Satish Kaushik – the versatile Actor and Director, will be conducting a 5th Veda session exclusively for the students of WWI on August 22, 2019.
You are here
WWI School of Performing Arts – Actors’ Studio students performed a play “DOR” on August 14, 2019.
National Handloom Day is celebrated to commemorate the contribution of the handloom and weavers in the development of the country. Savitha Suri, textile enthusiast and author in handloom expertise curated the
Handloom Day event at Whistling Woods International, accompanied by Sabira Fernandes, Content Writer and a Brand Strategist. The students of WWI School of Performing Arts - Music Production & Composition, and WWI School of Creative Arts - Fashion Design, collaborated to display a live exhibition of textiles produced all over India and explained their authenticities in a creative representation, at the event held at WWI to celebrate National Handloom Day.
Some of the textiles were sashes, stoles, and accessories. The curated textiles showcased at the live exhibition incorporated the following:
- Tangaliya (extra weft)
- Thikma, Sungudi, Bandhani (Tie & Dye traditions from across the country)
- Odisha Ikat, (Odisha)
- Tribal textiles (Assam)
- Bagh (Madhya Pradesh)
- Pedana (Andhra Pradesh)
- Kasavu (Kerala)
- Maheshwari Ikat (Madhya Pradesh)
- Kunbi (Goa)
- Bawan Buti (Bihar)
Whistling Woods International (WWI) hosted the legendary actor, Anil Kapoor for the inaugural session of the 10th edition of the 5th Veda cultural hub. The insightful session moderated by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, witnessed the famed actor share various nuances of performing on the silver screen with the engrossed audience at the institute.
The eventful day at Asia’s premier film, communication and creative arts institute commenced with the tree planting ceremony by the actor. In its true tradition, the 5th Veda session was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp, followed by the students of Actors' Studio demonstrating various performing skills, which were immensely appreciated by the actor.
During the session, filmmaker Subhash Ghai requested Anil Kapoor to share insights from an actor's perspective to be able to make the right impact on the audience. To which the famed actor advised, “Keep re-inventing yourself and have the passion for your art. This passion will help you get recognised in the long run. Focus on your drawbacks by disciplining and choosing the right company for yourself, keep raising the bar while dreaming big”.
Given the actor’s celebrated career, Subhash Ghai raised the query on how does he prepare for his diverse role choices, to which Anil Kapoor answered by stating that keen observation, clear thought process, research, and understanding the background of the character plays an important part in justifying the act.
Reacting to some of the iconic scenes of his movies, Anil Kapoor reflected upon the key learnings that he embraced while creating those critically acclaimed scenes. The auditorium was brimming with excitement as the famed actor showcased a few impromptu voice modulation techniques and danced with the students on some of his historic moves.
With the session drawing to a close, Subhash Ghai presented Anil Kapoor with a token of gratitude and thanked him for sharing his invaluable insights, amidst a thunderous round of applause from the appreciative audience.
A display on Art Direction for Advertising was held on August 2, 2019 by the students of WWI School of Creative Arts - Visual Communication Design.
~ “To survive in a competitive field is tough. Always compete with yourself and not others", shared Founder & Chairman, Subhash Ghai, with the students and alumni ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI) celebrated its 13th anniversary, as the institute cemented its presence as an irreplaceable part of India’s media and entertainment landscape.
With a wide array of programmes, world-class infrastructure and industry professionals as the teaching faculty, Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts institute has contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s film & media industry. The WWI Founders’ Day witnessed its tremendous impact, as successful alumni from diverse industries in the creative domains, gathered to celebrate this joyous occasion.
As part of the 13th anniversary celebration, more than 27 staff and faculty members were felicitated for completing 10 years with WWI, while supporting the vision of creating a world-class institute for the industry and the aspirants.
The institute welcomed Abhay Bharat and Mansi Joshi from Fashion Design; Rahul Mandal, Mohammad Khalikh P, Sidhant Jain, and Shubham Patil from Animation;Nakul Sahdev, Pradeep Bajpai, Akash Dhar, and Gaurav Ghatnekar from Acting; Arati Kadav, Amit Desai, Sohel Sanwari, Arjun Mogre, and Sudeep Nigam from Filmmaking; Tejas Havlimane, Akhil Jain, Abhishek Bontu, and Siddharth Kaushik from Music Production and Composition; and Brijraj Bhadoria, Ritambhara Dixit, Lynette D'Souza, Nakul Anand, Abhinav Gusain, and Lekha Deshpande from Media and Communication.
Throughout the insightful event, the alumni interacted with the students, sharing invaluable experience from their respective areas of expertise. The alumni also conducted a series of panel discussions, wherein they shared their journeys at WWI with the aspirants and imparted crucial lessons on themes such as friendship, humility, and the importance of hard work.
Following the conclusion of the panels, Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI, engaged with the alumni for feedback and guidance. Amidst an outpouring of positive sentiment, several pioneering suggestions were put forth. WWI’s future development and plans for the introduction of new programmes were discussed.
Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI, subsequently shared words of wisdom with the gathered alumni, stating, “We are privileged to have our family amongst us, who have representedthemselves as the warriors of WWI. Thank you for coming here and sharing your experience with our students. To survivein a competitive field is tough, never engage in competition with others, the competition is within us.” He further continued, stating, “I always question myself. Have I done better than yesterday?” As parting advice, he shared, “It’s important to develop the art of listening. What paves way for success are the challenges that you overcome afterrealising your weaknesses.”
As the momentous occasion came to a close, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, thanked the assembled alumni for their contributions to both WWI and the industry, and felicitated them amidst thunderous applause.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia's premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts institute, recently held a celebration to mark the occasion of International Yoga Day. The much-anticipated annual event witnessed a host of inspiring and stimulating activities designed to promote the practice of yoga and saw the enthusiastic participation of WWI's students, faculty and staff. In attendance at the event were Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI, with celebrated Indian actor, Jackie Shroff and renowned playback singer, Palak Muchhal to witness the day's activities.
After a round of introductions, the honoured guests joined Subhash Ghai for the traditional lamp-lighting ceremony. The event began with the screening of an AV on the history and tradition that lie behind the ancient philosophy of yoga and its benefits to the physical health and mental well-being of practitioners. Addressing the audience, Subhash Ghai said, "Yoga means a lot to me. I have struggled a lot in my life, and when my mother first introduced me to yoga, I thought the idea of sitting down for it every day was extremely boring. Eventually, I realised how important it is for me and my body. I've now been practising yoga for 35 years, which helps me work for 12 hours straight."
Students of the WWI School of Music then took to the stage, to serenade the audience with a moving rendition of a prayer song. Upon hearing this, Palak Muchhal said, "Today is International Yoga Day, and to my notice it also happens to be World Music Day! How well these two go together. Both of these events have a great importance in our lives. If you follow both well, you will achieve well-being and happiness." She then proceeded to thank Subhash Ghai for the invitation and beautifully sang the song, Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je, much to the delight of the attendees.
Jackie Shroff was subsequently invited to the stage, where he set the audience laughing by stating, "I don't know anything about yoga, but I started it before I was born, right inside my mother's womb." He also spoke about the importance of trees to the environment, and encouraged the audience to plant more, before thanking Subhash Ghai for mentoring him when he had first entered the industry.
Speaking at the occasion, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, "I think all these exercises, whether martial arts, gymnastics, or anything else, are at their very roots inspired by yoga. Yoga is the purest form of exercise. But in today's day and age we are all so stressed that we weaken our bodies and mind. And yoga plays a vital role in giving us the power to meditate and focus and keep our mind and body in alignment and healthy at the same time." Upon hearing this, the audience were inspired to perform a series of yoga asanas under the instructions of qualified instructors.
As the event came to an end, Subhash Ghai had a final piece of advice to share, "Yoga is the balance of our lives and the key to our world. Always remember that. I am very proud of the students of WWI for coming to celebrate this event on a holiday. It's wonderful to see how dedicated all of you are." With this, Meghna Ghai Puri presented the guests with a token of gratitude while the audience rose to their feet in applause.
Ingenious designs, global sensibilities, sustainable ideologies and some of the best dressed audience in town in attendance, Whistling Woods International's (WWI) annual fashion graduation show, AIYANNA 2019 was an evening to remember! Initiated in 2015, AIYANNA has granted the highly talented students of the WWI School of Creative Arts, Department of Fashion, a platform through which they showcase their creativity with displays of their work.
Curated for the graduating students of WWI's Department of Fashion, the extravaganza was a dazzling celebration of the creativity and vision of budding designers and stylists. The evening also saw a host of notable influencers, such as renowned designer Aparna Badlani, who was joined by Tanya Chaitanya, Editor and Chief Community Officer, Femina, Shereen Sikka and Trishala Sikka, the Creative Director and Partner of Love and Other Bugs LLP, respectively, and acclaimed designer Amy Billimoria in serving as the jury for the event. Celebrity fashion designer Neeta Lulla and celebrated photographer Subi Samuel graced the evening as the chief guests.
"I would like to thank Whistling Woods International for having me here. It's an honour to be a part of Aiyanna. I would like to thank the faculty that has helped these students come up and also to the families who have backed up their children. It is not very easy to help these children spread wings and fly. So congratulations to all the families and faculties", said Subi Samuel, Chief Guest for the evening.
With the stage set, each budding fashionista presented their unique aesthetic, with 19 collections displayed over the course off the event. Drawing inspiration from an array of sources, incorporating their own personal twist, it truly was a sight to behold. The collections showcased were: Fossil From Hell, Pakarnnattam, Past And The Future In Present, Life Without Greys, The Zestful Tranquility, Lights And Shadows, Sheep Rock, Mardaani, The Last Pharaoh - Cleopatra, Beauty Behind The Covers, Forbidden City, The Dream World, Mosantine, Maroc Madhkal, Phantasmal Beings, St. Petersburg Mosque, Desiccated Blooms, Frosty Winter Tide, and Ekaaya. As each peerless collection took to the stage in turn, the crowd and judges showed their approval with wave after wave of applause.
This year's edition of Aiyanna evolved from being a fashion show to a platform for highlighting various causes. It witnessed the screening of fashion films, each of which brilliantly showcased their creators' insight into topics, often regarded as taboo in the nation, ranging from depression and insecurity to self-growth and empowerment. The powerful films shown were Proudly Flawed, Metamorphosis, and Stare Until You Get An Idea, each of which was met with the universal appreciation of the guests, jury and audience.
Neeta Lulla, Chief Mentor, School of Creative Arts, Department of Fashion, shared, "The younger generation will redefine the future, as they are the powerful youth of the coming generations. The best advice I have for the students is to think beyond your imagination because you are the youth of the country."
Commenting on the occasion, Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI, said, "From both the aesthetic and design sense, fashion has always been a part of our lives. These students who showcased their talent tonight have succeeded in bringing out the essence of fashion brilliantly. It was wonderful to watch this kind of talent and I take great pride in their achievements."
Speaking at the occasion, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, "I'm very proud of these children who showcased their design and films at Aiyanna. I would request each one of them to stay focused as there would be ups and downs, joys and sorrows, however, that should not deter them from attaining their goals in this constantly evolving industry."
The jury, highly impressed with the efforts of the energetic and enthusiastic students of Asia's premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts institute, were faced with a tough decision to choose the best. As the event drew to a close, the jury, the chief guests, and Meghna Ghai Puri presented well-deserved awards for the following categories - Best Commercially Viable Collection, Best Fashion Film, Best Styling (Diploma Film), Best Styling (Photoshoot), and Best Collection. The respective winners for each coveted award were Mansi Joshi; Durva Gandhi, Gauri Vartak, and Rashmi Khatri; Aditi Jain; Abhay Bharat; and Riya Dey and Gautham Krishna. And as each award was presented to the talented students, the applause of the captivated audience filled the auditorium.
The students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) School of Performing Arts, Music department were felicitated amidst much appreciation by the dignitaries from the Election Commission of India (ECI). Held at Asia's premier institute of Film, Communication and Creative Arts, the afternoon witnessed a captivating session, wherein the students were applauded for their original musical composition 'Desh Ke Liye', which played a vital role in the ECI's nationwide 'Desh Ka Mahatyohar' campaign. This inspirational video was broadcast nationally across all the platforms during the 2019 Election.
The ECI members comprised of Umesh Sinha, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner; Padma Angmo, Director ECI; A.K. Pathak, Secretary ECI; Aradhna Sharma, Communications Executive; and Dilip Shinde, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra.
The event began with Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, WWI, stating, "Here is a campus where we are all learners and students, and where we take oaths to always remain this way. It is through this vision and mindset that we shall take the country forward." Speaking on the students' composition, he further stated, "The idea behind the music is to inspire our countrymen to wake up and make the right choice at this pivotal moment in our history."
Umesh Sinha subsequently took the opportunity to praise Subhash Ghai and the students of WWI's Music department and said, "It's an honour to meet the genius, Mr. Subhash Ghai. We were thrilled to know that the song was coming from him and is undoubtedly the best." He further stated, "We hope that this collaboration is only the first of the many. We wish to associate in the future with WWI to create and imbibe the importance of voting in the country."
With the event concluding, Umesh Sinha expressed his gratitude to the institute for their tremendous contribution. Along with felicitating the students, Subhash Ghai was honoured with a special trophy for being the Creative Producer of the musical video, which was produced by Mukta Digital Studio. Subhash Ghai appreciated Mr. Umesh Sinha and his team for personally visiting WWI to award and compliment the institute's creative standards.
As tokens of appreciation were distributed to the guests, the students expressed their admiration for the role played by the ECI with a thunderous round of applause.
Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) School of Media and Communication organised ‘Saksham 2019’, the institute’s much anticipated annual social change initiative.
The day-long affair witnessed a host of inspiring and impactful initiatives - a blood donation drive held in conjunction with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital; a dental camp and consultation for attendees organised by Orthosquare Dental Clinic; an eco-bazaar promoting NGOs and their businesses involved in sustainable products and lifestyle; and a clay modelling and ceramic design workshop conducted by Vanmala Jain, a graduate of National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.
To commemorate the annual gala, a panel discussion on the ‘Credibility and Role of the News Media in the Age of Fake News’ was held. In a session moderated by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI, the audience was treated to a spirited debate on the perils of false information disseminated through traditional and new age media platforms. The panel comprised of Vikram Mehta, a corporate affairs and communications industry expert; Pankaj Jain, the founder of renowned fact-checking website, SM Hoax Slayer; Sahil Joshi, Editor & Bureau Chief, TV Today Network; and Alpana Killawala, former Principal Adviser, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The discussion began with the panellists sharing their first encounters with fake news, and the lessons they took away from these incidents. As the session progressed, Vikram Mehta highlighted the potential to convert fake news into a positive story by offering a different perspective to the issue. He also stressed the importance of differentiating between something that has the potential to occur, and something that’s an outright lie. Sahil Joshi subsequently highlighted the media’s perspective on fake news by revealingit has been responsible for several chaotic situations in India, while calling upon his colleagues in journalism to be vigilant with their facts.
Upon inviting the audience to engage with the panellists, a question arose about how social media is driving the rise of citizen reporters. Responding to the query, Pankaj Jain stated that it is a positive development, though he cautioned against using content to misrepresent a situation. While speaking on the role of RBI in countering fake news during demonetisation, Alpana Killawala stressed that the nation’s government have been sensible in their chosen actions. Rahul Puri rounded off the session by commenting, “Thethreat posed by fake news is ever-present and demands our constant vigilance. If we’re to preserve the fabric of our nation, and uphold our diverse heritage and traditions, it is more important than ever before that we exercise our judgment and common sense when consuming media." "We’re proud to have WWI join this fight through Saksham 2019, and raise our voices for truth and accuracy in India’s media landscape”, he further added.
With the event coming to an end, the guests were felicitated by Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, while the students showed their appreciation with deafening applause.
Alka Yagnik sang the original version of ‘Dilbar Dilbar’ at the request of the students of Whistling Woods International at the 5th Veda cultural workshop
Iconic playback singer Alka Yagnik brought in the joyous occasion of the exhilarating 5th Veda session this week for the enthusiastic students of Whistling Woods International (WWI). Over the course of the session she shared her deep insights, drawn from a career spanning over 35 years, as she explained the importance of music as a binding force for the nation’s culture.
She began the session by describing to her enchanted audience the story of her first song on All India Radio – a bhajan that earned her 5 rupees. While sharing the story of her growth as a professional singer, she explained the distinction between singing and playback singing, stating, “Playback singing is an extremely specialised art form of performing the role of a character while singing within the parameters of the film’s story, the onscreen character, the lyrics, the nuances and tunes of the composer, and the director’s vision. I have always been inspired and guided by Subhash Ghai in his role as a director of films like ‘Khalnayak’. Over the years, I’ve received many Filmfare awards for my performances for Subhash Ghai’s films.” Subhash Ghai, moderator of the session, reciprocated her compliments by highlighting Alka Yagnik’s many positive attributes, such as her extreme dedication, focus, and patience.
Alka Yagnik subsequently surprised the thrilled audience by singing her latest hit ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ from the film ‘Tamasha’, receiving a standing ovation in the packed auditorium from 300 students of the WWI School of Music. Another highlight of the event was when an audio-visual of her original song ‘Dilbar Dilbar’, from the film ‘Sirf Tum’, was shown on screen alongside the latest ‘Dilbar’ song performed by Neha Kakkar. This inspired the students to perform on stage while Alka Yagnik took to the mic to regale the students.
Subhash Ghai further surprised Alka Yagnik by making her listen to a beautiful, melodious song sung by her in 2005, which was recorded for Mukta Arts film that was not released for the audience. It was a thrilling moment for both Alka Yagnik and the students in attendance.
Meghna Ghai Puri thanked Alka Yagnik for her generosity in interacting with the students of WWI’s Schools of Music and Filmmaking.
Students of WWI School of Media & Communication visited the headquarters of Republic TV, as a part of their curriculum. Mr. Arnab Goswami, Managing Director of Republic TV, advised the students to understand the global issues in depth and explained how the current circumstances will affect the development of large news media business avenues in India. The students were given a tour of the office, where they were introduced to the PCR rooms and various teams that are a part of creating & managing the production of news. They also witnessed the technical and creative aspects of curating content right from the moment a story's developed, until it reaches the audience.
Street plays were conducted by students of WWI Actors’ Studio on March 29, 2019
“DANCE IS AN EMOTION, AN EXPRESSION OF HAPPINESS,” SHARED SHIAMAK DAVAR AT THE 5TH VEDA SESSION OF WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
~ Eminent choreographer, Shiamak Davar inaugurated the 9th Season of the 5th Veda cultural hub amidst 550 eager and enthusiastic students of WWI ~
As the 9th edition of the much anticipated 5th Veda session unfolded at Whistling Woods International (WWI), a wave of joyous fervour and excitement filled the campus. The renowned choreographer Shiamak Davar present for the interactive session shared a new perspective on dance as a universal form of spiritual expression that has held together our culture for centuries.
The eventful day started with the tree plantation ceremony at the WWI campus. Following this, eager students got a detailed insight into Shiamak’s contribution to the dance fraternity. Subhash Ghai took the opportunity to highlight the role of spirituality in Shiamak Davar’s career by adding, “Shiamak Davar is known for his dance, choreography, and acting abilities. However, one knows very little about the spiritual essence that lies in his core. One should delve deep to uncover this aspect of him.”
The auditorium echoed with jubilant cheers as the students took the opportunity to wow Shiamak Davar with a musical medley that combined the best elements of Hindi and Telugu film songs. Shiamak Davar appreciated the efforts put together by the students and added, “Dance liberates you. To define simply, dance is something energetic happening to your body, but not from the sole of your feet. It’s an expression of your soul.” Further elaborating upon this point, he stated, “Dancing isn’t purely about the physical aspect. It’s an emotion, an expression of happiness.”
Upon being requested by Subhash Ghai, Shiamak Davar proceeded to dazzle the audience with an impromptu dance recital. Flowing from the style of a three-year-old to that of an eighty-plus, he perfectly imitated and brought forward the essence of dance as an art form.
Encouraging the aspiring students, Shiamak Davar advised, "If you keep suppressing everything within, you will feel sick. The more you are out there, doing what you love, it's enough. Unless you really love what you do, don't do it. If you love and are in love with what you do, it will take you places."
During his interaction with the engrossed students, he further emphasised 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.
Elaborating upon the importance of education to bring out the natural talent, Shiamak Davar stated, "There are some natural dancers, but they don't know they are natural in their art form. It is training that helps them enhance their skills and become fantastic in their trade." As the closing words of advise, he further added, "Unless you learn the craft, there is no use. The natural talent will come out, if you channelise it correctly. If you have it in your mind, you are too talented but never work upon the same, it won't help you at all."
The closing highlight of the session was the enthralling performance by his students, Puneet and Upasana, which left the audience spellbound.
The day marked its end with Meghna Ghai Puri presenting a token of appreciation to the chief guest, amidst a thunderous round of applause from the appreciative audience.
Inbox 2019 was conducted at Whistling Woods International on February 22 & 23, 2019
~ The alumni come together to pay their tribute to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack at the 4th Annual Alumni Meet ~
Since its founding, Whistling Woods International (WWI) has contributed immensely to the media and entertainment (M&E) industry in India and globally. Through a generation of graduates with unparalleled skillsets and a globally enriched knowledge base, Asia’s premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts institute has raised the bar and set new standards in various domains of the M&E industry.
WWI’s Alumni Engagement Month, bore witness to this phenomenon with the industry’s most successful professionals gathering to celebrate their alma mater. WWI’s alumni hosted a series of masterclasses and workshops, which finally culminated in the 4th Annual Alumni Meet celebration. The evening of February 16, 2019 witnessed the alumni pay their tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives at the Pulwama attack.
Among the renowned alumni leading invigorating masterclasses were director Shashank Khaitan, underwater videographer and drone pilot, Shamsher Singh, and editor Utsab Bandopadhyay. Shashank Khaitan, director of the much appreciated films, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, ensured the month began on a upliftling note with a highly interactive session with the current batch of students. He shared the secret to becoming a successful filmmaker. “Be yourself. Don’t try to be everything at once. Stick to what you’re good at and always ensure the emotion of the moment comes through”, were his advise to the students. However, his best advice was saved for the last, when faced with a question on his career path, “Don’t try to imitate someone else’s career. Your journey is your own, and makes you the person you are.”
Shamsher Singh, who has contributed to films such as Dhoom 3 and Masaan, led a hands-on workshop covering the technical workings of the industry. During the intensive workshop, students learned a number of highly practical skills, for as he summed up, “Simplicity is your best friend. It brings out your best work.” Simultaneously, editor Utsab Bandopadhyay guided the students through a masterclass on post-production. Speaking on the importance of editing and its impact on the film, he shared, “While editing may seem simple, don’t be fooled. There’s a lot of money involved and strictly there is no room for errors.” As a concluding advise, Utsab Bandopadhyay urged the students to continuously polish their skills through constant practice. He further emphasized the latter to be crucial in bridging the gap between a good and a great editor!
While few alumni, namely, Joel Vilian and Namrata Wadhwani came on board to share their experiences and journey, Sanjay Kumar Patel and Parth Navle conducted interactive workshops with the students of editing and cinematography specialisations, respectively.
While the interactive sessions of the alumni masterclasses and workshop will continue through the month, last evening witnessed alumni from various batches come together for a time of celebration! The campus was brimming with enthusiasm and fervour as WWI’s momentous impact on the Indian cinema was toasted to by alumni and faculties alike.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI concluded the Annual Alumni Meet 2019 by adding, “An institute’s success can be measured by the achievements of its students. As I stand here today, with our alumni who’ve gone on to forge highly successful careers in the industry, I can proudly say that Whistling Woods International has certainly made a mark in the industry. I wish our alumni more success in the years to come!”
Meghna Ghai Puri, WWI President, was presented with the ‘Women Super Achievers Award’ at the 6th World Women Leadership Congress. She has been recognised as a leader who has contributed value to the industry with her professional achievements and being a positive influence on hundreds of women.
As a part of the Alumni Engagement Month, Shashank Khaitan, Namrata Wadhwani & Joel Vilan conducted a session on Filmmaking with the students of Whistling Woods International, on February 4, 2019
Whistling Woods International Actors’ Studio students performed plays as part of their curriculum.
Whistling Woods International graduates 300 creative professionals. Dharmendra and Govind Nihalani felicitated with Maestro Award. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios delivers keynote
All good things must come to an end, as the old saying goes. And so it was for the Whistling Woods International's (WWI) graduating class of 2018, as they celebrated the 11th Annual Convocation ceremony held at St. Andrew's Auditorium, Bandra. However, it was an end befitting Asia's premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts institute, with a host of eminent personalities in attendance to wish the graduating students the very best for their future endeavours. The evening also witnessed another cause for celebration, as the chief guests – veteran film director and auteur, Govind Nihalani and legendary actor, Dharmendra – were felicitated with the prestigious Whistling Woods International Maestro Award for their contributions to Indian cinema over the decades.
The event began with the lamp lighting ceremony, led by Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI, and Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, and the chief guests for the evening. It was followed by a stirring video depicting the institute's progress since its founding. Commenting on the occasion, Subhash Ghai shared, "Since the founding of Whistling Woods International, we have seen this institute go from strength to strength, all culminating to this moment. Through the effort and commitment of our dedicated faculty and staff, we have played a direct role in shaping the future of the media and entertainment industry in India and globally, and I can think of no better legacy to leave behind."
As the evening progressed, Professor Neela Dabir, Dean, School of Vocational Education at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), and Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, the event's keynote speaker, addressed the students and wished them the best for their future career paths, providing guidance and sharing anecdotes in equal measure. He suggested to the students, "You need to evaluate the opportunities coming your way. You cannot succeed without taking risks. Constantly push yourself, and remember that the world is all about collaborations, therefore be a good team player.
Upon being presented with the Maestro Award, Govind Nihalani shared, "I would like to thank Whistling Woods International for honouring me with the award. Creative Institutes cannot have a particular line of thought. It is necessary for a student to harness their thought process and have the freedom to do what they love. Whistling Woods International as an institute supports various creative genres, and encourages its students to adopt a free mindset. This freedom, particularly in the field of cinema, is very important, and I am thankful to Subhash Ghai for providing an evolving platform in the domain of film, communication and creative arts."
Advising the students on their journey ahead, acclaimed actor Dharmendra said, "You are lucky to be graduating from WWI and consider this as the first stepping stone towards success. Do not forget your values. Be humble, careful and be cooperative with others. It's necessary to be a learner. It's good to have the curiosity of a child, who always has the willingness to learn."
With the evening coming to an end, Meghna Ghai Puri took to the stage to deliver the closing address of the evening, "During your time at this institute, we have taught you all the skills required to go out and conquer the world, in whichever field you so choose. But the decision to succeed ultimately rests in your hands. You have taken your first step into the wider world as graduates, but your learning doesn't stop here. Pursue what you love with passion and hardwork, and always remember that your family at Whistling Woods International will always be here to support you."
With that, the auditorium erupted in cheers and applause. As a sea of graduating hats arched into the air, the audience rose as one to honour the new graduates with a standing ovation. And as the gathered parents witnessed their children take their first steps on the road to the future, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
'DEKHO MAGAR PYAR SE' INDIAN TRUCK ART CELEBRATED BY WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL & ALL INDIA PERMIT
~ A unique collaboration to support and sustain the dying art of hand-painted trucks ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier Film, Communication and Creative Arts institute, and its renowned School of Creative Arts (SCA), played host to the Mumbai-leg of the All India Permit Road Trip on the 15th of January. This event saw Farid Bawa, Founder, All India Permit and Academic Advisory Board member of WWI SCA – Visual Communication Design, discuss the idea behind this initiative and highlight the collaborative role played by WWI’s School of Creative Arts.
With the aim of highlighting the dying art of hand-painted trucks, the All India Permit Road Trip is India’s first mobile art gallery, naturally transported on the sides of a truck. After acquiring an old truck and giving a team of artists a canvas for their imaginations, this gallery on wheels set off on a pan-Maharashtra road trip. Beginning in Nagpur on the 8th of January, the journey saw the truck visit Amravati, Jalna, Ahmednagar, and Pune, ultimately ending its journey at WWI’s campus.
Speaking on the initiative, Farid Bawa, Founder, All India Permit, said, "All India Permit Road Trip is an initiative to save the dying truck art in India and give recognition to truck artists. As India’s first art gallery on a truck, it serves as a free art installation on the go, allowing us to educate people about the style, and giving our artists the visibility they deserve. It also showcases a collection of truck horn tunes, a sound that is symbolic of India’s highways. Our pit stops ranged from dhabas to design schools, in the true spirit of the Indian highways."
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International, said, "Generations of Indians travelling the nation’s roads have had their journeys brightened by kaleidoscopic, hand-painted visions on the sides of trucks. Truck-painting is a unique Indian art form. Our students of School of Creative Arts have had this unique opportunity to experience this heritage and help promote this beautiful Indian art form."
Whistling Woods International has always been a forerunner in supporting various initiatives in the creative space, constantly striving to engage its students with a diverse array of cultural and educational opportunities. Through its partnership with All India Permit, WWI furthers its commitment to safeguarding and promoting indigenous art forms, while exposing its students to yet another facet of India’s vast artistic heritage.
All India Permit is a support system for truck artists, helping them gain global recognition by reviving and preserving a beloved part of India’s artistic heritage. Each individual artist affiliated with the organisation is provided with a familiar canvas – Cold Rolled (CR) steel sheets. The painted panels are subsequently made available for the public to buy. The artists receive a majority of their earnings from each sale, providing them with financial stability and allowing them to begin a new journey on an open road towards happiness.
WWI JIO VR Knowledge Series was conducted
Actors’ Studio students perform Kalaripayattu as a part of their practical exam.
Cook Off by the School of Media and Communication students was conducted on November 21, 2018.
CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision) World Congress 2018 kick-started with insightful discussions, highlighting innovations and best practices for the future of education in cinema, came to a successful end and was a roaring success. The vast gamut of information presented by veterans through presentations, discussions and insights paved way to develop, enrich and empower the next-generation of creative professionals.
CILECT World Congress 2018 began with a warm welcome with guests such as veteran actor Shabana Azmi, keynote speakers, Academy award winning producer Lord David Puttnam and Ravindra Velhal, Global Content Technology Strategist, Intel Corporation, sharing their experiences and learning and culminated in a lively performance by famous Indian percussionist, Sivamani.
WWI in collaboration with CILECT are taking the lead in adopting and adapting new-age technology in filmmaking, finding the best possible tools with which students can be trained. The congress brought to light the necessity of having well-prepared students who were, as Subhash Ghai, so eloquently put it, are explorers and not just believers.
Day Two commenced on a very positive note with keynote speaker Nosipho Dumisa - an award-winning director/producer/writer from South Africa. She spoke enthusiastically about the importance of mentorship, equal opportunity, and positive reinforcement and how vital their roles are for the next generation of filmmakers, especially women. While speaking about the shift from analog to digital, award-winning producer, Kalle Boman, the second keynote speaker for the day, discussed how the latter created a revolution in filmmaking offering a plethora of potential for the next generation of artists.
From deep-dive discussions into the significant culture shift in the industry with panels talking about diversity, inclusion, and equality to the CILECT President’s Report outlining achievements and activities from 2016-2018, Day Three progressed seamlessly. Speaking about the event, Prof. Dr. Maria Dora Mourão, CILECT President said, “The organisation of this congress has been the best, that I have experienced. I have been the President of CILECT for 8 years and have organised several congresses myself. Out of all, this one has been the best in terms of the organisation of the event. I’m sure that all my colleagues from all over the world are feeling the same way I’m feeling about WWI as an host.”
The highlight of the day was the election of CILECT’s newest president, Bruce Sheridan, who will take over the reins from Prof. Dr. Maria Dora Mourão. In addition, the election of Rahul Puri, Whistling Woods International’s Head of Academics to the Council Member of CAPA (CILECT Asia-Pacific Association) added a new feather in WWI’s cap. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be elected as a member on the Asia Pacific Council of CILECT. Being on the committees like CAPA enables us to associate and collaborate with schools around the world, offering international exposure to our students”, said Rahul Puri on being elected as the Council Member of CAPA. "The CILECT conference this year in Mumbai has been a wonderful one as we managed to show India on the world map in terms of academics and film education. I am personally very proud of the entire team of WWI to put it together because it showcases India can put up world-class conferences and I am happy that WWI is been on the forefront”, he further added.
With keynote speakers like Anjum Rajabali, HOD – Screenwriting, WWI and Hariharan Krishnan discussing Indian Mythology as part of modern-day storytelling and narratology for today’s digital cinema (respectively), Day Four began with an earnest group eager to take in new perspectives and ideologies. Apt examples like those of the Ramayana and Mahabharata helped Rajabali drive home the very essence of how Indian myths, while seemingly simplistic with basic notions of good vs evil, explore much deeper meanings of the human psyche. This also proved as a base for his explanation of how modern Indian cinema derives themes from these age-old stories. Krishnan, on the other hand, had the audience in a lively mood as he contextually explained how important the power of the narrative was in modern filmmaking. With interactive video, Augmented and Virtual Reality becoming more feasible and accessible to contemporary filmmakers, modern audiences are craving the formats.
Group discussions and school presentations ensued with plenty of camaraderie that was masterfully moderated by the likes of Bruce Sheridan, Chair of CNA (CILECT North American); Bert Beyens, Chair of GEECT (The European Regional Association of CILECT); Garth Holmes, Chair of CARA (CILECT African Regional Association) and Silvio Fischbein, Chair of CIBA (CILECT Ibero America Association).
The closing plenary discussion had CILECT Executive Director, Stanislav Semerdjiev and the newly elected CILECT President, Bruce Sheridan summarising the events’ high points over the last four days. Semerdjiev and Sheridan thanked the various speakers, school representatives, committee members and their gracious hosts, Whistling Woods International, and its staff, for helping to organise an extremely successful CILECT Congress event. Sheridan also thanks Semerdjiev for his contributions throughout the congress. The vote of thanks was met with a well-deserved, resounding standing ovation from the audience as CILECT Congress 2018 came to a close on a high note.
Students of Oberoi International School visited Whistling Woods International for a field trip.
~ The conference for 200 educators from over 60 countries was inaugurated at the institute by Shabana Azmi, AR Rahman & British Oscar winner, Lord David Puttnam ~
Asia’s premier institute of Film, Communication and Creative Arts, Whistling Woods International (WWI), is hosting the CILECT (Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision) World Congress 2018 in Mumbai. Adhering to this year’s theme – Directing The Future, the four-day annual event witnessed coming together of over 200 delegates, representing several film and media institutes from across the globe, to discuss about film education and the future of training for the next generation of filmmakers. This is the first time since CILECT was founded in 1955 that a film school from India has been entrusted with the responsibility to organise and host the conference.
Lord David Puttnam, Academy-award winning producer of the classic film, Chariots of Fire, said in his keynote address, “To be hosting the CILECT Congress is remarkable for Whistling Woods International. Most of the schools who have hosted the congress earlier have been around for a long time. So, within 12 years to have CILECT accept WWI to host the congress means the institute is up there, which is an incredible achievement. Whistling Woods International should be very proud and feel privileged.”
Paying respect to the Indian tradition, the event commenced with a prayer song by the students of WWI School of Music followed by the lamp lighting ceremony by veteran actor and Guest of Honour, Shabana Azmi along with WWI’s Founder and Chairman - Subhash Ghai; Dean - Ravi Gupta; President - Meghna Ghai Puri; CILECT’s representatives, Prof. Maria Dora Mourão (President) and Stanislav Semerdjiev (Executive Director).
Subhash Ghai took the opportunity to welcome the delegates and highlighted WWI’s role in preparing future filmmakers, “It is important for educators to teach students to be explorers and not just believers. Every artist has to be a technician and all technicians must be artists.” He also stressed on how necessary it is to train and prepare students to usher into a better future and thereby, develop an intelligent, enlightened next generation of cinema.
In her usual wise and elegant demeanour, actor Shabana Azmi addressed the audience with an insightful quote saying that the birth of reinvention always falls onto the next generation of students. She emphasised that education should be focused on innovation, putting facets like curiosity, critical thinking and creative brainstorming at the centre of a curriculum. Highlighting the necessity of the CILECT World Congress, she stated, “Conferences such as CILECT help discuss successes and failures, evaluate options and find ways of addressing the real problems.”
The session progressed as Lord David Puttnam commenced the keynote session, speaking about the relationship between various aspects of filmmaking, the topic being - Choosing a Partner (It’s a bit like a Marriage Really). He further discussed the relationship between producers and directors and how it needs to be “Two become One”, the only way great movies can be made.
Ravindra Velhal, Global Content Technology Strategist, Intel Corporation, the second keynote speaker, discussed – ‘The Future of Immersive Cinema: Where Technology Meets Story’. In agreement with Lord Puttnam’s insight, Velhal stated, “As it should be between Producer-Director, so it should be with a Technologist and a Storyteller.” He showcased some of his behind-the-scenes work on major blockbusters, discussing how cinema is evolving from Pixels to Voxels.
Films nominated for this year’s CILECT Prize were screened at the event; they encapsulated the audience, who gave each one a roaring round of applause. The films included - Facing Mecca, by Jon-Eric Mack under the Fiction category; Find Fix Finish, a documentary by Sylvain Cruiziat and Mila Zhluktenko; and Poles Apart, an animated short by Paloma Baeza to name a few.
A tour through WWI’s beautiful campus brought the event to a close and culminated with dinner. Attendees were treated to a lively performance by the students of WWI School of Music followed by acclaimed Indian percussionist, Sivamani who enthralled the attendees with his engaging stage presence and outstanding music.
The inaugural day for CILECT Congress 2018 was a roaring success, full of insights and innovative approaches to the future of education in cinema. There’s more to come in and it promises to be an exciting event.
Theatre Week by WWI Actors’ Studio students was conducted.
“Improv is all about being in the moment, the moment of creation,” said Adam Dow - Actor, Comedian, Teacher - at Whistling Woods International
The cultural hub of WWI hosted an interactive session on Improv Comedy, which highlighted the important aspects of the subject - impromptu imagination, creation and presentation.
It’s often been said that laughter is the best medicine and it certainly helps keep things light and cheery, if handled responsibly. Being Asia’s premiere institute of Film, Communication, and Creative Arts, Whistling Woods International (WWI) serves as a beacon of learning for all creative purviews including the fast-paced verbal art of improv comedy.
At WWI’s this season’s last 5th Veda session on the subject, students and attendees were given a heavy dose of hilarity by the panel - Adam Dow, Ankit Challa, Avinash Verma, Surya Rao, and Gavin (Chubby) Methalaka, representing Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM). Commencing the discussion, Adam Dow began with a few ‘warm-ups’ improv exercises to loosen up the audience.
The session was crafted to help students understand the intricacies of improv comedy through a variety of exercises conducted by the group. The group kept the students enthused while educating them that improv is a creative expression for all artists - writers, directors and actors.
“Comedy is like sports, you don’t know what will happen next or what’s going to come your way. Nothing is planned and nothing is determined; it’s all about being in the moment. Dialogue becomes organic; which makes improv a place of creativity”, said Dow, a veteran with more than two decades of experience performing the art form.
Avinash Verma, fellow thespian and collaborator at ICM, described to the students how improv is a technique, where the story and narrative are done right on stage. “It’s on the spot, so there’s as much excitement as there are challenges when it comes to performing from the top of your mind”, he explained. Narrating the similarities between acting and improv, Ankit Chawla explained, “You create, imagine a story and then edit; it’s just on the spot.” The panel kept the discussion lively and entertaining while ensuring that students could comprehend the challenges of an improv performance.
Gavin (Chubby) Methalaka shared his experiences and outlined how a lot of the scenes performed were, in fact, derived by the audience’s energy and that it goes both ways. Improv is a series of calculative moves and allows the performer to be a different person, on the spot.
The riveting session concluded as the President of WWI, Meghna Ghai Puri graciously gave a formidable vote of thanks to the panel amidst thunderous applauds from the students.
Curious minds, joyous faces, and enthralled enthusiasts gathered at Whistling Woods International (WWI) to celebrate one of the most anticipated events in the domain of film, communications, and creative arts. Regarded as one of the most illustrious events of the industry, Celebrate Cinema, an open-to-all platform, offered insightful sessions and workshops about the artistic, technical and commercial aspects of the media and entertainment industry.
The 7th edition of Celebrate Cinema hosted more than 100 workshops on both the days on film, music, fashion, design, literature, art and virtual reality, among others. In addition, the audience got an exposure to various celebrity panel discussions, movie screenings and exhibits over September 27, 28 and 29th, 2018.
Speaking about the grand occasion, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI said, "I'm thrilled to inaugurate Celebrate Cinema 2018. WWI endeavours to offer every movie and creative arts enthusiast and aspirants a platform to widen their horizons of wisdom and gain valuable insights in respective domains. I am extremely thankful to all the guests who graced this year's Celebrate Cinema and would like to extend my gratitude to the industry for extending their support over the years to help us make it a grand affair, since its inception. The three-day event has enriched one and all who participated in the action-packed extravaganza and I would like to thank the team of students, faculty and staff for putting together such a great event."
To this Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI added, “Cinema is something connected to humankind, human relationships and in India, especially to our soul. Given the nature of our country, we are closely attached to our culture and the Indian cinema. It is amazing to be a part of the Indian cinema and it's truly a privilege to commemorate the same.”
The grand fest kick-started as the talented actor, Abhishek Bachchan inaugurated the ‘Frames 75’ exhibit - a rare collection of portraits of the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. He appreciated the platform of Celebrate Cinema and said, "The best part of this festival is that it's open to everyone, letting everyone to experience, learn and love the magical world of cinema. It is so important to preserve the history, document and catalog the film legacy that we have. Congratulations to the team of Whistling Woods International for keeping the fire burning and giving a platform to showcase the history of Indian Cinema, which I feel will help in making better filmmakers in future." Speaking about the campus, he further added, "I love Whistling Woods and the facilities they have over here. If we had these kind of facilities when we were training, I would have loved to be a part of it. It's wonderful to have a structure under which everybody has something to do with filmmaking. I truly wish them all the very best and would love to come back.”
The event progressed as Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting, WWI moderated a masterclass with the acclaimed actor and the director of 'A Death In The Gunj', Konkona Sen Sharma; editor, Manas Mittal, and production designer, Siddharth Sirohi. Providing the engaging audience with a key take away from the session, Anjum Rajabali said, "To make a good movie you need three things - best of the story, best of the shot and best editing."
Keeping in tune with the technological advancements, this year’s Celebrate Cinema organised a panel discussion about Cinematic Virtual Reality with Rahat Kulshreshtha, Founder & CEO, Quidich Innovation Labs; Vedanta Saxena, Co-Founder, Enso Immersive; Shaharbin Aboobacker, Inner Circle Entertainment; Bhavya Seth, Co-Founder, Lucid Dream Studio; Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Head, WWI Jio VR Lab and moderated by Anand Gurnani, Founder, Vamrr. During the discussion, the experts shared the pre-requisites required for an individual who aspires to enter and pursue a career in the VR domain.
A panel discussion on Creative Collaborations was organised with esteemed dignitaries, Sohaya Misra, Founder & Designer, Chola the Label and Adhuna Bhabani - Hairstylist and Co-Founder at BBlunt. On an inspiring note, Sohaya highlighted about having a clear vision about one's career choice and equally emphasized on work ethics and trust when collaborating with a partner. Adhuna further explained, “Be able to listen. If you can listen you can communicate well and if you communicate, you can collaborate.”
The first day concluded with a panel discussion on Cinematic Musical Video, Wonderland, with the contemporary dance maestro - Terence Lewis. At the discussion, Terence along with Arkodeb Mukherjee, Cinematographer, and Aarambhh Singh, Assistant Director, shared the ideation process for 'Wonderland', a musical short film. Talking about the USP of the short film, the famed dancer stated, "The beauty about Wonderland is that the audience decided who is right in terms of the character."
The day two of the event unfolded with a buzzing topic - 'How To Be A Great YouTuber'. This panel discussion included the highly recognized digital media influencers: Satya Raghavan, India Head, YouTube; Aditi Shrivastava, Co-Founder, PocketAces; Anisha Dixit, Rickshawali; Ranveer Allahbadia BeerBiceps; Paula McGlynn, BhaDiPa and Madhura Bachal, MadhurasRecipe. On pursuing a career in YouTube, Ranveer shared, "Enter the domain only if you have pure love and passion for what you’re doing."
The second-panel discussion - 'Star in the Character' primarily celebrated all the actors who don’t take on to lead roles but leave a mark in the memory of the audience. Highly renowned actors - Kumud Mishra, Seema Pahwa, Rahul Bose, Sahil Vaid, and Rajshri Deshpande shared inputs on their journey and process of characterization. In a conversation with Anjum Rajabali, Rahul Bose explained his inclination towards choosing unconventional roles. In addition, Kumud imparted knowledge on the process of characterization and how observation was the main key to projecting the traits of a character successfully. The talented alumnus of WWI, Sahil and Rajshri spoke about their journey in the movies. As an advice to young aspirants on handling success, Seema said, 'To be successful you need to be true to yourself. And always remember to owe credit to everybody who has been a part of your success because everybody’s efforts are what made you.'
The sessions took an interesting turn with the panel discussion - 'Brave Voices, Courageous Choices'. With this discussion industry stalwarts – director and actor Rajat Kapoor; director Shashanka Ghosh and Advait Chandan showcased different perspectives on the unconventional choices they made with their movies and acting. The highly educated and experienced panelist also analyzed the issues prevailing in the society. From the role of women in the movies to portraying political and religious viewpoints, the optimistic and creative talents gave the audience insightful takeaway philosophies to ponder upon.
Staying true to its tradition of imparting education to one and all, Whistling Woods International conferred Dilip Kumar, and Lata Mangeshkar scholarships to the deserving students. Commenting on the initiative, Meghna Ghai Puri, said, "One of the biggest goals in building WWI is to offer a platform to the aspirants to make a mark in the industry." In addition, Motion Picture Association in association with WWI presented scholarship to the student from Salaam Baalak Trust. Along with Subhash Ghai Vidya Daan scholarship and a special scholarship - Sunanda Murli Manohar was awarded to meritorious students.
As the concluding session for the day, the illustrious event organized a panel discussion titled, 'Travelling Sound of Music - 1950-2020' with the legends of the music fraternity – Pyarelal Ji; Music Composers Ajay-Atul; and Amitabh Bhattacharya, Lyricist. As a tribute to the legendary musicians, the students of WWI School of Music performed songs from the Hindustani, Tamil and Korean genres. The interaction mainly enlightened the audience about the journey of music in cinema from the year 1950 till present. While reminiscing the glorious musical journey, Pyarelal Ji added, "No music is ever bad. No change is bad. We should all progress towards advancements and continue to enjoy the music in every era."
As this year’s edition of Celebrate Cinema marked its end, all those present at the Whistling Woods International campus parted with a heart full of joy and memories to cherish forever.
Whistling Woods International inaugurated the 7th edition of Celebrate Cinema by paying a tribute to the legendary director, Late Shri. Yash Chopra on his 86th Birth Anniversary
Instituted to commemorate the glory of Hindi Cinema and to provide a platform to exchange thoughts with the industry experts, Whistling Woods International (WWI) inaugurated the 7th edition of Celebrate Cinema. The ‘open-to-all’ annual event, seeks to offer an enriching experience to the enthusiasts and aspirants of the world of film, communications and creative arts. This year’s festivities began on a joyous and inspiring note with the celebration of the 86th birth anniversary of the legendary director, Late, Shri. Yash Chopra.
As WWI paid homage to Late, Shri. Yash Chopra, the audience were amazed at the legend’s vision, who created iconic and blockbuster movies and paved way for generations to come. The event commenced with an AV highlighting the journey of the director. It provided the audience with insights into the life of a maestro, characterized by sheer hard work and determination to achieve success. To further celebrate the legend’s glory to the fullest, the event witnessed students from the WWI School of Music performing on the popular songs from Yash ji’s movies. The students attained valuable insights from the panel discussion on screenwriting where Subhash Ghai (Founder & Chairman, WWI), Ramesh Talwar (film director and associate of Late, Shri. Yash Chopra) and Anjum Rajabali (HOD, Screenwriting, WWI) highlighted about the incredible cinema of the director.
Ramesh ji narrated Yash ji’s journey from creating movies, which catered to depict social issues to being the ‘King of Romance’. While sharing the technicalities and personal stories behind the highly popular movies of Yash ji, he added, “Yash ji was deeply inclined towards literature. He believed in the philosophy of first being educated in order to educate others.”
Commenting on Yash ji’s cinema and his classic movies like Daag, Dhool Ka Phool and Silsila; Subhash Ghai shared, “Yash Chopra was a magician. He had a great understanding of the 4C’s- Casting, Costume, Camera and Content.” Further explaining the students, Subhashji said, “Yash Chopra’s cinema is celebrated to acquaint young aspirants like you with a legend who was not only passionate but obsessed about cinema.”
In addition, Anjum Rajabali discussed how Yash ji would always be on an expedition to discover good scripts and talented writers. Emphasising on the importance of scriptwriting in a movie, he enlightened, “A good script may make a bad movie. But a bad script can never make a good movie.”
The illustrious event marked it end with a thunderous applause as Ramesh Talwar was presented with a sketch of Late, Shre. Yash Chopra and a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai and Meghna Ghai Puri. As departing words, Subhash Ghai said, “Yash ji made 22 films and lived 22 lives. He has become immortal for us. Happy birthday Yash ji! Long live Yash Chopra Cinema.”
Whistling Woods International celebrates Cinematographers Day in memory of Mr. Rajen Kothari
"Shayaris are a way to express the feelings that are held in your heart..." shared Subhash Ghai at the All India Mushairas, 2018 organised by WWI
The 5th Veda session at Whistling Woods International (WWI) held their annual cultural extravaganza - All India Mushairas - 2018, celebrating Indian poetry amidst the students, faculty, and patrons of the art.
The event witnessed seven of today's illustrious bards from diverse cities - Madan Mohan Danish (Gwalior), Azm Shakri (Delhi), Abrar Kashif (Amravati), Rashmi Saba (Bhopal), Aslam Rashid (Gunna), Dr. Sabiha Khursheed (Bhiwandi), Ateeq Anzar (Doha, Qatar) and the esteemed poet Shakeel Azmi from Mumbai, who moderated the session. These poets, with their enchanting rendition of shers (couplets), made it an evening to remember.
The event was a meaningful dedication and appreciation to the art form of Indian poetry that called out to all aficionados and patrons. The event highlighted the deep connection of romance with poetry in Indian culture as the session engulfed the students to enamour the verse and celebrate the talent and thought process behind it.
WWI's Founder & Chairman, Subhash Ghai, while welcoming the audience, said, "Shayari is the way to know a person's nature, which is connected to one's soul and their heart." The evening of verse commenced with the group's youngest member - Azm Shakri, who took the mehfil by storm with his soul-stirring words - Ye Naye Rang ka Ujala Hai, Usko Tasveer Se...
While Kashif's enigmatic performance engulfed the auditorium with thunderous applause, Shakeel spoke of how Nazam Shayari is a way to showcase one's emotions and poured out his thought and feelings through his performance. Shakeel reminisced about his learnings from his predecessors, quoting an eloquent line from Jan Nisar Akhtar - "To write a simple thing is the most difficult." He concluded the evening's performances with his own beautifully arranged Shayari.
The session came to an end with a poignant sentiment shared by Subhash Ghai, that Shayaris are enriching and a pure form of art that influences and encourages people, who both listen and recite them. For the students, the evening was enlightening and entertaining. Their energy led to genuine affection for the performers with roaring applause and standing ovations for each.
The evening culminated with the traditional token of appreciation from Subhash Ghai to the group, followed by a vote of thanks to all who attended the illuminating event.
"Failure is the real teacher. Success teaches you nothing", revealed the celebrated Indian actor-writer-director, Saurabh Shukla at the 5th Veda session, hosted by WWI
From portraying the path-breaking role of a gangster in the movie ‘Satya’ to depicting an eccentric judge in ‘Jolly LLB’, Saurabh Shukla has always captivated the audience with his versatile performance. At the session organised by the cultural hub of Whistling Woods International (WWI), the learned actor-writer-director, shared his journey and success mantras with the curious learners of the institute.
In a nostalgic conversation with Subhash Ghai, the prolific actor shared how he decided on practicing theatre, and the role of his parents, who acted as a strong catalyst behind his fascination for cinema. Narrating the experience on being rejected by the National School of Drama, Saurabh shared a valuable advice to the students, by stating, "If you keep falling you will rise. If you keep failing, you will succeed."
The critically acclaimed actor, Saurabh educated the students about his process of understanding a script and the character. Elaborating on the fundamentals of perfectly adapting to a role he said, “When I get a character, I study it and I try putting life in it. If the character is positive I try finding something negative, so that it helps me to get into the character and vice versa”.
In the interaction, the multi-talented artist also enlightened the students about how he maintained a balance between acting, writing and direction. Saurabh extensively discussed the interconnection that the mentioned work profiles inculcated and how they cannot be cluttered into one. He shared, “I have also written and directed movies, but I do not let the same come in the way of the actor within me”.
Sharing insights from his professional life he stressed on the power of the human mind and explained how everything that the mind could think of, existed in the universe, and everything that it thinks of can be achieved, the impulse should exist.
In the latter part of the session, the acting students of WWI performed a small play for the esteemed guest. The session marked its end as the students along with the actor grooved to the iconic song, ‘Kallu Mama’. For sharing valuable insights and making the 5th Veda session memorable, Saurabh Shukla was felicitated with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai.
Sharing his experience at the cultural hub of WWI, Saurabh shared: “The interaction was wonderfully organised. I am thankful that today Subhash Ghai was mentoring the session. I am extremely happy and honoured. The children of WWI are very bright, I wish them all the luck and success.” As a parting advice to the students, he said, “choose to do what you love and you will never be working for single day in your life”.
From playing music in churches at his birthplace-Visakhapatnam to being a globally celebrated flautist, Naveen Kumar walks down the memory lane at the 5th Veda session, hosted by WWI
The Indian flautist, music composer and singer, Naveen Kumar is globally admired for his excellence in playing a varied range of flutes. Besides being a recording artist and a music producer in the Hindi, Telugu and Tamil film industry, Naveen has also had long association with the music maestro – A.R. Rahman. For the unique talent and humble heart he possess, WWI was thrilled to invite this music-genius to share his expertise at the 5th Veda session.
Playing the song ‘Dil Hai Chota Sa’, Naveen Kumar made a melodious entry to the session and created a musical ethos. In a heart-to-heart conversation with Subhash Ghai, the celebrated flautist shared his journey in the field of music and narrated stories about his collaborations with legendary musicians like Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy, Salim-Sulaiman and Pritam Chakraborty, among others.
Reminiscing memories about the connection that led him to play the flute, Naveen said, “I got an opportunity to play the flute in one of my school functions. And since my dad played the flute, he helped me in preparing for it.” Further explaining his love for the music instrument, he added, “For me, I enjoy the noise which comes out of it. Though I don’t have words but flute has a feel and soul in it.”
Further, in the session, the talented artist spoke about the inception of ‘The Naveen Flute’. He said. “I was practising in one of the studios and I heard the strings of other instruments reacting to the music created from my flute. So now I have inserted a few strings in my flute too and I am still trying to make the best version of the Naveen Flute.”
Discussing the technicalities involved in playing the instrument, Naveen educated the students on creating classical notes and ragas. He further explained the difference between Indian, Chinese and Japanese flutes. Known for his versatility in playing the melodious instrument, Naveen spoke about his most favourite flute out of his exquisite collection.
In addition to imparting insightful knowledge, Naveen also played various flutes for students and explained the technicalities involved in each one of them. He played Hulsi- Chinese, Von Ton flute- Middle East, Ullas- Switzerland, Sakhu Haji-Japanese, Rave Drums-Russia, and Glass flute -created by himself. Giving inputs about the present day innovations in the field, the exemplary artist shared details about ‘flutronixs’- a contemporary fusion of techno music with flute.
The session then opened to a Q&A round where the students asked a few questions and attained further knowledge about music from the legendary flautist. As a departing word of advice for aspiring music enthusiasts Naveen said, “Be a singer or a composer, the music should come from inside. Put your best, practise hard and take this subject very seriously. Also, remember to learn the basics, it is extremely important.”
With a burst of applause and a standing ovation, Naveen Kumar was felicitated with a token of appreciation by Sangeeta Shankar- HOD, WWI-School of Music
“My decisions are never made for money but for my passion to do what I love” said comedy-nazi, Tanmay Bhat at the Whistling Woods International cultural workshop
The cultural hub of Whistling Woods International, reverberated with laughter and immense enthusiasm as the comedy-nazi Tanmay Bhat narrated his tryst with comedy with the students of WWI. ‘With a motto’ to be a strong promoter of the present-day pop-culture, he described his journey into the world of stand-up comedy.
In a light-hearted yet informative session moderated by Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Tanmay highlighted the important and the otherwise serious aspects of comedy. “I became funny so that people would like me as I did not like myself for the longest time”- revealed Tanmay while he narrated his inclination towards comedy. Tanmay shared how comedy was an instinct for him and hence he used it as a method to ‘fit-in’ during his childhood. On preaching the students about following a career path with honesty and love, he said, ‘Decisions that I made have never been money or strategy driven. I follow what I am most excited and passionate about’. Further, in the conversation, he discussed about his past projects and mentioned the technical aspects involved in various mediums of comedy.
He further explained the importance of in-depth research and observation involved behind creating a comedy set. He supported his statements by citing examples from his highly recognised roast comedy show - AIB Knockout and the unique spoof project on Hindi party songs. He opined on the aspects of structuring a script, creation of multiple video-breaks and the process of sketch writing among others. In addition, Tanmay also revealed the key rules that one must apply during content creation. Being strongly opinionated, discussing relatable experiences, sharing nostalgic memories and bringing in a positive ethos; were a few rules Tanmay emphasized upon. On a similar note, he also helped the students to gain insights on the evolution of comedy over the decades.
He said, “Comedy is no longer about a joke, it is about the story.” In the latter part of the session, Tanmay conducted an impromptu sketch about Whistling Woods International, through which he explained the students the process of mapping comedy. The applauded comedy guru also shared plans about his future ventures and how he aims at producing sets that are based on his real-life experiences.
The session marked its end with a Q & A round post which Tanmay Bhat was felicitated with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai.
The Young Prodigies of Whistling Woods International School of Fashion Showcased Ingenious Designs at the Graduation Fashion Show - Aiyanna 2018
Stylish, edgy fad fuelled with fun and excitement were afloat as the students presented their upbeat collections at the annual fashion extravaganza – Aiyanna 2018, the Graduation Fashion Show! Industry stalwarts made their appearances as one of the most celebrated event unfolded at Asia’s premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts institute.
Gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest was the highly applauded actress, Manisha Koirala along with the Fashion-Nazi, Neeta Lulla as the Chief Mentor and the Founder & Chairman of WWI, Subhash Ghai. The jury comprised of the much-admired fashion designers - Gaviin Miguel, Sohaya Misra, and Gunjan Arora.
The show progressed with 12 distinct ‘Ready-to-Wear’ collections being showcased by the students. These collections were a true reflection of the budding aspirant’s ideologies and creativity. The designs highlighted distinctive concepts inspired from personal experiences, everyday lives, nature, art and global trends. The beautiful garment collections were titled- DECAY, GET YOUR OWN ROBOT, DREAMS INTO REALITY, ABORGINALS, CAÑO CRISTALES, THE KONARK TALES, WITHIN THE SHADOWS, MUMBAI SLUMS, MOTHER OF PEARL, SCHOOL OF MISCHIEF, IKEBANA and AM I EVIL. Furthermore, the talented designers supported their unconventional concepts with an amalgamation of high quality fabrics, different textures, vivid colour palettes, intricate pattern-making skills and creative silhouettes.
Speaking at the occasion, Neeta Lulla shared, “Year after year it keeps getting better with a fabulous demonstration of students’ creativity. I would like to congratulate the students, faculty and staff for the fantastic show. I am confident of the students marking their mark in the industry.”
As a departing thought Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International shared,x “You know it takes a lot to do everything by your own self like from ideation, sketching to garment construction. The students have done so well at such a young age. And I am very happy and proud of them.”
To this Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI added, “It is a moment of great pride for me to witness beautiful designs and concepts executed by our talented budding designers. The whole team at WWI wishes them all a lot of luck and glory. Keep working hard with passion and dedication; success shall follow. I would also like to thank all the esteemed members of jury and guests of honour for gracing the occasion and motivating our students.”
The fashion show marked its end with the announcement of three winners of the esteemed titles – Best Commercially Viable Collection, Best Garment Construction, and Best Designer. Bhoomi Sanghavi, Suryakant Rout, and Kajal Ishasharia won the prestigious titles respectively.
“Personal touch adds soul to music”, shared the National Award-winning music composer & guitarist, Ehsaan Noorani with the students at the 5th Veda session
"Be a student all your life. Enrich yourself with the learning’s of the past", advised the highly applauded music composer and guitarist, Ehsaan Noorani, at the cultural hub of Whistling Woods International (WWI).
Ehsan, one of the principal associates of the celebrated Indian musical trio, ‘Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, has always had the whole nation swaying to rejuvenating and soulful music compositions. The gifted musician was filled with excitement as he exchanged valuable lessons and different perspectives on the evolving world of music with the students at the institute.
The session hosted by Subhash Ghai, witnessed Ehsaan narrating his journey from being a student at ‘The Musicians Institute’ in California to becoming the iconic music composer for Hindi Cinema. He highlighted the different music genres and emphasized on the importance of Indian classical music in creating unique and melodious compositions.
Further revealing practical insights about the working dynamics in the music industry, Ehsaan elaborated upon the process of casting singers for music compositions. He explained how the casting method had evolved over-time. In earlier days, while casting depended mainly on the actors of the movie, however, in the present-day scenario, singers are cast on the basis of the overall composition and how it aims to be delivered.
The session took an interesting turn, as Ehsaan edified the students about the stories and technicalities that were involved in creating some of the most popular songs like – ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, and ‘Taare Zameen Par’ among others. He also shared memories about how he doubted some of the compositions that he thought would not sell but went on to being super-hits. While narrating these experiences, Ehsaan said, “Little things which may be insignificant at one point of time can be a big turning point.”
The latter part of the session was then open for a Q&A, where the talented musician with great willingness answered to the queries of the students. Post the insightful Q&A, Ehsaan jammed with the students, where he strummed the guitar and the entire auditorium including Subhash Ghai sung his iconic compositions aloud in harmony.
As departing words of advice to all the talented students of one of Asia’s premier Film, Communications and Creative Arts institute, Ehsaan said, “Let the success get to your feet and not your head. Always stay grounded and remember that you are a musician and not a superstar.”
The session then marked its end with a thunderous round of applause, as Ehsaan Noorani was bestowed with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai.
“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.