Waste, Comic Katha, War of Words, Mr and Miss Inbox contests amongst others and various workshops that kept the students busy throughout the festival. The 2-day programme had something for everyone; it had a seamless blend of music, dance, creativity and sports contests which helped the participants to boast of unique creativity, passion and vibrancy.
Mr and Miss Inbox contest was the highlight of the festival where the students were judged on the basis of their personality, talent and their presentation. The festival introduced a unique contest named 'Best Out of Waste' which was designed to promote environment friendly management of waste.
FIFA Gaming by SONY enabled the audience to have a hang of the latest Play Station consoles and enjoy their personal set of soccer game.
Subhash Ghai and Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI presented awards to the winners of the contests conducted over the two days. The festival came to close with great fanfare and euphoria.
“EARN BEYOND YOUR WORK PLACE”, SAID AHMED KHAN – AWARD WINNING CHOREOGRAPHER-DIRECTOR AT THE DANCE WORKSHOP CONDUCTED AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
‘Let’s dance! Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!’ was the mood set for everyone in Whistling Woods International (WWI) as its founder, Subhash Ghai introduced and welcomed Bollywood’s master choreographer Ahmed Khan of ‘Jumme Ki Raat Hai’ fame and many award-winning songs from Rangeela, Taal, Kick to name a few, at the 5th Veda cultural event.
Ahmed Khan shared several secret stories while working in the industry with many stars including non-dancer actors. He shared insights on dancing, performed and encouraged every student in the auditorium to dance in the most energetic and exhilarating session of the season.
While interacting with 550 students at WWI, he shared his journey and experience in the industry. Ahmed Khan asserted “If you want to excel in life, never restrict yourself to what you want to be. Learn as much as you can, more than needed to stand out in your field of career and life.”
The highlight of the evening was the performance by Ahmed Khan along with the students on the popular Bollywood number ‘Jumme Ki Raat Hai’, which left the audience euphoric, giving the dance guru a standing ovation.
The event began with an audio visual educating the audience on various dance forms. Post which there was a remarkable performance by the students which kick started the evening with zeal, and enthusiasm.
During the Q&A session, Ahmed Khan explained how dance has transformed from the 90’s till now. Subhash Ghai too shared his experiences from the sets of Taal, Pardes, Yuvvaraj, among others where he worked along with Ahmed Khan which the students were delighted to know. Ahmed Khan also expressed, “I’m obliged to be invited at the 5th VEDA cultural hub. I feel at home, whenever I visit WWI. I give all the credit to Subhash ji for whoever I am today.”
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked Ahmed Khan for gracing the event and spending his valuable time with the students. The curtains closed over the evening with Subhash Ghai felicitating Ahmed Khan with the 5th Veda trophy amidst thunders of applause.
“CONFUSION IS GOOD, IT’S NATURAL. IT WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE THE BEST OF GOALS IN YOUR LIFE” SAID PADMA SHRI PRASOON JOSHI WHILE CELEBRATING THE ART OF WRITING AT THE 5TH VEDA CULTURAL HUB AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL.
Narrating experiences from his formative years, Prasoon Joshi said, “I today feel, retrospectively, confusion is good. You need to let the confusion be a vital part of your life in order to attain the best of goals in your life. Being confused is a natural state. And you should never hesitate from learning as it will soon help you decide on what you exactly want in life.” Padma Shri Prasoon Joshi, who wrote magical songs and scripts for movies like Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Delhi 6, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, to name a few, addressed 450 students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) at an interactive yet fun-filled session of the 5th VEDA cultural hub, initiated by Subhash Ghai on the topic of ‘Art of Writing’.
Prasoon recited several of his poems, but the highlight of the evening was the narration of his poem titled, ‘Baabul’, which left the audience mesmerized, inspiring them to give the ad-guru a standing ovation.
Subhash Ghai and Prasoon Joshi enlightened the students with an interactive Q&A session on the art of writing that included both its art and craft. The noted writer explained the repertoires of writing lyrics for movies and poetries to WWI students in his own poetic manner. He shared personal experiences that inspired him to write lyrics of several popular Bollywood songs or the thought process that went into writing while he was working on the script of the film, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
‘Just keep the child alive in you to remain creative throughout the life’ - was an inspiring message he delivered to the future generation of filmmakers and media professionals. Encouraging the students to unleash the creativity in them, he added, “Creativity is an element that is alive in everyone. Being creative means, to be able to express what one feels and share it with others. And when the feelings are resonated by the others, the aim of being creative is achieved.”
The mood of the evening started on an electric note, when the students welcomed the eminent writer with a beautiful rendition of the song written by him – ‘Maa’ from Taare Zameen Par. Interacting with the ad-guru, several students recited their poems in front of Prasoon Joshi, who guided them with enlightening insights to improve their writing skill. The event came to a close on a high note with Prasoon Joshi reciting an inspiring poem titled, ‘Laqshya’ (Goal), which turned the evening into a unique experience.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked Prasoon Joshi for gracing the evening and spending his valuable time with the students. The event ended with Subhash Ghai felicitating Prasoon Joshi with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous apsplause.
Hema Malini, an Indian actress, director and a renowned classical danseuse said "We need 100 more dance schools in the country. Institutions that offer and enhance the cultural knowledge to the younger generation is the need of the hour", while inaugurating the 3rd season of the 5th Veda cultural hub at Whistling Woods International (WWI).
While taking a cultural workshop on the art and technique of Indian classical dances, Hema Malini harped on the importance of individual growth in terms of mind, body and soul to excel in each one's profession and business. She also shared her experience, journey and knowledge with 500 students from the film and media studies batch.
She further added - 'If we want a skilled India, then we must support all those institutions trying to develop artistic skills in children. It is very sad that a few people in media and politics are more interested in creating controversies rather than appreciating the efforts of experts sharing their knowledge and experiences with the younger generation. Natya Shastra should be introduced in high schools as a compulsory subject to enhance their power of mind and soul.
She demonstrated Navrasa of Natya Shastra by performing on stage and asked the students to participate. Students in the audience loved learning Navrasa and the basic art of classical dance. It was a great two hours of learning session from the legend. The workshop also included a Q & A session, moderated by Subhash Ghai himself who said - I have seen most of the past heroines like Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit or today Deepika Padukone with dancing skills enhancing their career by an additional 10 years more than good actresses on screen. It helped them enhance their overall personality.
In media interaction after the session, Hema Malini, said "the contribution of Whistling Woods is invaluable to society and nation. It is a world class institute for the last nine years because it has been run by academicians and experts. This is what we need in India to develop our soft power - a real need of the hour. Let all the experts in the artistic field be encouraged by the society, government and corporates to open schools of cultural and liberal arts to enhance the artistic skill of our next generation.
Founder & Chairman of Whistling Woods International, Subhash Ghai said "It is an honour to have Hema Malini with us today to grace the occasion. This dance workshop is organised with an aim of preserving the classical form of dance in today's contemporary world, where people are mostly fascinated by western music and dance forms."
Meghna Ghai Puri, President of Whistling Woods International thanked Hema Malini for being a great teacher and sharing her experience with the students. The curtains closed over the evening with Subhash Ghai felicitating Hema Malini with the 5th Veda trophy amidst thunders of applause.
It was pleasure to have Fashion Stylist, Snower Sania at our campus on 30th January.
In the masterclass Snower Sania shared insight on Fashion styling as a profession and its importance in today's industry. She spoke about the current trends & contemporary styling techniques. She also explained the process of understanding trends in connection to the various body types, colors and personality. She said, "Fashion styling alone carries many options in terms of profession." She also explained each aspect and as to how the students could choose & decide the correct option, depending on their passion.
Talking of fashion styling she shared with the students what is the work of a fashion stylist, the difficulties faced and prospects in the industry. Usually there is a general confusion about the roles of a Stylist and a Designer. She clarified the doubts of the students and said, "Fashion styling is a part of Fashion designing. A person can be a Good designer but not necessary a good stylist and vice versa. The stylist is a person who not only guides or helps one in terms of their clothing but also oversees into the complete makeover of the person, from make-up to hair to accessories and etc. that one chooses to wear or put together."
She also shared her current work with the students giving them insights of the profession, which in return was very motivating for them. Overall the session with Snower Sania was informative yet enjoyable for the students.
India’s premier film, communication and media arts institute will host KASHISH Forward, India’s first travelling LGBTQ campus film festival
It is ‘Pride Month’ in Mumbai and India’s premier film, communication and media arts institute, Whistling Woods International (WWI), in association with KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival - South Asia's biggest and only mainstream LGBT film fest, will host an evening of contemporary films that focus on lesbian, gay and transgender lives. The institute will host KASHISH Forward, which is the travelling LGBTQ campus film festival organized by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, on January 29, 2016 from 4pm to 8pm.
Speaking about the event Meghna Ghai Puri, President of Whistling Woods International said, “KASHISH is one of the finest festivals we have in our country today! And my team at WWI & I are extremely proud to be part of it. We at Whistling Woods, have always encouraged freedom of thought and speech, through our student films, and I feel showcasing films on youth that are part of KASHISH Forward, will not only benefit the young filmmakers but also sensitize the audience, at large, to gender and LGBT issues.”
This unique event, that is expected to draw both students and faculty from the campus and audiences from all over Mumbai, will screen eight Indian and international short films, and have a trans-generational panel discussion, as well as a guided tour of Whistling Woods International facilities.
Films to be screened include ‘Stealth’ (USA), ‘Alone With People’ (USA), ‘Caged’ (The Netherlands), ‘Prora’ (Switzerland), ‘Coming Home’ (Taiwan), ‘The Blue Dress (Spain) as well as two Indian films ‘Tell Me A Story’ and ‘Kyunki...’ These films dealing with problems faced by youth in terms of understanding their identity, bullying they face by their friends, and acceptance by family members, offer both an Indian and global view about the issues.
“Though these are films on LGBTQ issues, I think they are just good films that are well made and leave a great impact. Many of the films are student films and the quality of filmmaking is amazing. The films reach out and touch hearts”, said Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, who has already travelled with KASHISH Forward to several other campuses across India, “The main aim is to create awareness, enable acceptance and inspire empowerment”, he added.
The screening at Whistling Woods International will be the 10th KASHISH Forward event, which has already travelled to Panjab University, Chandigarh; Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Presidency College, Kolkata; Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai; Ambedkar University, New Delhi; Tagore International School, New Delhi, Ashoka University, Sonepat and National Law School University, Bangalore.
The event will also have a panel discussion on ‘Claiming Identities’ that will see members of the LGBT community discussing what identity labels like gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer mean in today’s context and how definitions of these identities have changed over time. In a unique transcontinental and trans-generational panel, the speakers include Prof. Thomas Waugh, Professor of Films Studies at Concordia University, Montreal; Shobhna S Kumar, Founder of Queer Ink; Urmi Jadhav, transgender activist and dancer; and Siddhant More, a transman who is out at his workplace. The panel will be moderated by Sridhar Rangayan.
Speaking about the importance of the event, Prof. Waugh said, “This collaboration between KASHISH and the Whistling Woods International film program is very exciting. As a jaded, older LGBT media activist and teacher, I sometimes think the college generation with all their non-stop devices and apps have seen it all without any interest in what has gone before or what is happening outside of their social media ghetto. They are open to an inter-generational and transcultural dialogue. It’s important for festivals to leave their ghettos too. I hope Friday's diverse program of queer shorts from around the planet will unsettle things on both sides and spark a productive multi-directional conversation”.
This event is part of several cultural activities that are being organized across Mumbai to celebrate Mumbai Pride month, culminating in the Annual Pride March on February 6, 2016.
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is South Asia’s biggest LGBT film festival and India’s only mainstream LGBT film festival. The 7th edition of KASHISH will be held on May 25-29, 2016 at Liberty Cinema and Alliance Francaise de Bombay.
Event: KASHISH Forward at Whistling Woods International
Date: January 29, 2016
Time: 4.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: 5th Veda Auditorium, Whistling Woods International, Film City Complex, Goregaon East, Mumbai
FREE EVENT, Open to All.
Adnan Sami, Sukhwinder Singh and Shyam Edwankar took Whistling Woods International by storm with their musical performances at the 2nd Alumni Day celebration
Excitement & immense energy on the campus as 500 alumni celebrate their mentor, Subhash Ghai's birthday
Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors channel, while addressing the alumni and students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) said, “I could never imagine that this is the way you’ll celebrateyour alumni day. It is a fantastic experience for me to be here today.” He delivered the keynote speech on the ‘transition from being film and media students, to becoming the next generation of the film & media professionals.’
The 2nd Alumni Day celebration, which also happens to be Subhash Ghai’s birthday, was a grand affair organised by Meghna Ghai Puri, and her team which witnessed the home-coming of more than 500 alumni. Adding grandeur to the evening were the plush musical performances by VIP guests. Adnan Sami created a magical environment with his solo piano performance, while Sukhwinder Singh took on the stage with his powerful voice, leaving the audience regaled. The enchanting musical evening came to a close with a power-packed act by percussionist Shyam Edwankar, which witnessed the students dancing to his rhythms.
The WWI campus was abuzz with jubilant energy as the alumni connected with each other and the faculties at the special get-together hosted by Subhash Ghai on his birthday. He was proud to meet and bless all his students, who are currently doing well in the film and media industry. He personally presented a special gift to each and every alumni he met.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, said, “Whistling Woods International has been very close to my heart and these students have played a major role in helping me live this dream. Celebrating the day, when my heart turns a year younger and in reality I turn a year older, with my students and friends gives me immense happiness. WWI alumni are like my extended family and their presence on campus makes my day all the more special.”
Another highlight of the evening was the tribute paid to the alumni by the current students. The students of School of Music launched the WWI Anthem, which was highly lauded by the industry guests and alumni.
The 2nd Alumni Day celebration kicked off with the screening of best of Student Diploma films, which gave an energetic start to the event. Industry veterans like Amol Gupte, Piyush Mishra, amongst others, faculty and the new generation of talented film and media professionals attended the screening session.
Thanking all the guests and alumni who made the evening a grand affair, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “It is indeed a very proud moment to see all our alumni and the future generation of cinema together on this occasion. Our students are a part of most of the prominent projects across platforms like theatre, cinema and television. This occasion is a great opportunity for them to connect and network with the industry professionals.”
The Alumni Day celebration came to a close with Subhash Ghai celebrating his birthday with alumni and industry stalwarts.
Subhash Ghai addressed over 200 school principals at the conference Plan 2016, on the 'Importance of Navrasas in Leadership'. This conference was organized by Manjushree Patil & her team at the Aatman Academy of Learning for Principals at Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane.
YouTube™ officially unveiled the YouTube Space Mumbai at Whistling Woods International (WWI). YouTube Space Mumbai is a state-of-the-art collaboration and production facility for YouTube video creators, located at one of Asia's top film schools. The Space will allow YouTube creators and students at WWI to learn about video production, collaborate with other creators, and give them the tools they need to realize their creative goals.
Located in the heart of Mumbai's film and television production hub Filmcity at renowned film school Whistling Woods International, YouTube Space Mumbai is the latest to open after YouTube Spaces in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, New York, São Paulo, Berlin, and Paris. The facilities are designed to help remove constraints on resources in order to give creators the opportunity to learn, connect, and create. Through YouTube Space, creators can access, at no charge, all the latest audiovisual and editing equipment to produce original and innovative digital video content for their own YouTube channels.
The Indian YouTube creator community is one of the world's most vibrant, and in the past year alone, the amount of content uploaded to YouTube in India has grown by 90%, while watch time in India has grown 80% year on year. To support this incredible community of YouTube creators as well as the next generation of Indian talent, YouTube and Whistling Woods International are excited to be partnering together on this project.
Located within Whistling Woods International's production facilities, the YouTube Space Mumbai encompasses a 1400 square foot home for YouTube creators. This includes a 400 square foot studio open to YouTube creators five days a week, a lounge area, and an edit bay with two machines capable of 4k video editing. This will also be an office for YouTube Space staff on campus, to interact not only with YouTube creators, but with Whistling Woods students. YouTube will organize events, workshops, and networking engagements in Whistling Woods' auditorium and classrooms that are open to all YouTube creators. In addition, YouTube creators have access to Whistling Woods' sound stages and post-production facilities, including two fully-equipped professional studios over 3000 square feet each.
The launch event featured a performance from Indian creator Aakash Gandhi, pianist and composer and founder of 88 Keys to Euphoria, and his collaborators Ash King and Shashaa Tirupati. Their latest video, “Billie Jean | Jiya Re (Mashup Cover)”, which opened the event and was released on YouTube, was shot entirely on campus and is the first official production of the YouTube Space Mumbai. Other speakers included Lance Podell, Global Head of YouTube Spaces; Ajay Vidyasagar, Regional Director of YouTube Partnerships for India and Southeast Asia; Founder and Chairman of Whistling Woods International Subhash Ghai; and David Macdonald, Head of YouTube Spaces, Asia Pacific.
Lance Podell, Director, Global Head of YouTube Spaces, said, "The new YouTube Space Mumbai at Whistling Woods International marks the latest milestone in our efforts to support the incredible wave of creativity we have seen develop in the Indian YouTube creator community over the last few years. We're excited and proud to be partnering with a premier institution like WWI, who are truly industry torchbearers in their commitment to their students and quality programming. By working with them, we hope to empower India's next generation of digital creators and WWI students to learn, connect, and to create new content. We look forward to seeing what video content will emerge from the Space and the community it fosters."
Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman of Whistling Woods International, said, "Without doubt, digital platforms are the present and future of content creation and consumption in India. We, at Whistling Woods have always endeavoured to bring the future to today's film and media industry and, by partnering with one of the largest and most respected companies in the world to set up the YouTube Space Mumbai, we have just taken another big step towards making India the content creation powerhouse that it deserves to be."
In addition to physical studio space that is available to students and creators free of charge, YouTube and WWI are developing original courses to train the next generation of Indian filmmakers to succeed on digital and online media. Leveraging material from the YouTube Creator Academy and developed in tandem with YouTube staff, Whistling Woods has already launched its first course for YouTube with 120 students from their undergraduate and graduate schools.
Since the first YouTube Space opened in 2012, more than 150,000 creators have visited the Spaces globally, creating over 10,000 videos from their visits. Videos created at YouTube Spaces worldwide have amassed 1.25 billion views thus far.
“LEARNING IS A NON-STOP PROCESS, WHICH CONTINUES FOREVER”, SAID THE KING OF COMEDY, JOHNY LEVER AT THE FINALE EVENING OF 5TH VEDA – SEASON 2 AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL Mumbai
Whistling Woods International (WWI)’s 5th VEDA cultural hub wrapped up its Season 2 with a terrific stand-up act by none other than the man with a funny bone, Johny Lever. He left a crowd of 500 students in split with his performance. 5th Veda the cultural hub was initiated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWIto develop the artistic skills of budding filmmakers and media students. The evening started with a short yet enlightingAV made by the 5th Veda team on the origin of comedy, stand-up acts and the best comedians from across the world and India. Thereafter, Johny Lever took over the stage and the audience went on a laughter spree till the session came to a close. He started interacting with the students by sharing his journey so far, humorously enacting every stage of his life. Popularly known as the King of Comedy, he applauded Subhash Ghai for setting up a beautiful institute like WWI for the upcoming generation. Encouraging the students, he said “You are very fortunate to have a chance to study at such a great place of learning. I thank Subhashji for establishing this institute and people will remember this innovative gesture of yours for years to come.” Taking his act forward, he also shared how he grew up in an environment where dance, music and festivity was part and parcel of life, which evolved the talent in him. And as years passed by, this talent turned into profession took him places he never imagined about. While sharing his experience about entering the film industry, he said “I started working in 1980. In 1992, while filming for Baazigar, I heard someone appreciate my acting skills. It took me 12 years to be recognized… Since then, till date, life is all about learning for me, every day.” Johny Lever’s very presence on the stage created a riot of laughter amidst the audience. The fun-filled finale evening of the 5th Veda session came to a close on an emotional note, leaving the audience thinking about the message he subtly shared through this comedy. Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked Johny Lever for gracing the evening and Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, felicitated him with the WWI trophy amid a thunder of applause.
Music composer of Disney India’s Broadway musical, Beauty & Beast, which is the talk of the town and veteran singer-composer of Colonial Cousins fame, Lesle Lewis, left 400 students thrilled at Whistling Woods International. He conducted an amazing musical workshop on the ‘Art of Music Composition’ and gave the audience a taste of varied music flavours with his magical compositions.
The 5th VEDA event began with an audio visual on spirituality followed by an audio visual on the music compositions, enlightening students about various techniques and music productions. Post which the students impressed Lesle and the audience with a gripping musical piece that started with a soulful rhythm moving on to faster beats.
Lesle, a music composer and a performer is one of the very first Indian composers to have introduced the Indian audiences to Rock and Pop music. Students swayed as he performed his seemingly endless symphonies. He shared insights on his various compositions, his experience at the Coke Studio & also imparted knowledge to students who aspire to be successful music composers. He stated that one has to figure the kind of music that has influenced them since childhood, because only when one loves what one is doing can one get the best out of it.
He mentioned that a ‘guru’ is the most crucial person in one’s life who directs one’s steps. “First thing you should do in the morning is pray and thank God because you are in the best place. WWI is the best guiding light you could have” said Lesle while interacting with the students of WWI. On student’s request, he performed songs like ‘Are Yaaron’ & ‘Kai Zhala’. The students overwhelmingly supported every performance of his by singing along and clapping as per the beats.
Lesle was extremely glad to be present at WWI and said it was an honour to be with Subhash Ghai, the founder of WWI and amongst the students who are the future of the country. The event ended with a vote of thanks by Rahul Puri, Head – Academics, WWI. The event came to a close with Subhash Ghai felicitating Lesle with the 5th Veda trophy.
WWI students wear the dancing shoes with dance pro, Ashley Lobo
‘Let’s get the dancing shoes on!’ was the mood set for everyone in Whistling Woods International (WWI) as its founder, Subhash Ghai welcomed Ashley Lobo for the 5th Veda cultural event which aims at connecting students to the art & technique of various art forms. The event began with an audio visual educating the students on various dance forms. Post which, Ashley interacted with 550 WWI students talking about his journey and spoke about the catchphrase ‘You can dance.’
Ashley asserted, “Dance is not just a movement, it is always connecting to something. That something can be you, your audience or your subject.” He convinced all who claimed to have two left feet by taking them on a virtual ride of imagination and asking them to connect to it, thus building confidence within each one that if they can feel and connect, they can dance.
Aspiring dancers received the advice of practice makes one perfect. He stated, “It’s all about mastering and alarming the body to move by itself. Only when you master the body, can you not think of movement but only communicating.” While talking about choreographing for cinema, Subhash Ghai too had his share of experiences which the students were delighted to know.
The session became more exhilarating as enthusiastic WWI students stepped on the stage to sway and swirl with dance pro, Ashley. The students dazzled everyone with their freestyle energetic performances. Ashley was generous enough to take time and complement them and as a master also pinpointed the grey areas they could focus on to be even better.
Ashley expressed his gratitude towards WWI and his desire to visit the student again with one of his modern contemporary dance shows. Subhash Ghai and WWI President, Meghna Ghai Puri thanked and felicitated him with the 5th Veda trophy.
It was a moment of great pride for Whistling Woods International (WWI) and Subhash Ghai to witness his students on the shooting floor with ace flutist, Naveen Kumar, renowned percussionist, Anandan Sivamani and Grammy award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt along with Stephen Devassy, Ojas Adhiya, Ranbir Tauna shooting a music video entrusted by the Sony Music company, who had full faith in the WWI alumni’s professional excellence. The whole shoot was organized by WWI film and communication institute to pay respect to the great work of Naveen Kumar. The videos were shot by student director, Sunny Sharma and student cinematographers, Smita Nirmal and Richard Fernandez, which were based on three magical sound tracks of flute composed by Naveen Kumar himself.
Naveen Kumar, the most popular flutist in Bollywood music industry has worked with every music composer of India andhas performed at many international concerts. He praised the highly skilled students and said that they are the real future of Indian talent after the shoot got over.
Anandan Sivamani, Stephen Devassy, Ojas Adhiya, Ranbir Tauna and Grammy award winner, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt paid their tribute to NaveenKumar by accompanying him on the instruments whereas the songs were sung by Rimi Nique. ‘Harvest Track’, ‘Journey of the Truth’ and ‘Silence is Bliss’, respectively based on spirituality, positivity and peace are the three tracks shot by WWI alumni at the Filmcitycampus.
‘Harvest Track’ offers gratitude to Almighty God for good harvest, peace and prosperity of the community living in the villages. The whole feel of the track is happy and is based on north eastern part of the country, specifically Shillong, which is known for its vast green fields. The second track, ‘Journey of the Truth’ is an inspiring song about truth and hope and gives the feel of a place like Rajasthan, which is close to the desert and has scarcity of water. It revolves around the struggle of a common man for want of water but at the end it leaves the listener with reviving hope. The last track, ‘Silence is Bliss’ is a soulful and spiritually uplifting track. Bliss, a twin to happiness is achieved through silence. It is said that silence says it all. Thus, the art of silence leads to eternal human happiness.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI himself visited the set and greeted the musicians who clicked pictures with him while congratulating him for setting up such a massive campus with global standards and technology. Inresponse Ghai thanked them and said, “It gives me immense pleasure to see our students work with such passion and perfection with the living legends of the Indian music industry.”
In memory of Late Rajen Kothari, Whistling Woods observed September 25, 2015 as CINEMATOGRAPHERS DAY on campus, where screening of the Film DAS Capital – Gulamon Ki Rajdhani, directed and produced by Late Rajen Kothari happened.
Co-Director Dayal Nihalani and Actor Jameel Khan participated in the session.
Rakesh Ranjan, Gunjan Srivastava and Prashant Naik, who worked on the film with Rajen Kothari, had shared their experiences about the film and the experience working with Rajen Kothari.
Flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia creates magic at the 5th Veda Event:
“My journey began from being a son of a wrestler from Allahabad to beaming a flautist in the international arena” – Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
This week, at the 5th Veda cultural hub, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia left 550 WWI students mesmerised by playing soulful melodies on flute. The event commenced with an audio visual that enlightened the students on various kinds of flutes, its origin, its mark in the music industry & the globally recognised remarkable flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia being one among them. It was followed by an incredible performance by the WWI students of the song, ‘Jadoo Teri Nazar’, originally composed by Pandit Hariprasad.
Having shared a bond while working together in various films, Subhash Ghai requested Pandit Hariprasad to play a few Hindi tunes. Together they recreated a magical moment with the melody of ‘Hero’ tune. The standing applause clearly indicated the boundless impact; the classic tune has till date. “I enjoy being a student instead of a teacher”, replied Pandit Hariprasad when Subhash Ghai asked him to share a few experiences with WWI students to help them carve their way to their dream of being a legend like him someday.
Pandit Hariprasad was generous enough with his time as he interacted with the students, explaining and demonstrating the various ragas. “The music that touches your heart is the only right form”, he said while answering one of the questions. As desired by the students, he also played the ‘Malgudi’ tune and old classical tunes like ‘Rang Barse’. As much as the students were impressed with the melodies he created, they were equally appealed and captivated with his simplicity, honesty and live humour. He also shared his journey from being a wrestler’s son to one of the most acclaimed and globally recognised flautist.
While addressing the students, our Founder & Chairman, Mr. Subhash Ghai said, “It is an honour to have Hariji grace the occasion. The important part was that students understood the passion, zeal to achieve and ways of improvising talent from him. He further added that he is a man of simple words and his simplicity towards people is what makes him who he is today.”
Overall, the event was majestic. It ended with Subhash Ghai honouring Pandit Hariprasad with the 5th Veda trophy for his outstanding contribution in popularising Indian Classical Music all over the world.
After three days of doing what they love, the attendees of the unique festival Celebration Cinema by Whistling Woods International (WWI) were in for a treat. Evergreen versatile singer Sonu Nigam closed the event with his soulful performance and vivacious masterclass on music. He not only discussed the nuances of legendary singers & their techniques but also inspired the audience by sharing the story of his life with them.
“The music from the golden era of cinema has the real essence of music. If you are a student of music, it is most important to listen to the yesteryear songs as they are classic. Melody and rhythm was given extreme importance and so were the nuances of singing emphasized on. I personally prefer them over contemporary music numbers,” said Sonu Nigam while interacting with the audience at Celebrate Cinema.
Over 5000 film aficionados from across the cities participated and enjoyed the biggest celebration of cinema at WWI over three days. This student-led programme was an amalgamation of art, media, technology, music, films, fashion, photography and more.
Subhash Ghai, legendary filmmaker and Chairman of WWI said, “Here at WWI we believe in doing what you love all year long. Our students learn and celebrate movies, music, art, culture and everything good throughout the year. Celebrate Cinema is where we open our doors to everyone and give them a chance to be a part of our celebration. The response this year has been amazing and we are glad that thousands of students and enthusiasts graced the event by their presence.”
The day started with a special YouTube panel on Digital Content Creation with youth icons like Tanmay Bhat, Anand Doshi, Satya Raghavan, Sonal Sagaraya, Rishab Shah and Vijay Nair among others. When asked about the unconventional career option of Digital Content Creation gaining momentum with each passing day, AIB-fame Tanmay Bhat said, "Unique and quality content gets audience on the digital platform."
Award-winning directors Imtiaz Ali, Anubhav Sinha, and Amole Gupte conducted the Cinema 2020 panel where they discussed the future of cinema and how they see the evolution of Cinema in the coming decade. Students were enlightened by the knowledge of these storyteller geniuses and got a chance to interact with them.
“Celebrate Cinema is a great initiative by Whistling Woods where aspiring professionals can come and learn from the industry experts. Kudos to Subhash Ghai, Meghna Ghai Puri, students, faculty and the entire team for putting this together beautifully,” said renowned director Imtiaz Ali.
The audience also got an amazing opportunity to witness Subhash Ghai and Himanshu Sharma of Raanjhanaa & TanuWeds Manu fame, scriptwriters from two different era in conversation with each other along with Anjum Rajabali.
It was a record of sorts as WWI conducted over 100 workshops and contests during the three-day celebration. Right fromActing, Stop Motion Filmmaking, TV Anchoring and Broadcast, Production Design, Bollywood Dance, Fashion Makeup, Velfie, Green Screen, Improv Comedy, YouTube to Colour Gradingamong others, participants enjoyed a variety of subjects and learnt about them while having fun. Subhash Ghai and SonuNigam also presented awards to the winners of the contests conducted over the three days.
The magic of Celebrate Cinema 2015 will continue, to support the NGO Organ India, as participants will compete to create a documentary on the theme ‘Organ Donation’, a cause supported by WWI. President of Whistling Woods International Meghna Ghai-Puri concluded her vote of thanks with a quote by Filmmaker Quentin Tarentino "If you just love the movies enough. You can make a good one."
Day 2 of Celebrate Cinema at Whistling Woods International, Filmcity saw a storm of 3000+ students witnessing 200+ Pieces of Cinematic Memorabilia, Screenings of film HERO along with meet & greet with the star-cast Sooraj & Athiya, 22 Hands-on Workshops on Acting, Stop Motion Filmmaking, 3D & Digital Cinematography, Sound Mixing & Green Screen amongst others.
Celebrate Cinema, the annual property of Whistling woods International (WWI) with numerous film workshop witnessed the coming together of two ‘Hero’es – Jackie Shroff and Sooraj Pancholi. Together they were seen enjoying the grand 3-day event put up for movie aficionados and students at WWI, Filmcity.
Day Two of Celebrate Cinema 2015 started with the music workshop with Louiz Banks, Godfather of Indian Jazz as part of the 5th VEDA cultural hub event. Banks was seen performing with his son, Gino Banks which left the audience in awe. When asked about Jazz music, Banks said “Jazz music opens up a whole new universe for you and adds an altogether new dimension. Jazz is best when played live as it touches everyone who is listening to it.” The students were surprised when Banks mentioned, he has affirmed the project by Subhash Ghai to have Jazz classes in Whistling Woods International (WWI) for the budding musicians.
Students across colleges like Mithibai, National , Jai Hind, Podar, Lord’s, among others alongside cinema enthusiasts were seen queued up outside WWI to spend the Saturday afternoon at the Institute to explore growth & trajectory of Indian cinema. WWI also hosted a special screening of the recently released ‘Hero’ which witnessed the presence of celebrities like Sooraj Pancholi, Athiya Shetty and industry stalwarts like. Amongst those who conducted the Masterclasses were Nikhil Advani, Subhash Ghai and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Apart from Master classes the campus hosted workshops on Hair styling by BBlunt, Bollywood dance by Sanjeev Mehta, Color Grading in DaVinci by Vivian Pimenta, Latin Dance Movement & Musicality by Dee Wood & VJ Salsa.
The campus kept the students engaged throughout the day with contests on playback singing where contestants participated to prove their singing talent. Music video workshop and competition enabled the participants to create a music video on their favourite tracks. Still photography witnessed participants showcasing their artistry with the camera. FIFA Gaming by SONY enabled the audience to have a hang of the latest Play Station consoles and enjoy their personal set of soccer game. The audience attending Celebrate Cinema had an amazing time participating in the Velfie contest.
This day of learning, enjoyment and enlightenment concluded with the special screening of the movie ‘Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ followed by meet & greet with ace Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Enlightening the students about the nuances of filmmaking and scriptwriting, Rakeysh said, “Cinema is a story told through pictures. And the story is the essence of a film, thus every filmmaker is primarily a storyteller.”
Looking forward to the finale of the three-day fiesta, everyone called it a day.
The Day 1 of the festival had 2000+ Attendees from various premier colleges of Mumbai, 200+ Pieces of Cinematic Memorabilia, Several Screenings of Iconic Indian and International Films, 30 Hands-on Workshops, 12 Celebrity-studded Panel Discussions, Magnificent Opening Ceremony, Tribute Performances, Film & Technology-related Art Installation. Day 2 and Day 3 to get bigger and better!
Multi-talented Farhan Akhtar and legendary director Subhash Ghai inaugurated city’s most awaited film festival - Celebrate Cinema 2015.
The vigor in the air and the gusto in the aura of Whistling Woods International (WWI) were beyond words as the students welcomed the guest with a musical performance followed by an Audio Visual journey of the 100 years of Cinema.
Subhash Ghai and Farhan Akhtar then conducted a masterclass on acting and directing and spoke about the evolution of cinema. The audience was mesmerized as they witnessed a perfect blend of youth and experience. At the session encouraging youngsters Farhan Akhtar said, “Believe in your own ability to make a film that has an impact and to be honest about your work and respect others’ work at the same time.” Farhan who has donned many hats in the industry further added, “It is very crucial for the actors to respect directors and for directors to be sensitive towards the actors”.
Soon after Farhan’s exciting interaction, veteran director and producer, Mahesh Bhatt graced the event for an enriching masterclass on People’s Pulse and Cinema Today on Producer’s Perfect. He congratulated Subhash Ghai and said, “It needs passion and will power by educationist like Subhash Ghai to run an institute like WWI.”
Further appreciating the WWI students for putting together such a grand film festival he said, “Celebrate Cinema is one hell of a festival. It gives you the opportunity to touch and choose a generation that is eager to make a foray into the world of cinema. And interacting with such an audience leaves your vitalised.”
The Day 1 also witnessed an interesting masterclass with the eminent celebrities from the Marathi film industry including Shreyas Talpade, Ravi Jadhav, Shrirang Godbole and Manisha Korde. Together they discussed and enlightened the audience about the Marathi New Age Cinema.
Celebrate Cinema also showcased the critically-acclaimed movie, ‘Peddlers’ produced by Sikhya Entertainment, which created waves at the Cannes Film Festival. The team of ‘Peddlers’ also interacted with the audience.
Exciting contests like playback singing, film poster making and filmmaking contests and various workshops like editing, mobile filmmaking, art and painting, fashion and makeup, comedy workshop and flute and art workshop kept the students busy through the day.
The WWI campus was buzzing with activities as students from various premier colleges from across the city attended Celebrate Cinema with great enthusiasm on the first day. It looks like that something similar would be experienced over the weekend. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and every cinema lover should make the best of it over the next two days.
400 students lit torches for the performance of percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, brother of Zakir Hussain at Whistling Woods Campus in Mumbai
Just as the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) were grooving to the rhythmic beats of percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, the lights went off due to power failure. But the students in the auditorium were so determined to ensure the magical performance of the four drum players went on uninterrupted that they flashed their mobile phone lights towards the stage to light up the auditorium. The view of this LED-lit auditorium from the stage was one such delight, any performer would want to experience. It was sheerly magical!
Taufique Qureshi is the son of Ustad Qureshi Alla Rakha Khan popularly known as Alla Rakha and brother of Zakir Hussain and the winner of several international awards for his outstanding talent as Tabla player and percussionist. He was equally excited to perform and conduct a workshop on music at Whistling Woods International campus as part of the 5th Veda cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai to develop the artistic skill of students.
The event began with the screening of a spiritual AV titled, 'Feel the Rhythm of Your Heart', which displayed the time beat of universe. It was followed by a 15-minutes documentary made by the 5th Veda team which gave the students a deeper understanding about rhythm, its origin and its existence today.
Qureshi spoke and explained how every human being has a connection with rhythm and all about the art and technique of rhythm in the field of music through various demonstrations, playing the drums with his team. On a special request by the WWI students, Subhash Ghai was invited on stage to join Qureshi and his team and Ghai started playing drum beats to everyone' surprise and delight, leaving the audience with no choice but give him a standing ovation.
Qureshi displayed his art of music designing with the demonstration of the title song of the movie Dhoom 2. He also asked the students to participate with him and his team and took the show to a whole new level.
He was so excited to see the facilities provided to the students at the campus that he offered his services to train the students of WWI School of Music. Subhash Ghai appreciated and thanked him for this great gesture.
Mumbai, August 20, 2015: The vision behind 5th Veda, cultural hub, an initiative by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman of Whistling Woods International (WWI) is to connect the younger generation with the art and technique of various classical art forms including drama, painting, poetry etc. To accomplish this motive, WWI organised two theatre plays namely ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ & ‘Bade Bhai Sahab’, paying a tribute to renowned writer Munshi Premchand, this evening.
The 5th Veda cultural event began in the presence of over 550 students of WWI with an introduction to ‘DRAMA’ being the art form of this week. Since the event was part of a cultural hub, an AV on spiritual reality was played followed by an AV on drama which portrayed drama as one of the many popular art forms and enlightened the students on its origin and history of its progression.
The plays which were a mixture of comedy and satire began post the screening of the AV which received great applause from the audience. The students were delighted to watch the acting alumni of WWI give such a fantastic performance. Salim Arif, the director of the play, Sr. WWI faculty and theatre artiste was also present throughout the event to ensure the flow went undisturbed.
Set in 1856, Shatranj Ke Khiladi is the story that depicts the fall of the royalty of Central North India to British annexation. The main characters are the aristocrats, Mirza Sajjad Ali and Mir Raushan Ali, who are deeply immersed into their desire to play chess. Hence, making them irresponsible towards their family and society. Their carving for the game of chess and developing the game’s strategy makes them ignore even the invasion of the city of Lucknow.
An endearing play, Bade Bhai Sahab portrays the relationship between two brothers who are away from home living in a hostel. While on the face, the story may appear simple, but what appeals is the love shared between the brothers despite their different perspective towards life.
Bringing the literature live on stage through the plays, the performance of the alumni was captivating, which left the audience with sheer excitement and amusement.Thanking the guests for the evening, Ravi Gupta, Dean, WWI felicitated them with WWI trophies amidst thunderous applause and standing ovations.
5th Veda presents ‘Shayar Aur Shayri’ with mushaira by 6 super poets on August 13, 2015 from 4pm onwards in the Auditorium.
A beautiful installation was created by students of Whistling Woods School of Fashion & Design, to portray the rich textile heritage of India, at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 2015, in Mumbai.
Mumbai, August 5, 2015: India’s one of the most successful comedian, Sorabh Pant left a crowd of over 550 students in split with his stand-up act at Whistling Woods International (WWI) as part of the 5th Veda cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai to develop the artistic skills of budding filmmakers and media students.
The evening started with a short AV on Laughter Therapy and its benefits. It was followed by an educating documentary made by the 5th Veda team on the origin of comedy, stand-up acts and the best comedians from across the world and India.
Thereafter, Sorabh Pant took over the stage with his brilliant performance and the audience went on a laughter spree till the session came to a close. He took a dig on every possible theme from literature to politics to women, to even the unique names of the students. No topic under the sun was spared, and every minute Sorabh was on stage, it was a riot of laughter in the auditorium.
Following the stand-up act, Sorabh had a hilarious yet interactive Q&A session with the students. As an interesting advice to the students who wish to pursue comedy as a serious career, Sorabh said, “Panic is the best friend or situation you can ever have to generate the best comedy. And you must develop a reading habit, for sure.”
The ‘funny man’ encouraged and applauded the students of WWI and advised the students to consume as much thoughts and ideas as possible to be a good filmmaker. He insisted the students to attend as many open-mic events and Improv comedy sessions as a practice to evolve into a wonderful storyteller.
The fun-filled 5th Veda session on comedy came to a close with the screening of the thought-provoking video, ‘I’m Not A Woman’ starring RajitKapur, Neil Bhoopalam, Meiyang Chang, Sorabh Pant and Aditi Mittal. Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked Sorabh Pant for gracing the evening and Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, felicitated him with the WWI trophy amid a thunder of applause.
Playback singer Arijit Singh mesmerized the crowd of over 500 students at his Music workshop at Whistling Woods International (WWI) campus on Art and Technique of Singing at the 5th VEDA cultural hub yesterday. The event started with Subhash Ghai along with the students paying a tribute to late Dr. Abdul Kalam followed by a minute’s silence and an AV on Dr. Kalam.
Thereafter, a documentary made by the 5th Veda team on Art and Technique of Singing was screened for the audience. Apart from insights about singing, the AV also mentioned about the best singers from across the world and India. The AV was followed by a performance by Simran, the WWI Actor’s Studio student. She sang ‘Awaaz De Kahan Hai’, a soul-stirring song by renowned singer Noor Jahan to welcome Arijit Singh and his team.
While on stage, Arijit shared his childhood memories and said, “I mostly practiced modern Bengali and Indian classical music. My guru ji Rajendra Prasad Hazari inspired me to practice more of modern singing as according to him Indian classical was dying.”
Interacting with Subhash Ghai in a Q&A session, Arijit said, “Singing is like talking. It is an art of expression. There are other factors too but they all follow on once you understand your lyrics and rhythm well. There are no rules. You just have to practice well.”
Arijit Singh was accompanied by music composer, Sunny M.R. and musician/ recordist, Ankur Mukherjee, who enlightened the students about the nuances of Music Composition. The highlight of the evening was when Subhash Ghai asked Arijit and his team to compose a song based on the lyrics suggested by the students instantly. They agreed and within minutes a new song, ‘Zindagi Pyaar Hain’ was being sung by Arijit amidst huge applause.
The new age singer encouraged and applauded the students of Whistling Woods School of Music when they rendered on stage their own composition, ‘Shuruvat Tumse’. While interacting with the students, he sang one of his unreleased song which remains close to his heart till date.
Arijit also expressed his wish to join Whistling Woods to attend a short course as he was highly impressed by the world-class facilities and technology. Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked Arijit Singh and his team for their graceful gesture of inspiring students to develop their individual, artistic skills and felicitated them with the WWI trophies.
“MUSIC EDUCATION IS A MUST TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN THE FUTURE” SAID SHANKAR MAHADEVAN AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL"
It was one of the most thrilling musical sessions for the 500 students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) as Shankar Mahadevan, a four-time National Award winner, took to the stage. Infusing energy and enthusiasm with his vocal performance and giving them lessons on the event's theme ‘Art of Music composition’ Mr. Mahadevan had the students enthralled. The session took place under the ‘5th Veda Cultural Hub’ initiated by Founder Subhash Ghai at the Institute, to develop the artistic skills of students at the Whistling Woods campus.
The interactive session between Subhash Ghai and Shankar Mahadevan was conducted in a unique way by sharing information & experiences of the Musical maestro. An engineer-turned-singer, Mahadevan shared stories of his childhood & his engineering days. He shared with the students how he followed his heart and not money by choosing music and gave credit to his parents who recognised his talent & encouraged him at a young age. Today Shankar Mahadevan is one of India’s finest Music Composers and that was apparent as Mr. Ghai made a unique demand for him to sing the most popular bhajan ‘Om Jai Jagdish’ in a different tune. Mr. Mahadevan instantly composed and sang the same bhajan in four different tunes, receiving a huge applause from the students.
During a non-stop one and a half hour music workshop he said, "In Music composition, grammar comes second, what comes first is love for music, which inspires you to flow and come out with the best of tunes & melodies. The whole idea of Music is to communicate with your listeners.” He urged the students to stay in touch with music through their classical roots.
The team of 5th Veda screened an audio visual on the history of world Music. The first batch of students of the WWI SCHOOL OF MUSIC welcomed Mr. Mahadevan with an enchanting chorus number performed by them. The students also got a chance to be mentored by the maestro himself when Mr. Mahadevan guided the singers on how to fine tune their singing & taught them techniques they should use for different songs. On the insistence of Mr. Ghai, Mr. Mahadevan sang his first & unreleased composition, which kept the audience riveted as they appreciated his talent & charisma. The ear-piercing squeals of delight were proof when the show came to the climax with his best ever performance of the song 'Breathless.'
Speaking on education and the WWI SCHOOL OF MUSIC, he said "It is very important to have a formidable education in music, as the learning and knowledge you receive act as your database, which will help you achieve excellence in the future."
President of WWI, Meghna Ghai Puri presented him with a token of appreciation saying that Whistling Woods follows the same philosophy of Shankar Mahadevan – ‘Do what you love!’
Fresh talent graduates from Whistling Woods School of Fashion & Design
Whistling Woods School of Fashion & Design, a great endeavour by Subhash Ghai and legendary designer Neeta Lulla is first of its kind Film & Fashion School whichhosted its first graduation show for their Fashion Designing students at Hotel Sofitel, BKC on July 11, 2015. The evening saw 10 young and talented fresh crops of designers who have been mentored by veterans and experts from the fashion industry such as Anjana Sharma, Aparna Badlani and Neeta Lulla. Students put together collections which were inspired from culture, art, literature, travel and also reality shows. “Through this we have made an effort to provide personal guidance to each student not only by way of relevant theoretical knowledge but also regular exposure to the fashion industry throughout the curriculum. I am very proud to see this batch on the threshold of their graduation and well groomed to take on the fashion world. I wish them all the best.” said Neeta Lulla. Students showcased 9 collections that overwhelmed the jury members and viewers with the young & fresh approach and creativity. “I wish the students all the very best for their future. I am happy to say that with we have created some amazing talent that will change the fashion industry of this country”, said Subhash Ghai.
A luminous gathering honoured a bunch of talented designer as a year’s worth of research and hard work came crashing into a spectacular award ceremony. The jury members for the evening were renowned personality from the fashion world such as
Neeta Lulla – Mentor, Ace Fashion Designer and Couturier,
Aparna Badlani – Fashion Curator and Owner of a Multi Designer Store “Atosa”,
Anjana Sharma – Fashion Curator,
Meher Castelino – Former Model and Fashion Critique,
Umesh Jivnani – Fashion Writer and Critique,
Nikhil Thampi – Bollywood’s favorite and Enterprising Fashion Designer,
Pria Kataaria Puri – Fashion Designer,
Nonita Kalra – Former Editor of Elle India.
The student designers won various awards such as: Most Glamorous Collection – Richa Shah and Khushbu Rathi
Commercially Viable Collection – Rashmi Singh
Collection of the Year - Rashmi Singh
Excellence in Apparel Construction – Khusbhu Rathi and Richa Shah
Best Surface Interest – Bharti Sharma
Best Accessorized Collection – Rashmi Singh and Bharti Sharma
Best Student – Pallavi Jaswani
Best Installation – Rashmi Singh.
Whistling Woods Neeta Lulla School of fashion has also offered each student an internship at reputed fashion houses. Students will be interning as fashion designers and film stylist with various brands such as Papa Don't Preach, Ashish Dwyer, Payal Singhal, Aara Fashions and Archana Kochhar to name a few. Whistling Woods Neeta Lulla School of Fashion is set to add some great talent to the fashion world.
June, 2015: Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon along with Subhash Ghai celebrated International Yoga Day as part of the 5th Veda initiative on June 21 at Whistling Woods International (WWI). They performed various yoga asanas with the students, faculty and staff on campus.
The event started with the screening of various enlightening videos, demonstrating the techniques of yoga and its benefits, followed by a performance by a student of Whistling Woods. Adding to the cultural aspect of the event, a student of the Saroj Khan Dance Academy gave a breathtaking performance.
Speaking on the occasion, Tiger Shroff said, “I am not a regular practioner of yoga as I am more inclined towards gymnastics and martial arts. But this initiative by WWI has enlightened me and I am encouraged to include yoga in my daily regime.”
Kriti Sanon too shared her understanding of yoga and urged everyone to inculcate it in their daily lives. She also said she would become more regular in her practice of yoga.
Sharing the thought behind conducting this event, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI said, “Yoga is internal bath for the body, mind and soul and every individual should practice it ardently. I’ve been practicing it myself for the past 25 years. Yoga in India is considered to be an around 3,500-year old mental, physical & spiritual practice. The youth of this country need to recognize the value of this amazing gift of our age-old culture, and how it can help them stay calm and achieve greater success in the modern world of cut-throat competition.”
As UN declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga, Whistling Woods International too joined hands with PM Modi and millions of other Indians who got together to celebrate this amazing facet of Indian culture, which not only helps you to stay fit but also helps to improve mental wellness and combat stress.
Concluding the event with a vote of thanks, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “At WWI, we have regular yoga classes on campus. Being a creative institute, yoga and meditation is an integral part of our educational philosophy.”
MUMBAI 28TH APRIL 2015: In his two-hour session with 400 students at Whistling Woods International on the culture and importance of ghazals, renowned singer Talat Aziz said, "Since 13th century till date Arabic and Urdu poets have been expressing their inner pains and comments in the form of various couplets. ghazal singers made them more popular with their heart rendering compositions and heart wrenching voices, specially that of Galib, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh. Now in the 21st century, sound and speed has changed but human pain remains unchanged. He recited the examples of latest chartbuster songs from the film Aashiqui 2 'hum tere bin reh nahi skate' and 'suno na sangemarmar', are ghazals with new orchestra and composition."
Conducting a music workshop specially on ghazal culture at 5th veda cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai and Whistling Woods, an international institute of film, communication & media arts, Talat Aziz sang ghazals of legendary poets like Ghalib, Mir Taki Mir, Sahir ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Gulzar and spoke about the special qualities of each poet. He also shared experiences of how Mehdi Hassan and Jagjit Singh blessed him and inspired him to be a singer and composer.
Many interesting questions were asked by the students, which were brilliantly answered by Talat Aziz. Answering a question about the difference between a song and a ghazal, he said, "THE SONG is a magic of VOICE with beautiful words and The GHAZAL is a magic of WORDS with beautiful voice."
Thrilled and inspired with the master of ghazals, students of Whistling Woods volunteered to showcase their talent on the stage. Sahil recited his own ghazal and Kewal and Aishwarya sang 'muskurane ki wajah tum ho'.
Applauding their efforts, Talat Aziz emphasized that every college or university like Whistling Woods must encourage the students to know the art and technique of writing and singing POETRY and such workshops can enhance their knowledge of poetry and expressions as well.
Talat Aziz applauded Meghna Puri and Subhash Ghai for initiating 5th Veda at Whistling Woods International campus to connect students to the various classical ARTS.
"We work hard all our life and maybe during that time we may not realize the importance of it as we don't see the bigger picture but the most glorious and beautiful moments of our life are made up of that constant hard work. All the frustration is forgotten at that moment of our creativity as we are in fine tune with the universe,” said award winning dancer and choreographer, Terence Lewis at Whistling Woods International's 5th VEDA event. Terence Lewis managed to maintain close proximity with around 300 students through his interaction on the subject of 'The Art and Technique of Contemporary Dance' where he answered dance related questions of the students and helped them understand the phenomenon better. He called dance as an 'Art of Meditation.' Some of the students put on their dancing shoes too to sway with the dance master and enact some movements. The dancers surprisingly showcased the artistry in a very skilled manner.
An AV of evolution of dance from innovation to improvisation was shown to the students followed by an AV on Spiritual Science which delved on the power of thoughts.
Terence Lewis exuded sufficient depth and variety of material to his dance which earned him constant applause. His aura on the stage was supported by dexterous dance technique, style and sheer performing skill. Also the other dancers enchanted everyone with wonderful delicacy, as Terence brought a marvelous fullness to his choreography which drew the audience into the moment-by-moment tension.
He emphasized on the point that since India is a multicultural country, it is very important to collaborate with other people and being in touch with other ideas to gain inspiration and explore the subject. Students should be determined to widen their horizons and should preserve their individuality in all the different styles they explore.
After performing at Madison Square for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the legendary family comprising of Filmfare award winner for playback singing, Kavita Krishnamurti, her husband and acclaimed Violinist Padmavibhushan Dr. L.Subramaniam and their prodigal son Ambi Subramaniam left everyone spell bound at Whistling Woods International.
“The reason why I am what I am today is because back in college I stepped up to perform on the stage leaving behind an inhibitions. It was then I was discovered by my teacher and the rest as they say is history. You students are lucky to have such events which allows you to show your inner talents,” were the initial encouraging words of Kavita Krishnamurthy to 400 students at Whistling Woods International. At their weekly 5th VEDA students experienced and discovered the joy of live performance, which is a vital part of music education as Kavitha Krishnamurthy and L.Subramaniam overwhelmed everyone with their soulful performances. The connection made between musician and audience, with no need for words, was the most precious exchange.
"To understand music, you need to first listen to it sincerely. The process of learning is monotonous but important to exercise control on your voice. For composers, it’s good to learn the Piano. Basic Classical music knowledge is a must and one should listen a lot to not only contemporary singers but classical singers too. Controlling of breath is important too and try to emulate and think over what ingredients makes a song good," said Kavita Krishnamurti. At the session moderated by Mr. Subhash Ghai,she also explained to students through demonstrations the difference between different genre of singing like playback singing, ghazal, pop and classical. She said, “Basis is and should always be Classical and then comes playback where we learn about aesthetics as we have to keep in mind the actors and situations. Also, when you start with your training go full throttle or full voice to open the texture of voice. Modulation of voice comes after riyaz. These instincts develop in time.”
An AV on the evolution of Violin was shown to enlighten students. Dr. L Subramaniam charmed the students with his magical display of talent by playing the violin and demonstrated various genre of jazz, classical, country music through his various compositions. Students gave a standing ovation when the son Ambi joined his father and the duo performed a fast paced compositions together as fusion music. In the end Kavita joined them in singing classical notes which reverberated through the entire auditorium. Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods International Mr. Subhash Ghai and President, Ms.Meghna Ghai Puri extended their gratitude to the guests as the guests highly praised the 5th VEDA initiative.
Whistling woods 5th VEDA on the art of painting; special guest speaker; Omang Kuma
Screening of the movie Amadeus.
Everyone at Whistling Woods International (WWI) were blown away by this week’s 5th VEDA concert, devoted entirely to Classical music. Renowned Indian musician and a National Film Award winner, Hariharan displayed a brittle, constructivist modernity touched music, singing with the exoticism of guitar, piano and also interacted with around 300 students about Classical music.
Speaking on singing Hariharan said, “Singing is an art in itself. It means performance from the heart… as you really have to feel the words, to deliver the magic that captures the audience.” He also delved on the lost art of lip sync and the inability of today’s actors to put life into songs. He said, “Only around 35% of actors today do justice to the lyrics and the songs or ‘mukh mudra’, which is disappointing.”
The entire auditorium joined him in the chorus of his songs before he surprised them with the sudden increase of the pace and pitch, therefore earning a standing ovation from all. He moved on to performing from his album ‘Ghazal Blues’ where he synchronized blues with Urdu poetry along with the singer and Voice of India winner, Aishwarya Majumdar.
He then performed an impromptu medley of his songs along with a group of students from the Institute, who raised to the occasion.
The evening started with an audio-visual on ‘Spiritual Reality - A Journey Within’, which highlighted how everyone strives to achieve happiness and peace, which is only possible by self-knowledge and meditation. Another audio-visual on Classical Music describing it's intricacies and it’s evolution since Renaissance to Contemporary and Fusion was also shown. It also enlightened students about Hindustani Classical and Carnatic music.
As the evening moved on and one’s ear grew accustomed to the sounds, some of the excitement of the ghazals and fusion music returned when everyone first encountered Hariharan’s music.
His performance reveled in the energy and textural richness of these pieces, capturing their multi-layered elaborations, echoes and reflections. The chorus support was equally detailed and just as viscerally exciting.
He went on to mesmerize the audience by singing ‘Tu Hi Re’ in both Hindi and Tamil and a song from Yaadein – of which initial lines were originally voiced by the Indian Cinema’s Showman and Founder & Chairman of WWI, Subhash Ghai himself, who also made the movie.
Hariharan took it from there and enwrapped the audience into an emotional moment. Later, both discussed their musical affiliations of decades followed by a Q & A session with the students. The musical concert had a grand climax like a movie where a blend of Western and Classical musical was shown through a song from Subhash Ghai’s creation, ‘Yuvraaj.’
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI extended her gratitude to the artists and also announced Editing Scholarships to the prestigious filmmaking program at WWI, in association with the MPA, for two young boys from the NGO, ‘SALAAM BAALAK TRUST’.
National Award winning filmmaker, Ketan Mehta, interacted with our enthusiastic students on the Art & Technique of Animation. The session was a part of the 5thVEDA – a cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai and Whistling Woods International to develop the artistic skills of the students. The excitement level of the event turned up a notch when students were asked to draw a few basic shapes on the screen. These shapes were transformed into some fascinating animated characters.
A pioneer in the animation industry, Ketan Mehta charmed the students of WWI with his experiences. He shared some illustrations interspersed with his film clips, which were made at his MAYA Digital Studio, the first of its kind in India since 1996. He also discussed how animation and CGI movies will become the future of cinema. The students’ team of 5th VEDA also contributed to the event by introducing an audio-visual presentation on ‘Evolution of Animation’.
Later, the students held a special screening of their animated films, ‘Bejinxed’ and ‘Flight of Desires’. Ketan was highly impressed and said, “There is no limit to the power of animation, so try not to contain your creativity.” He awarded students the DVD of his animated film ‘Ramayana – The Epic’ as a token of appreciation.
Towards the end, Ketan Mehta expressed his appreciation to Subhash Ghai for taking such a great initiative. He also encouraged the students to explore the art of animation now, since it is an incredible period for the animation industry. India is entering the Golden Age of Animation with gaming, commercials, and the digital space offering countless opportunities for expression.
“Animation is like an exciting journey which puts life in an inanimate thing, therefore turning an impossible thing, possible”, he concluded by saying.
“In animation you can turn the impossible into possible and make your dreams come true”, said Ketan Mehta
300 students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) had the most exciting experience while a few drew some basic shapes on the screen and Ketan Mehta’s team turned them into some of the most fascinating animated characters . It was one of the highlights of the interactive session with National award winning filmmaker Ketan Mehta on the Art and Technique of Animation and its future in cinema. The session was conducted as part of the 5th VEDA – a cultural hub initiated by Subhash Ghai and WWI to develop the artistic skills of the students of every discipline.
The student team of 5th VEDA introduced the ‘Evolution of Animation’ since 1900 till date with an AV, presenting new facts.
“There is no limit to the power of animation, so try not to contain your creativity,” said Ketan Mehta, a pioneer of Animation industry in India. He charmed the students of WWI with illustrations and demonstrations interspersed with his film clips made at his MAYA Digital Studio, the first animation studio of India since 1996.
He was highly impressed by the student’s animation films ‘BEJINXED’ and ‘FLIGHT OF DESIRES’, which was specially screened for him. He awarded them with the DVD of his animated film ‘Ramayana – the Epic’, produced by him as a token of appreciation and revealed that the future of cinema is animation and CGI movies.
Ketan Mehta appreciated Subhash Ghai for taking such an initiative for the students, who are fortunate to have these kind of activities to develop their skills at campus. He encouraged the students who are inclined towards the art of animation to start now, as it is an incredible time to begin a career as an animator and take the paths less travelled.
“We are in a constant digitally evolving world”, he stated, entering the Golden Age of Animation in India, with gaming, commercials, television and internet offering countless opportunities for expression. He also mentioned how the focus has shifted towards the digital market due to its great demand, which has led to numerous initiatives being taken by the government and corporate sector. He also said, “Animation is like an exciting journey which puts life in an inanimate thing, therefore turning an impossible thing into possible.”
Screening of the Film ‘CASABLANCA’ (1942).
“Either laugh or make others laugh” was the theme for 5th VEDA, a cultural hub initiated by Whistling Woods International this week, where four famous stand-up comedians were invited on stage by Subhash Ghai. It was followed by two AVs, first on ‘Spiritual Reality- A Journey Within’,which explored the mystic traditions of our mind and body and enlightened them about cosmic energy followed by another on ‘Laughter Therapy’, which explained benefits and importance of laughter for de-stressing. Aditya Desai and Azeem Banatwalla took over the stage with their brilliant performances which was followed by Sonali Thakker and Siddharth Dudeja.
It was the first time when students went on a laughter spree for more than an hour. Students were pleasantly surprised when Azeem revealed that he is an Engineer who turned into a writer before gaining enough confidence while performing at the ‘Laughter Factory’ in Mumbai to become a stand-up comedian. He has also written several comedy scripts for many stars to perform at film awards. Aditya who is also a CA student discovered his talent while watching comedy performances. Sonali took a dig on Gujarati culture, being a ‘Gujju’ herself and the constant dilemma she faces with her family’s superstition.
After the show all four artists confessed that their hidden talent was initially snubbed by parental orders and society but it didn’t stop them to continue with it and perform on stage with self-belief. Siddharth shared his pride by saying that the best thing about stand-up comedy is that you can make money by laughing at yourself.
There was a quick Q & A session of artists with students anchored by Subhash Ghai himself, which enlightened them about building their inner confidence and overcoming their fears.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI thanked the guests and said, "Charlie Chaplin stands corrected with his statement that 'In the end everything is a gag.' She also announced the themes for next Thursday which are ‘Cinema’ and a ‘classical dance performance’ by legendary actress and dancer Hema Malini’s team, where some of WWI students will also perform and participate.
Whistling Woods School of Fashion and Design students get immense opportunity to work on LIVE projects. Such exposure helps them understand industrial requirements, makes them confident and keeps them ahead of their competition as budding professionals.
This video documents the process of creating 3 garments for India's first ever Condom Fashion Show, organized by Skore Condoms. The star attraction of the show, model & actor Mugdha Godse, wore our students' creation!
Shelley Page Presents Award-winning Animation Shorts to Students at WWI School of Animation
Shelley Page, Head of International Outreach, DreamWorks, at London, who is on the International Advisory Board of Whistling Woods International (WWI), took some time off from her jury duties for the BAF Awards at the ongoing FICCI-Frames 2010, to visit WWI, where she has been interacting regularly with the Animation students as Guest Faculty. This time, she show-cased some top notch, award-winning animated shorts. For the students, this was an unexpected wind-fall: they had the opportunity of viewing these films, along with the analytical incisive comments from Shelley, who is on the advisory board or graduation jury of several leading 3D Animation schools around the world.
At the outset, Shelley introduced herself to the Freshmen students, and also expressed her appreciation over the awards won by BeJinxed! (made by WWI Animation students-Class of July 2009).
While acknowledging the remarkable technological achievements in Animation in India, Shelleystated: "For the industry to flourish, the Design side has to step up." Referring to the package of films that she had brought, she told the students that she wanted them "to closely study the Designelements in all of them. Another important point that she referred to, especially with reference to comedy, was that of Timing. "It is not enough to be funny; resist the temptation to put in all the gags. You need that extra element for it to work. Learn from watching these films. Ask yourself, what are youadding in your work?"
Shelley began the presentation with one of her personal favourites, the stop motion film Heartstrings(2009, 2min 25 sec) directed by Rhiannon Evans, at the University of Wales, in Newport. Heartstringsexplores the concept of falling in love through the metaphor of being tied together by a length of string. Shelley also pointed out that Heartstrings has won several major awards, scoring over other films with elaborate sets, and complicated multiple characters.
The next film that was screened was Mobile, (2009, 4 min), the graduation project film by Verena Felsat Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Shelley recalled that on a previous visit to WWI, she had screened and discussed The Moment, a stunning 3D film on a car-wreck, made by studentsVerena Fels and Csaba Letay in 2008. In the post-screening discussion on Mobile, a charming work of animation, Shelley noted how the team had worked on the physical attributes of the mobile in the making of the film.
In complete contrast was the macabre yet funny Swiss film, The Land of the Heads (2009, 6 min), made in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC), by Cedric Louis and Claude Barras. In a new take on horror film classics, The Land of the Heads, set in a bizarre landscape and using stop-action puppetry, tells the story of a reluctant vampire who is forced to decapitate children in order to find the perfect head for his vain wife. Shelley made a reference to the filmmakers' collaboration with the NFBC, which has a system in place that allows such avant-garde fare to be made and allows forward-thinking animators to push the boundaries of what is commercially acceptable.
Shelley then presented the eagerly awaited Logorama (2009, 16 min), which won the Academy Award this year for 'Best Animation Short'. Brilliantly conceived, the film made by French directorsFrancois Alaux, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Houplain) is set in a Los Angeles-like city and centres on two 'Michelin Man' characters as cops, fighting an evil, gun-wielding 'Ronald McDonald' clown against a landscape of familiar corporate logos and mascots.
Shelley saved the best for last... And this was the evocative Lost and Found (2009, 24 min)about the heartwarming friendship between a child and a penguin, made by Philip Hunt and Studio AKA, U K, "on a very, very small budget", according to Shelley. Lost and Found which has already won over 24 international awards, was broadcast on Christmas Eve in 2009 to over 8 million viewers in the U K. And it is in the finest tradition of children's animation, that is, it's not just for children. Based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, it tells the story of a little boy who discovers a penguin on his doorstep and resolves to row him back to Antarctica against all odds, including a giant squid, and a storm, vividly depicted.
For the students at WWI School of Animation, this was yet an enthralling and informative session withShelley Page, who will be back here, within the next few months.