SAIFF to premiere films by FTII graduates


MUMBAI: On 5 and 6 October, the fourth annual 2007 South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) in New York, will hold the North American premiere of two films directed by luminaries from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) – Tripurari Sharan’s Who Subah Kidhar Nikal Gayi?(Whither the Dawn?) and Somnath Sen’s Diploma.


Who Subah Kidhar Nikal Gayi? is a film about five young men and two women who become close friends while studying at a campus set in India in the mid 1970’s.  It dwells on the bonds of friendship, and the nostalgia it provokes in later life when they all find themselves caught up in their own professional, social and emotional situations. The political happenings of the time provide the backdrop to their anxieties and aspirations.


Diploma is the story of eleven acting students who are about to graduate from a reputed film school. They are rehearsing for their final diploma film. The genesis of the story is when one of the students, Rabeya, locks herself in her room and refuses to face the camera. When the other students finally start to analyze the reasons behind Rabeya’s refusal to face the camera, they are forced to look within themselves and squarely face their own insecurities and fears of going out into the real world.


Founded in 1960 in Pune, India, The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is considered a premiere film education institute in South Asia for producing award winning filmmakers and actors/actresses receiving honors in numerous national and international film festivals.  Famous alumni in South Asian independent cinema include Shabana Azmi, Mani Kaul, and now, Tripurari Sharan and Somnath Sen.


Sen stated, “The Indian New Wave was spearheaded by graduates of our Institute and we are considered to be the vanguard for exploring and enhancing alternate cinema in India. SAIFF is the premier showground for cinema from South Asia thus it is an honor that our films are playing at SAIFF. Especially, since both the films were made for our acting students using resources of our film school (FTII). New York City is the world capital of the arts and it is thus a perfect venue for the U.S. premiere of both these films.”