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5th Veda session with Ehsaan Noorani was held on August 16, 2018.
“At WWI, we have always recognised young talent and motivated students to add merit to their growing careers”, said Meghna Ghai Puri (President, WWI) on announcing the ‘Whistling Woods Screenwriting Scholarship’
Being a pioneer of world-class education in India, Whistling Woods International has always believed in contributing towards CSR initiatives and upliftment of the society. In the past WWI has proudly associated with several NGOs and offered scholarships instituted in the name of legends namely Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, among others for contributing to the growth of hardworking and talented aspirants.
On an unremitting mission for the betterment of the society, WWI announced yet another scholarship in an event hosted by Screenwriters Association in Bandra. Named as ‘Whistling Woods Screenwriting Scholarship’ this initiative holds four scholarships for capable students with a 90% waiver for the degree and diploma courses in screenwriting.
On the occasion, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International said, “At WWI, we have always recognised young talents and motivated students to add merit to their growing careers. From the very beginning, as a collaborative effort we help our students learn, create and be the change they aspire to make for themselves and for the society. We are honoured to announce the ‘Whistling Woods Screenwriting Scholarship’ and hope this initiative will encourage students in the field of screenwriting to strive for excellence.”
"Never compromise on what you believe in", shared the megastar Aamir Khan at the 5th Veda session, hosted by WWI
Since inception, the cultural hub of Whistling Woods International (WWI), 5th Veda has been applauded for the insights and knowledge it provides to the students. These sessions manifest and help in overall development in the domain of filmmaking, communication, and creative art forms. Continuing this glorious tradition to impart education in a truly inspirational manner, WWI celebrated the first session of its 8th season of the 5th Veda in the presence of the superstar and the perfectionist - Aamir Khan.
Aamir graced the event by contributing to the tree plantation campaign initiated by Subhash Ghai. The session started with a wonderful composition by the talented students of WWI School of Music. They performed a melodious musical in the honour of Aamir Khan. What followed was a candid session, as Subhash Ghai invited Aamir to share his journey about his career and growth as an artist. On appreciating the actor for his contribution to Hindi cinema, Subhash Ghai said, “Aamir is one of my favourite actors. He has a passion for cinema and compassion for human beings.”
Talking about the importance of education, the superstar mentioned how his curious mind and voracious reading habits since childhood helped him majorly in acquiring knowledge. As a medium of self-education, the actor enlightened the students about the importance of travelling independently. On a similar note, Aamir shared his philosophy of being disciplined, by adding, “Discipline comes naturally when something interests me.” Later he also highlighted the significance of detailing, characterisation and how observation is the key to getting the craft right.
The known perfectionist shared with the students three paramount factors to attaining success, which was - working with people of like-minded sensibilities, staying true to commitments and not compromising with self-beliefs. Talking about the learnings from his initial decade in the movie business, Aamir said, “Never compromise on what you believe in". He further discussed at length about how not bending his values for favourable and practical solutions worked in his favour.
The session then opened to a Q&A round where Aamir Khan addressed the queries of the students. During the Q&A session, the actor emphasized on the importance of teamwork and leadership. He said, “Allow a person to take responsibility because responsibility lets a person bloom.”
As a departing word of advice to the new-entrants, Aamir said, “Sail through the rough rides, there are no shortcuts. The more you work, the more you learn.”
The session marked its end with a thunderous applause as the legendary actor was presented with a portrait by a talented sand-artist and a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai and Meghna Ghai Puri
The School of Media & Communication hosts an annual media seminar series across multiple Indian cities where experts meet aspirants to talk about the dynamic nature of the industry. This year we are going International with these series by hosting Inspiration Nepal. In association with Kantipur Film Academy, we are organising Film & Media Knowledge Seminars & Workshops on June 3, 2018.
Date: June 3, 2018
Time: 10am onwards
Venue: Hotel Annapurna, Kathmandu, Nepal
Guests: Subhash Ghai, Anjum Rajabali, Dinesh D.C., Nisha Chanda, Rabiya Nazki, Rajesh Hamal
WWI JIO VR Lab Knowledge Series was organised on May 19, 2018.
~ A specially curated art exhibition by photojournalist, Pradeep Chandra and film historian, S M M Ausaja of exceptional and rarest moments of Amitabh Bachchan through never-seen-before portraits to be displayed at the institute for a period of over two weeks ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts Institute has always upheld initiatives related to art and culture close to its heart. To reinforce this endeavour, WWI has joined hands with celebrated photojournalist Pradeep Chandra and eminent film historian S M M Ausaja to commemorate the superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s 75th birthday.
Together, they have curated a unique show titled ‘Frames 75’, which will exhibit rare and never-seen-before photographs, paintings, sketches, posters, block print art, vinyl LP covers, lobby cards and hand-bills in 75 frames to applaud the superstar’s journey.
Amitabh Bachchan made the grand inaugural preview of this unique exhibition at St Regis, Mumbai today. The event witnessed stalwarts from the film fraternity, media and art world (Please mention the noteworthy name to add weight). The exhibition scheduled between May 10-25th will open doors to film lovers, art enthusiasts, Amitabh Bachchan fans and the film and media students of Whistling Woods International to witness the unique exhibition.
“Whistling Woods International takes pride in supporting and encouraging various art forms and talented artists. We are delighted to associate with FRAMES-75- the exhibition curated by Pradeep Chandra and S M M Ausaja and would like to congratulate the duo. They have showcased a unique and never-seen-before tribute to the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan in his 75th year. I would like to encourage all cinema lovers to witness this grand exhibition which is a treasure of legacy that will be passed on to the future generations, for years to come”, said Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI.
This one-of-a-kind exhibit will again be displayed for the public during WWI’s annual event dedicated to films, music, fashion and creative arts – Celebrate Cinema in September 2018.
"Filmmaking is not just a passion but an obsession to reach to millions", said Rajkumar Hirani at Whistling Woods International this week
Directing movies that have received commercial and critical success, Rajkumar Hirani indeed adds an aura of unconventional storytelling to Hindi cinema. In a heart-to-heart conversation with Subhash Ghai at the 5th Veda session, the gifted director revealed instances from his life experiences and shared his success philosophies with the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI).
Not inclined towards the traditional education system of his time, Rajkumar Hirani shunned the established career routes to embrace the unconventional. He narrated occurrences of his pursuit of passion and determination during his early days at FTII.
Further, in the conversation, Subhash Ghai inquired about the director’s route to success and the qualities that a student must sharpen to achieve their goals. To which, he elaborated with a quote that Geet Sethi, professional billiard player, once told him, “Passion is not enough, one should have an obsession. Passion is something you desire and obsession is the effort you put to fulfill your desire.” To substantiate the statement, he shared that it took around 14 years for him to get his first film, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., on floors.
Having an experience of being an ad film director during the initial days of his career, Hirani stated, “Advertisement is like a 30 sec storytelling. Speed and pacing are what you learn from ad-films, which in turn, is essential for movie-making.”
“I have always observed life and human issues from a different angle, more from a humorous perspective", he stated. He highlighted how real life instances imparted the ideas and concepts that helped him direct movies like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, PK, 3 Idiots, which were character-driven. He mentioned that he carefully made a note of the experiences that he thought could be entertaining and educative for the audience. He also enlightened the students about the importance of teamwork, by adding, “Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. One can never make a film alone.”
He further shared his three fundamental principles for making a successful movie - creating a unique story, making a film that you like and not for the market and lastly, incorporating real-life triggers and experiences.
The acclaimed director emphasized on a healthy director-producer relationship, the necessity of every director to the adherence and consideration of budget, which reflects on the final product on screen.
Speaking about his experience, he added, “I am very humbled to be a part of the 5th Veda session at WWI. It was a pleasure interacting with the talented students and I wish them all the luck in their future endeavors. Always remember, be dedicated to your work and success will follow.”
The highlight of the evening was when students of the Actors' Studio performed impromptu on a situational improvisation for him to direct and comment. Rajkumar Hirani appreciated each student actor with certain tips to enhance their talent.
The whole auditorium of Whistling Woods International was resonating with sheer enthusiasm and cheer when the song, 'All Is Well' from his film was sung, followed by students dancing on the stage. It was one of the most friendly, heart-to-heart interactive session moderated by Subhash Ghai for almost 3 hours, which came to an end with thunderous round of applause as Rajkumar Hirani was bestowed with a token of appreciation by Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI.
"Learn to listen to others carefully to succeed, else you will end up amongst the noisemakers", said stylish choreographer Ganesh Acharya to the students at Whistling Woods International at the dance workshop
"I have never considered myself to be a 'Guru'. I am still a student and I always will be”, revealed the dance maestro, Ganesh Acharya at the cultural hub, 5th Veda, of Whistling Woods International (WWI). The session started with a spirited welcome performance put together by the students of WWI for the eminent dancer.
In conversation with Subhash Ghai and the students, Ganesh Acharya spoke about his journey from being a background dancer to one of the most appreciated choreographers in the Indian film industry. When asked about what led him to enter the field of dancing, Ganesh Acharya said, "My father passed away when I was 10 years old. It was his dream to become a choreographer and I took a step forward on this path to fulfil his dream."
While narrating memorable times about his journey in the industry, Ganesh shared insights about meeting the superstar, Govinda. He further added how his distinctive choreography impressed the megastar, who referred him to David Dhawan, which in turn made him being noticed in the film industry.
Talking further about his style of dancing, Ganesh cited, "I do not know what dance means. I just follow my feelings and expressions come naturally to me." To this Subhash Ghai added and educates the students, "Adopt the vision of the director and just react to it. Dance is nothing but a form of reaction."
The air was thick with excitement when Ganesh choreographed an impromptu dance number for the faculty and the students of WWI. Ganesh went on to share a few anecdotes about the makings of some of the most loved songs that he has choreographed. This candid conversation facilitated the students to inculcate knowledge about various dance styles that he has incorporated in his songs, which were way ahead of their times.
Speaking about his experience while interacting with the students, Ganesh mentioned, "I'm very happy to be present here at Whistling Woods International. The love and respect shown towards me is overwhelming and I would love to visit again."
As parting advice to the students, Ganesh said, "It is very important to be a great listener in order to succeed in life."
The session witnessed its end with Meghna Ghai-Puri, President, WWI presenting a token of appreciation to him amongst thunderous applauds from the students.
“I was always excited to experiment with new styles of singing since the age of 10”, revealed Asha Bhosle, sharing the secrets of the success of her 75-year long career
~ The legendary singer was at the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International ~
The legend, Asha Bhosle, at 85, with a legacy of over 12000 songs appeared as young and as energetic as the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) at the 5th Veda cultural workshop. The session was designed and moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, himself to educate the students of School of Music, Actors’ Studio and School of Filmmaking.
She regaled the excited students with her wits, secrets and anecdotes from her professional relationship with various music composers on every question raised by Subhash Ghai. The riveting non-stop session went on for almost three hours in the auditorium of Whistling Woods International.
“This was one of the most enlightening, entertaining and exciting workshop we ever had. She is a sheer genius with an amazing attitude of being honest”, remarked the students after the session, where she revealed various unknown stories behind her evergreen songs, which were replayed by the students in her presence. Asha Bhosle narrated some of the incidents that took place while recording and conceptualizing the songs like Eena Meena Deeka, Chura Liya Hai, Aaiye Meherbaan, Kahin Aag Lage and so on. She went on elaborating how the Indian music industry has evolved over the years by seamlessly decoding each decade with a song and explaining the trends of each era from 1950 to 2018.
The session started with the tree plantation ceremony at the institute by Asha Bhosle. After taking a campus tour for the first time of the whole institute, she said, “I never expected the gigantic scale of this institute in terms of campus, technology updates, experienced faculties and wonderful students.” She visited the School of Music and blessed all the 45 students, spending some time and sharing her knowledge briefly with them.
The event that followed in the auditorium witnessed some splendid performances by the students of WWI School of Music in her honour. She spoke highly of the music students who performed melodious songs in Indian classical, Karnatic, Korean and Punjabi folk genre, which left the audience amazed.
Asha Bhosle encouraged the students by stating, “If you want to reach the top, you have to struggle, practice and explore your art. I always explored new learning opportunities and improved myself.” She further added, “Never blame anyone for your failures and do not be afraid to face them. Be fearless. Learn from your mistakes and improvise and success will follow.”
The versatile singer while sharing her experience of interacting with the students said, “It's a great feeling to be at Whistling Woods and I'm very happy with the love and honour received from everyone at the institute. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent here and I barely realized that I spent almost three hours interacting with the students.”
The students presented Asha Bhosle with a digital painting and a hand-embroidered portrait of the talented artist. She was also bestowed with a token of appreciation by Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, amidst standing ovation by the students.
"Embrace failure sincerely as something better is waiting for you", shared Imtiaz Ali at Whistling Woods International
~ The riveting session witnessed Imtiaz Ali impart invaluable knowledge and highlight various aspects of filmmaking with the students ~
“Embrace failure sincerely as something better is waiting for you”, said the renowned director, writer, and filmmaker Imtiaz Ali at the 5th Veda session – the cultural hub of Whistling Woods International (WWI). Imtiaz narrated his personal life experiences and highlighted the key learnings from his movies.
Discussing about his first movie Socha Na Tha, he mentioned, “Working on this movie was more like attending a film school - as I did not pursue any formal education in filmmaking. I juggled between numerous roles to understand various facets of filmmaking.” He encouraged students to pursue their dreams by suggesting, “Just go for it and see what happens.”
Imtiaz also narrated his experience of working with industry stalwarts. He elaborated that the success of a good film is directly proportional to the rapport that one share with others. Citing instances from his latest film Jab Harry Met Sejal, he explained to the students the nuances of casting and how one should cherry-pick actors to fit a particular role in order to do justice to the script.
The 5th Veda session taught students that interest in poetry holds great significance for a director. Imtiaz added, “Poetry gives me relief and sustenance while writing lyrics gives me enjoyment.” He emphasized that every director should develop a taste for poetry. This knowledge betters the execution of dialogue, composition and performance, and one is able to evolve into a successful director.
The interactive session witnessed Imtiaz Ali directing a fun and impromptu act by four students from the Actors’ Studio, which was the highlight of the evening. He appreciated and praised the performance they put up for him and even guided them on how to better their talent. While narrating his experience at WWI, Imtiaz shared, “Coming to WWI is always special. The energy shown by the students at WWI is surprising. They are positive, spirited and free-flowing and I am very impressed with the spontaneous performance shown by students.”
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI said, “I am very thankful to Imtiaz for gracing today's session and imparting priceless knowledge to our students. It takes numerous years to accrue wisdom and Imtiaz summarized and shared pivotal knowledge from his vast experience gathered over a period of 10 years in little over an hour.”
The session ended with Imtiaz Ali being bestowed with a token of appreciation by Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI.
“Tabla connects to every human emotion”, expressed Pandita Anuradha Pal at Whistling Woods International
The 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI) presented a different chapter this week, as the students got a glimpse of the enchanting and mesmerizing world of tabla. The students got an opportunity to witness the performance of the gifted Tabla maestro, multi-percussionist and music composer, Pandita Anuradha Pal, who shared invaluable knowledge about the instrument and how it imparts a unique rhythm and breathes life in the surreal world of music.
The enthralling session started with the students of WWI School of Music showcasing a splendid performance. The session followed with Subhash Ghai highlighting the importance of tabla and how it has bestowed a special recognition to Indian classical music in the world.
The auditorium of Whistling Woods International reverberated with sounds of enthusiasm, when the first female table player in the world, shared her devoted love for the instrument from the tender age of seven and her musical journey ever since. "The beauty of tabla is in its tonality and totality, as it imparts a distinct melody with every beat", added the renowned musician. Pandita Anuradha also mentioned at the 5th Veda session, "The power of the sound of percussions is that they speak the language and express the emotions of the human mind." She elaborated on the tabla syllables and sportingly executed the impromptu challenge thrown by Subhash Ghai with élan to the audience's surprise!
Upholding the tradition of disseminating practical along with theoretical knowledge, Whistling Woods International presented a remarkable opportunity for the students. The session witnessed Pandita Anuradha Pal playing tabla to the melodious tunes of the students to express the various types of emotions that can be conveyed through the instrument. She went on to elaborate the rhythmic difference between pakhawaj and other styles by performing varied numbers.
The fun-filled evening of the 5th Veda session ended with Subhash Ghai and Dr. Sangeeta Shankar, HOD, School of Music felicitating the artist with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause, marking the end of the session.
“Yashwant Singh is one of the finest actors on stage”, said Subhash Ghai after witnessing a new stage play ‘Less Than Zero’ at Whistling Woods Auditorium
~ The latest rocking stage play directed by filmmaker, Kaizad Gustad got standing ovation by 300 students of Filmmaking and Actors’ Studio at Whistling Woods International yesterday ~
Is there always a silver lining at the end of the tunnel? Twice the half of two and a half is still two and a half, or is it? “LESS THAN ZERO in its simplest form is not less than any big stage play performed anywhere in India”, said Ravi Gupta, Dean, Whistling Woods International (WWI). It’s entertaining yet thought-provoking take on religion, government, corruption, politics, and love helped the audience see daily struggles with a different perspective.
Written and directed by filmmaker Kaizad Gustad ‘LESS THAN ZERO’ was staged at the 5th Veda auditorium for students of Whistling Woods International at the Filmcity campus. Whistling Woods International is a world-class institution with eight schools under its creative umbrella, namely, School of Filmmaking, Animation, Actors’ Studio, School of Media & Communication, Fashion, Visual Communication Design, Music & Virtual Academy. 5th Veda is a cultural Hub initiated by Subhash Ghai to develop the creative skills of the students by conducting weekly interactions with masters and legends through workshops about various art and creative crafts.
Post the play was staged and the lead cast including Yashwant Singh, Salone Mehta and Nandita Dubey performed brilliantly, an interactive session between the students of Whistling Woods International and the entire team of Less Than Zero followed, where the director and actors shared their experience of making the play.
While interacting with the students, Kaizad Gustad, shared his experience of directing a play for the first time. He said, “Theatre is the most liberating and creative form of art. It is an actor's medium and helps them come alive on the stage. A play can be staged anywhere and the best part about it is that there is an immediate feedback received from the viewers.”
Actor Yashwant Singh who got a standing ovation post his 75-minutes long performance without a break said, “I felt liberated as an actor during the entire process of this play. It is the way I could relate to the script, is what still keeps me involved in playing my character Zero.” While answering one of the questions from the intrigued WWI students, he emphasized on how it is an actor's take on things and real-life experiences that makes an actor sharpen their acting abilities. He further shared, “You have to be in love with the script in order to do justice to the character.”
Actor Nandita Dubey who played the part of Ziza shared, “In order to understand the subtext of any play, you have to keep reading the script.” Her advice to the students, “You should be able to see your flaws and create your own reality. Be brave and let it all go.”
Salone Mehta played the part of Zoe and highlighted, “The tiny details in the script were said in a big and relatable way, which made me fall in love with the script. She further added, “An actor should live their lives to the fullest.”
The students of WWI were mesmerized by the ‘organic and experimental’ route that was adopted to present the play. Overwhelmed with the performance Subhash Ghai expressed, “This play kept me engrossed for the entire time and I was completely awestruck by the performances put together by the team.”
Concluding the session, Kaizad Gustad and his team of ‘Less Than Zero’ were bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai amidst a standing ovation by the students of Whistling Woods International.
“Fear Curbs Your Inner Talent” said Composer-Singer Ankit Tiwari at the 5th Veda Cultural Workshop at Whistling Woods International
Whistling Woods International (WWI) witnessed the start of the seventh season of its cultural hub, 5th Veda. This session specially curated by Subhash Ghai to celebrate music and remain true to Indian roots and culture started with a melodious concoction of Indian music and Italian opera.
Speaking about the occasion, Subhash Ghai stated, “5th Veda is a session specially designed to rejoice and attain the inner voice through music, art and culture. Throughout the seventh season of 5th Veda we aim to invite renowned industry stalwarts to educate the students and share invaluable life lessons. This inaugural session was significantly different as two distinct music genres were performed and enabled the students to witness breath-taking experience.”
The session stated with the splendid performance of Gioconda Vessichilli who performed an enthralling composition. The performance narrated an enticing story about a girl being abandoned by her lover in Paris and how she gains strength to move ahead in life and live it to the fullest. The talented opera singer surprised everyone with her tribute to Hindi music by performing hit Hindi movies songs like 'Hum Tere Bin Abb Reh Nahi Sakte' and 'Itni Si Baat Hain'.
An interactive session between Subhash Ghai and Ankit Tiwari followed, wherein the singer shared his success story and how he made it big in the tinsel town. He narrated stories from his childhood days, how he started performing since his adolescence and how his mother has been a great influence in him becoming a music sensation. He sportingly composed and sung a song as suggested by Subhash Ghai, which left the audience in awe.
The air was thick with excitement when Ankit performed some of his all-time hits like 'Galliyan', 'Tu Hain Ki Nahi' and 'Dil Cheeze Tujhe Dedi'. The students of the WWI School of Music rejoiced this moment as they got an opportunity to perform along with the singing star himself. The session concluded with a promise by the singer and music director about him coming back to WWI campus to compose the same track with Subhash Ghai and the students.
Highlighting the importance of being educated at an institute like WWI, Ankit Tiwari said, “The students studying at Whistling Woods International are very fortunate to be a part of the prestigious institute." He appraised the technological advancements available at the institute and thanked Subhash Ghai for hosting him and for providing the much-needed platform to the students.
Ankit Tiwari and Gioconda Vessichilli were bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai. The spellbinding session ended with everyone grooving to popular Hindi movie dance numbers.
Oye Henry! A play by students of Actors’ Studio to be showcased on January 23, 2018.
Students of the Producing department created a Production Design set exhibition ‘Missing’ on November 3, 2017.
“Jazz is like the little bee that goes from flower to flower”
The 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI) turned out to be different this week as the students got a glimpse of the world of jazz music. The session started with the screening of the spiritual AV revealing to the students, ‘The Book of Healthy Life’.
Following the AV was a mesmerizing performance by Joshita Dodani, a student of WWI, who as a tribute to the poignant art, got the souls of everyone tapping to the tunes of her music. The session continued with an interesting AV about the story of jazz music, how it evolved over the years, the instruments used and the qualities it beholds, highlighting the contribution of well-known jazz musicians all over the world, shedding light on the similarities between Indian classical music and jazz music. It also showcased the contribution of Indo-jazz to the Indian cinema.
The auditorium of WWI reverberated with sounds of enthusiasm, when veteran jazz musician and faculty, Dee Wood along with his band members - Karim Ellaboudi, Adrian D’souza and Jan Graveson walked on to the stage to address the zealous audience. Students were enthralled by the mesmerising performance of the band. While playing songs like ‘Cry Me A River’, Dee Wood highlighted how a filmmaker can visualise just by listening to the lyrics of a song. “The songs have a plot behind them. Each song is a plot, a little story in itself”, said actress and singer Jan Graveson supporting Dee Wood’s thought. Several students left their inhibitions and joined up the band on stage and under the guidance of Jan performed the classical number, ‘Summertime’, leaving the audience awestruck, as they sang the song soulfully.
The fun-filled evening of the 5th Veda session ended with Subhash Ghai felicitating the band with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause marking the end of the 6th season of the cultural hub at WWI.
"Stars trained in classical dance, like vyjayanthimala, waheeda rehman, hema malini aishwarya rai, brought dignity to acting on screen for the longest time”, said guru Shri Deepak Mazumdar at Whistling Woods’ cultural workshop
“Most dance forms originated in India, and through the centuries till date, Indian dance forms have been a wonderful medium to express human emotions such as joy and sorrow in various formats”, expressed Deepak Mazumdar, classical Indian dancer, choreographer, teacher and guru at the 5th Veda cultural hub of Whistling Woods International (WWI) to the students of cinema and creative arts. Deepak, who has innumerable celebrity disciples such as Hema Malini, Nita Mukesh Ambani to name a few, enthralled, enlightened and captivated the students through his in-depth session.
When asked about his opinion on contemporary dance forms by young dancers like Terence Lewis and Remo D'Souza, Deepak said, “Indian Classical dance, which hails from the original Natya Shastra also known as 5th Veda, has some rules and follow a typical format. Compared to the contemporary form of dancing, which allows the performers to set their own rules, which he respects, classical dance form may seem a little rigid like the other four Vedas itself. But the inherent fluidity of Indian Classical Dance overshadows everything. The principles of classical dance forms never change and stay intact forever.”
Sharing the history of 5th Veda written by sage Bharata Muni, Guru Deepak Mazumdar asserted on the spiritual importance of Indian Classical dance forms and how it allows the performer to connect to the divine himself. He even explained about each hasta mudra and bhava i.e. hand movements and facial expressions. While he demonstrated the mudras and bhava for the students in the auditorium, they instantly started to learn, while understanding the meaning of the same.
“Indian Classical dance forms help one to connect to the divine grace, internally and externally, to help one excel in any kind of performances as an actor, director or artist of any kind”, Deepak further added. The students were surprised to know that there are 33 transitory emotions in the expression of any play and if someone follows Natya Shashtra properly, he/she will be able to express these. Guruji also demonstrated nine basic emotions through his mesmerizing performance on stage.
While reminiscing, Subhash Ghai mentioned about his encounter with Pt. Birju Maharaj and said that it is Panditji’s influence that has made him respect and realise the importance of Indian Classical dance and he has always tried to portray that through his films.
Deepak Mazumdar appreciated WWI for its unique initiative through 5th Veda, which not only connects the students with various creative art forms from its original initiation to the evolution till date. He demonstrated his classic 15 minutes dance piece depicting a scene of 'Sita Haran' showing fast changing facial expressions and mudras, which thrilled, elevated, as well as enlightened the students to a different level and strengthened their respect for Indian Classical dance even more.
Rajen Kothari Memorial Lecture by Scholar Raman Shiva Kumar was conducted on October 10, 2017. The lecture focused on Frame, Light, and Movement in art.
Subhash Ghai highly applauded the mono act play ‘Bhanvar’, on the psychology of a watchman, acted & written by Shivraj and Virajas staged at the 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods campus this week
What does experimental theatre mean? Can less preparedness be packaged as experimental theatre and win accolades and hearts of millions? The answer is in the affirmative! ‘Clarity in the thought process owing to sound education’ highlighted Whistling Woods International (WWI) alumnus, Virajas Kulkarni, as the underlining factor for directing and scriptwriting. His associate Shivraj Waichal, co-author, director and actor of the unique yet relatable play ‘Bhanvar’ agreed on the same.
Students of the Actors’ Studio and Drama Society of WWI witnessed an absorbing session of drama making - from conceptualisation to execution. The talented duo – Virajas and Shivraj thoroughly enjoyed staging the act and interacting with the students, to give them a preview into the world of theatre.
'Bhanvar' is the story of a lonely night watchman's never-ending last shift. As Bhanvar Singh stands guard outside an empty factory for a shift that only gets longer, his principle of never sleeping on the job starts to affect his mental well-being. As the play progresses, the line between real and hallucinations start to fade, leaving a character study of a simple man from a remote village trying and failing at dreaming big.
While interacting with the students, the duo shared their experience of making the play – how they conceptualised the play within a week’s time for the Solo Theatre Festival at Pune. The idea behind the story was to showcase one of the poignant human characteristic - loneliness, in a realistic way. They made a conscious effort to incorporate the nuances of multiple caste-dominated social layers and their typical characteristics too. While Shivraj stressed on honing his acting skills by undergoing various acting workshops and real-time research on the characters, Virajas attributed his skills to the Scriptwriting course that he underwent at WWI.
The students of WWI were deeply motivated by the ‘experimental’ route to present the play that the team has adopted. While commenting on the usage of jibberish language, he cited how it added a fun element to the otherwise serious play. Anecdotes by Virajas and Shivraj, such as last-minute changes in the script, learning through trial and error helped the students understand that everyone must create their own USP to make a mark in the domain. Virajas also added that “Our brain is like a factory. We all should revisit our grievances time to time and try to incorporate and address those emotions through our work. We have tried to do that through this play and I am extremely grateful to WWI for providing us the opportunity to showcase our work at the coveted platform of 5th Veda.”
Overwhelmed with the performance of the talented duo, Subhash Ghai expressed his feeling with only one word, that is “Excellent!” He motivated the students by adding, “One should always think out of the box and have a clear direction in place.”
Concluding the session, Meghna Ghai Puri, President WWI said, “You can convey the deepest human emotions through simple art forms like drama, theatre or play. Virajas and Shivraj have portrayed that with utmost élan. With no budget, they created something so substantial, it is very credible of them. This play is not only about the central character Bhanvar Singh, but everyone can connect to it as we all must deal with issues in our lives at some point in time. WWI is really proud to have an alumnus like Virajas and it’s a joyous occasion for us to host him for the 5th Veda session.”
Virajas and his team were bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai who requested them to visit the campus again and share their real-time experiences with the students.
~ Interactive and hand-picked workshops, informative panel discussions gave a preview into the world of media, arts and entertainment at Celebrate Cinema! ~
Fun, frolic, excitement and festivities prevailed over two days - September 22nd and 23rd, 2017 as one of the most illustrious event of the media and entertainment industry - Celebrate Cinema 2017 concluded at Whistling Woods International (WWI).
The 6th edition of Celebrate Cinema enthralled numerous attendees with insights into the film, music, art, design, fashion industry and much more. The event comprised of over 75 workshops, movie screenings, interesting panel discussions by prominent industry stalwarts. The platform offered a qualitative approach to various activities that go behind the making of the reel.
Speaking at the event, Subhash Ghai said, "Celebrate Cinema offers a platform for learning the art and craft of moviemaking and much more! One should come and experience the event, not only to engage in interactive sessions, learn and make mistakes at workshops but to be themselves and to manifest the idea that comes from within."
Day one kick-started with the screening of the movie 'Parched' by Leena Yadav followed by some interactive workshops and four insightful panel discussions. The first panel discussion saw prominent YouTubers of the country, who shared their valuable experience about the new-age media and how this 'uncensored' platform can be used to create 'democratic' content. Panelists included Anirudh Pandita (Filter Copy), Ruchir Joshi (Culture Machine), Sofia Ashraf (Blush & Culture Machine), Prajakta Kohli (YouTube celebrity) and Ankur Garg (Luv Films), who all stressed on the usage of 'democratic channel' to reach their target audience.
The second panel discussion focused on the music industry in India - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Industry experts - lyricist Irshad Kamil, musician and composer Lesle Lewis, Harmeet Singh of Meet Brothers, noted violinist and HOD, School of Music Dr. Sangeeta Shankar, renowned musician Sabapathi Rajan Pillai and upcoming singer Bharti Gupta, all emphasized on music holding a special emotion for the Indian audience. They further discussed, the advancement in technology which has changed the music scenario and stressed on how the importance of getting the foundation correct helps a student gain and maintain a foothold in the industry.
The writers' panel discussion, however, focused on how a director-writer transfers the life of a legend on to the celluloid. Can the thematic and action plot be merged to create a biopic? All these questions and numerous more were answered by filmmaker and writer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, director Ketan Mehta and the scriptwriter Saiwyn Quadras. Students were enlightened to discover that a 5000-hour recording of the journey of legendary athlete, Milkha Singh, paved the way for 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. Also how the indomitable human spirit of Dashrath Maanjhi was portrayed as the narrative in 'Maanjhi' and the fighting essence of a tribal girl from Manipur drew the backbone for 'Mary Kom'.
The most interesting panel discussion of the day was about Virtual Reality. Though this comparatively new way of filmmaking has a long journey to undertake, however, the new generation of filmmakers favours the realty emulation through the virtual medium. The panel comprising of new age filmmakers - Zain Memon (Memesys Culture Lab), Karan Bhutani (Recce The World, The Rumour Projects), Sairam Sagiraju (Meraki VR), Clyde DeSouza (Real Vision FZ LLC), Eddie Avil (Sounds Good Productions), Anand Gurnani (VAMRR) and Chaitanya Chinlikar (VP, CTO - WWI), shared the nitty-gritty of the 360 degree methodology of filmmaking. They also mentioned its characteristics and how this narrative differs from the traditional way of telling a story.
Upholding this year's theme - mental health and well-being of the youth, day two started off with the screening of the movie 'Dear Zindagi'. A panel discussion on - Is Depression the New Normal? observed Dear Zindagi's team - director Gauri Shinde, lyricist Kausar Munir and Director of Photography Laxman Utekar and Associate Writer Krishna Hariharan shared their views on the subject. The panel added that mental difficulty, which was often misinterpreted in Hindi cinema earlier, is now getting portrayed in a much-empathetic way. There are different kinds of depression and the filmmakers need to treat the topic with sensitivity and care. Thorough research and pre-production work was identified to be crucial to connect with the audience.
The second panel discussion - TV, But Not Really TV highlighted the growing popularity of digital as the new platform for storytelling. The panel, comprising director Nupur Asthana, director and ex-journalist Samar Khan, media professional Gaurav Gandhi and Head of Academics of WWI, Rahul Puri emphasized on the tremendous potential that this comparatively new medium holds. Though at a nascent stage, digital media is providing a wonderful opportunity to narrate those stories which will not otherwise make way to the silver or TV screens. All of them, however, mentioned that the filmmakers opting for this platform should not try to be too edgy with the content.
The final panel discussion of the event was Filmmaking 2022. The illustrious panel comprising noted directors - Amole Gupte, Shashank Khaitan, R S Prasanna, Leena Yadav and screenplay writer Juhi Chaturvedi discussed in detail what to expect from filmmakers on Hindi Cinema in 2022.The session moderated by Rajeev Masand witnessed how the world cinema is undergoing the 'globalisation of Hollywood' and 'nationalisation of Hindi cinema'. They were also of the opinion that the future filmmakers should stress on delivering original content rather than following the trends. Stars are still the demigods when it comes to Indian cinema and directors are still struggling to get their dues. But the future seems positive and with the new influx of talent, 2022 in all likelihood will be the 'director's year'.
Several interactive workshops captivated the participants over two days of Celebrate Cinema 2017. WWI organised light, though deeply engaging workshops on Humour Writing and Presentation conducted by Filter Copy and Shudh Desi Endings. In today's dynamic digital industry, the content consumption over the internet is surging, making humour the most preferred form of entertainment. The Filter Copy team present included, Kartik Krishnan, Dhruv Sehgal, Hitesh Pardeshi, Bharat Misra presided by the founder Anirudh Pandita, all of whom had valuable inputs to share. Shudh Desi Endings was presented by team members Anand Doshi and Bonaventure D'Souza. Their success story is based on the observation that viewers want relatable content inspired by everyday life. The take-away for the audience was how to balance the content in such a way as to not be offensive to the viewers or a community.
Fashion workshops - grooming, fashion photography, styling, jewellery design, makeup was well were appreciated by the attendees. While the film, communications and music workshops like screenwriting, voice over, acting, dance, mobile filmmaking, TV broadcasting, editing justification, copywriting, guitar, flute, garage band, classical music saw aspirants attending the same. Technical workshops like VRX, lensing, three-point lighting and colour correction was attended by enthusiasts seeking insights. Additional workshops included RJ, Song picturisation, martial arts, kids workshops on creative writing and much more.
Summarising the occasion, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, said, "We host Celebrate Cinema every year with an intent to give the industry aspirants a glimpse into the dynamic world of media, arts, fashion, design and entertainment. Students from different schools and colleges visited our campus and have made it even more vibrant and alive! We hope that all present, enjoyed the first-hand exposure from the industry experts, panel discussions and the wonderful installations duly curated and presented over the last two days. I want to convey my gratitude to one and all who made this event a success!"
All those present at the Whistling Woods International campus devoured the two-day extravaganza to the fullest as Celebrate Cinema2017 truly offered a spectacular experience!
Yesterday was an evening filled with glitter and fanfare of celebrating cinema with 1000 students and cinema enthusiasts at Whistling Woods International's (WWI) campus in Mumbai. Depicting the history of cinema through paintings, photo galleries, murals along with music, movies, workshops and masterclasses by experts and celebrities, the 6th edition of Celebrate Cinema took off on a high note.
The inaugural event was held with team of the film, MOM and WWI President, Meghna Ghai Puri awarded scholarships in the name of Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar to the students of merits. She also announced a new scholarship in the name of Subhash Ghai for underprivileged children. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide free of cost education to underprivileged aspirants of cinema.
Subhash Ghai said, "I feel blessed to provide free education to underprivileged children with talent at Whistling Woods International. I am sure they will rise and shine in the industry with excellent merits."
Meghna Ghai Puri also announced WWI's association with 'Ekam Satt', an organisation spreading spiritual power amongst younger generation under the leadership of famous singer, Ameya Dabli and his team, through their spiritual musical shows all over India. Subhash Ghai and his team would be an integral part of these shows. Ameya Dabli rendered the magical prayer, 'Guru Vandana' at the inaugural ceremony.
It was followed by a masterclass with the talented team of the film, MOM with question answer session between the students and producer, Boney Kapoor, director, Ravi Udyawar and writer, Girish Kohli.
The excitement of Celebrate Cinema continues till 23rd Sept at WWI campus with more than 75 workshops on various art and crafts of cinema with several highlights.
Team MOM Inaugurates the 6th Edition of Celebrate Cinema at Whistling Woods International Amidst Great Excitement And Fanfare
~ Producer Boney Kapoor, Director Ravi Udyawar, and Writer Girish Kohli narrated the story behind the making of Mom in the opening masterclass, scholarships were awarded to students of merit ~
The coveted platform offering an opportunity to rub shoulders and interact with the best of the industry experts – Celebrate Cinema 2017 is here! This year’s edition embarked in the presence of veteran producer Boney Kapoor, accompanied by the gifted team of Mom comprising director Ravi Udyawar and writer Girish Kohli. They graced the occasion that started by the inaugural lamp lighting ceremony followed by a captivating ‘Guru Vandana’ by Ameya Dabli.
Through the platform of Celebrate Cinema, Whistling Woods International (WWI) provides the aspiring students with an opportunity to learning the artistic, technical and commercial aspects of the media and entertainment industry. The institute, which takes social causes seriously, continues to educate underprivileged but talented kids in association with Salaam Baalak Trust. The opening ceremony also witnessed two of these students being awarded Subhash Ghai scholarships. In addition, Lata Mangeshkar and Dilip Kumar scholarships were bestowed upon WWI students of merits as well.
The ceremony interestingly turned to a masterclass when the ‘showman of the millennium’ Subhash Ghai took over the stage and requested the team of Mom to narrate the story behind the making of the film. The knowledge-hungry students were enthralled as they listened to the experience in detail. Emphasis on choosing the right actors for the star cast of the film was markedly stressed upon!
Speaking at the occasion, acclaimed producer, Boney Kapoor said, “The alumni of Whistling Woods International are doing very well in the industry. Needless to say, that the opportunity that this institute is providing in ensuring quality education is noteworthy.”
Founder and Chairman, WWI, Subhash Ghai shared, “A personal touch is extremely important when it comes to filmmaking. Celebrate Cinema is offering the students to inculcate knowledge from the best in the industry. The panel discussions, workshops, etc. are very useful for the ones who aim to be acquainted with the tricks of the trade.”
The joyous event gave a sneak peek into the action-packed two days that will follow, making this year a truly memorable one in the history of Celebrate Cinema, evidence to one clear thought – this year's event is going to be different compared to all.
"Shayari Inspires People to Nourish their Human Qualities and Remain Compassionate Forever," said Renowned Shayar Shakeel Azmi at the 5th Veda Session of Whistling Woods International
~ The session celebrated poetry of all genres by Shakeel Azmi and his team and motivated the students with new meaning of life, love, and many other human emotions through sher-o-shayari ~
'Poetry is a spiritual space which broadens the horizon to enlighten one's mind.' This thought was emphasized on by 7 renowned poets at the Mushaira evening of the cultural hub of WWI, 5th Veda. These poets, Shakeel Azmi, Pragya Vikas, Panchhi Jalonvi, Swapnil Tiwari, Shakeel Ahmad Shakeel, Omar Farooq, Afsar Jamal and their enchanting rendition of shers (couplets) made it an evening to remember for an auditorium packed with more than 500 students.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman Whistling Woods International (WWI), emphasized on the importance of poetry in the creative world. He cited that the students who are all set to enter the reel world from the real one, should be well-versed with poetry as this form of art explains human emotions, feelings, and nature in detail. He aptly suggested the relevance of songs in films, which are poetries sung in melodious tunes. "Our films have situational songs as these are necessary to explain the philosophy of the characters." He further added, "to visualise any art form properly, a creative person must dig deep into poetry and understand the actual meaning of the inner soul."
This institute has its own poetic society which is correctly named as 'Kachhi Kalam'. The session started with three aspiring poets from this society reciting verses and receiving accolades for their creation from the experts and fellow students.
The experts present at the session highlighted, that poetry results after a person have experienced melancholy, anguish, dejection and tragedy. While penning a prose, one often goes through a splurge of these emotions. The seven poet panel was as illustrious as their thoughts and poetries and they presented their unique style with elan.
The students cherished the firebrand shayari of Pragya Vikas and appreciated the satirical poetry of Swapnil Tiwari. While they revered the short and crisp presentation of Panchhi Jalonvi, the traditional flavour of Afsar Jamal's recitation made them wonder in awe. Omar Farooq, professionally a businessman and Shakeel Ahmad Shakeel, a powerloom mechanic, captivated the students with their elusive style. Last, but not the least, the anchor of the evening, Shakeel Azmi received a standing ovation post narrating some of his new work.
It is practically impossible to summarise the learning of such an illustrious 'literary' evening, as Shakeel Azmi rightly said, "It is impossible to do anything big if you are not romantic." He elaborated that a person who is romantic at heart will love any form of art. He further emphasized that the students must nurture their learnings from this Institute to attain success in the creative world of film and media.
The poets were bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai. The enchanting evening ended with the unveiling of Shakeel Azmi's first Hindi poetry book, Paron Ko Khol, published by Manjul Publications.
“Life doesn’t give you any guarantee, but we must all take a chance,” said legendary dance master, Terence Lewis at the 5th Veda session of Whistling Woods International
~ The riveting session witnessed Terence Lewis share his invaluable knowledge and shake a leg with the students at the institute ~
“Life doesn’t give you any guarantee, but we must all take a chance,” said legendary dance master, Terence Lewis at the 5th Veda cultural hub to over 500 students in attendance at Whistling Woods International (WWI). He then shared his story of coming from a humble household to becoming one of the most renowned choreographers in the country today.
Giving advice to the students, he said, “Be persistent, be consistent and at the same time be practical. Dream big but take practical steps towards your goals. Then the impossible will soon become possible. The trick is to break down the larger goal into small doable steps and keep at it, every single day.”
Commenting on maintaining focus, Terence shared, “I can’t stress enough on how important it is to maintain one-pointed focus towards your goal.” He added, “In a competitive world today, you cannot keep waiting around for the right opportunity. Make sure that you are completely ready and that why it is so important to train yourselves, 24/7.” He further added, “Fall in love with your craft and make it your affair; nothing else can be important.”
Terence then went on to speak in detail about classical dance and contemporary dance and taught the students how these dance forms differ. The air was thick with excitement when Terence invited students on stage to teach them some of the most popular dance moves. He raised the entertainment quotient of the evening by performing a never-seen-before routine, with his trainers.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI said, “After working for forty years of my life as a director, I wish I could attend workshops like these in my younger days. I can tell you that this is one of the finest dance workshops that I have attended today, as a student. I thank Terence for sharing his knowledge, his techniques and his story with us. It is a pleasure to host such an illustrious dancer and choreographer on this stage.”
Highlighting the importance of being educated at an institute like WWI. Terence said, “Students here are fortunate to have such an institute, there is nothing like this. You need the right space and environment to succeed along with such amazing teachers. This all comes forth from Subhash Ghai’s passion and his sensibilities to give that extra to the students and broaden their horizons.”
Terence Lewis and his team of trainers were bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai. The riveting session ended with everyone grooving to popular Bollywood dance numbers.
Interaction with DOP C.K.Muraleedharan for TISS Semester 5 students on September 2, 2017 from 10.00am to 5.00pm
“Make your learning process entertaining, to excel yourself”, advised singer Sukhwinder Singh to the students at Whistling Woods International
“Only a crazy artist can make his audience go crazy for him”, said renowned singer Sukhwinder Singh to an auditorium packed with more than 500 students at Whistling Woods International's (WWI) 5th Veda cultural hub.
Sukhwinder Singh shared his life journey and secrets of singing to students and said, “Make your learning process exciting and interesting, and you will never want to stop learning.” He also revealed innovative techniques to practice singing. He shared, “Put on your headphones and walk to the beats of the song to get a feel of each beat. Someone who truly listens to music and understands every beat, will invariably be able to sing it.”
The audience gave him standing ovation for every song he sang on stage. He sang impromptu versions of his top chart songs like Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se and Ramta Jogi from Taal followed by many other popular numbers. The session was moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman WWI. Sukhwinder also shared, “Your belief is what truly matters; it will give you the power to achieve anything you want.”
During the interaction, Subhash Ghai shared, “Sukhwinder Singh is such a versatile singer that in the song Ramta Jogi from Taal, he sung the words ‘Ramta Jogi’ in 27 different variations. He brings such nuances to the songs that make the songs come alive onscreen. I have the fondest memories of working with this illustrious singer, who has given the Hindi film industry some of the most beautiful songs.”
The interactive question and answer session with the legendary singer had the students laughing their heart out since they could relate to the humorous replies given by Sukhwinder Singh. He made the session even more engaging by practically showcasing his techniques of singing, backed by his team of highly-talented musicians.
The students were left awestruck and were seen dancing when the singer performed two of his popular numbers, ‘Bismil’ from Haider and ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’, live. Akhil Sharma, a WWI student gifted a sketch of Sukhwinder, which he drew as a tribute to the acclaimed singer. Sukhwinder Singh appreciated and applauded the students of Whistling Woods School of Music.
“My confidence comes from my daily riyaaz (practice)”, said acclaimed playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj at the 5TH veda session of whistling woods international
~She shared her journey from being a 5-year old child learning to sing to becoming a noted playback singer in the Indian film industry~
“As a 5 year old I used to attend classical music conferences, which added to my musical leanings. I used to learn from my elder sister while she did her riyaaz early in the morning. Even as a child I knew I had to be a professional singer, it came naturally to me”, confessed legendary playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj, one of the singing sensations of the modern era, at the 5th Veda cultural hub to more than 500 students in attendance for a session held at the Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) campus.
The 5th Veda session commenced with soulful Punjabi and classical performances by the students of the WWI School of Music to welcome and honour the guest. An AV showcasing the journey and contribution of Rekha Bhardwaj was screened before she graced the stage to address an excited audience.
“When you are well versed with a song, improvisation happens on its own. You can play with the song however you like it, because then it becomes your own song”, said the popular playback singer while advising the students. She also shared stories about how till date her husband, Vishal Bhardwaj composes a song and asks for her opinion on each of his music compositions. While interacting with the students, she also performed some of her hit numbers for an auditorium packed with enthusiastic audience.
Salim Arif, HOD, Cultural Studies, WWI shared stories of meeting Rekha Bhardwaj for the first time and sharing a great camaraderie with her, while he acknowledged her as a woman possessing a distinctive style in singing.
While interacting with Salim Arif she shed some light on her journey as a singer. She also shared some tips with the students, which she promised would help them improve their singing and achieve success in the future. She said, “My Guru ji used to say the most important riyaaz (practice) is to listen to yourself. Also the folk music is the mother of all genres of music in the world. Classical music helps you stay grounded, which lays the foundation of singing. Classical music is like meditating; it gives you inner peace and helps you stay calm.”
On being asked by a student about her favourite songs she revealed, “Each song is very close to my heart. But singing on Gulzar ji’s lyrics feels like singing for myself. Apart from that each song adds to my musical journey, and so it becomes special”.
The interactive session with the students culminated on a high and positive note, with the entire auditorium applauding and grooving to the tunes of Rekha Bhardwaj. Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI presented the guest of honour with a token of appreciation and said, “I have seen the students groove and hum to the tunes of many artists, but I have never seen so much joy and peace on their faces in a long time.” One of the students also presented the guest of honour with a handmade portrait of her own as a gesture of gratitude.
~ 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.
“Play at the top of your intelligence,” advised Jahnavi Dave, member of Improv comedy Mumbai, to the students of Whistling Woods International
~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.
“Actors are not born, actors are made,” said Anupam Kher at Whistling Woods International
~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.
The melodious music of 90’s soothed the ears of the Whistling Woods International (WWI) auditorium filled with 400 odd students, who were keen to receive the knowledge on the ‘Art of Songwriting’ by the legendary lyricist Sameer. An artist, with a soulful lyrical background and a Guinness World Record holder for his compositions of over 4000 songs and work in more than 600 movies in his career. Sameer was full of insights and inputs at the 5th Veda session at WWI; as he wanted to share his experiences of building a successful career in the stream of poetry and writing lyrics.
The legendary lyrics writer shared his experience and journey from being a Commerce postgraduate to his first break with movie ‘Dil’ and then becoming the lyrical legend. During the enlightening session he also shared his secret mantra of success in Indian Cinema with the students and said “Veerangi, Deewangi and Aawargi is a must for any creative person.”
The session was moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI who also made Sameer do some on-spot composition as his contribution to Whistling Woods. The highlight of the event included lines written by Sameer for the students of Whistling Woods, he said: “Jaha se bandh hote hai saare raaste, wahi se naya rasta nikalta hai (2), Jinko samjhate hai hum ajnabee, aksar unhi se koi waasta nikalta hai”. He mentioned about his love for students and was honored to be a part of the 5th Veda session, where he got a chance to speak to the budding song writers/lyricists.
He also advised the students that during your struggling period, there is no word as ‘NO’, one cannot say a no to any kind of work received in the initial days of your career; one has to agree and accept all the challenges that come their way in life. During the interaction with the students, he also mentioned that the students of WWI were lucky to have a mentor like Subhash Ghai who is much known as the Original Showman of Indian Cinema.
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.