Department of Direction & Screenplay Writing
About the Department
The Direction and Screenplay Writing Department coordiniates the 2 semesters of the Integrated Programme. The Department also conducts the 4 Semesters of Specialisation which include theoretical and practical inputs in Film Language and Syntax, Film History, Film Theory, Screenplay Writing and Production Design. The Department teachers engage with students on a one on one level and mentor them through all the stages of their student film projects. We strive to provide our students with optimum exposure to different forms and genres of Cinema – be it Fiction or Documentary Cinema. In addition to our regular academic inputs, we also invite guest filmmakers to conduct film workshops with our students and to inspire them. The intent is to encourage our students to always be open to and embrace new and innovative praxis and ideas. The Department strives towards achieving not only greater technical and craft expertise for our students but also attempts to help them acquire an aesthetic sensibility, a greater understanding of and sensitivity towards societal issues. We hope to provide our students with a supportive environment where they can freely explore the film medium and move towards finding their own unique voice.
About the Course
Semester I and Semester II : Integrated Programme
Theory and practical classes will enable the student to achieve comprehension of the creative collaboration required of the existing 6 academic departments ( Direction & SPW, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Recording and Design, Producing for Film & Television and Animation Cinema) in filmmaking.
The department adapts a praxis, where through focused theoretical classes, hands on practical sessions , individual mentoring and wor kshops with outside experts the student gains experiential understanding of the salient aspects of filmmaking.
Each student of the department has to work with the student crew, pitch and execute a long take exercise to create cinematic spaces any where in the campus including the available sets in the studio floors and a short film to be made on given parameters of shooting indoor (on set) as well as outdoor.
In the first part of the semester two workshops are arranged, one on playback and how the same can be used effectively in narratives and the second one is on promotional and advertising filmmaking practices. Students then receive intensive inputs on research and development of non-fiction cinema and make an observational documentary. Rest of the semester then is on developing the thesis film screenplay.
Each student along with a students’ crew make a thesis film.The film can be set anywhere in India and the unit has to source all the materials including equipment and other logistics from outside. This gives the experience of real filmmaking.
3 Years Divided into 6 Semesters.
Total No of Seats
Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline.
Candidates successful in the Joint Entrance Test (JET) will be called for Orientation and Interview.
Final merit list will be prepared on the basis of written examination(JET), orientation and interview subject to qualifying in Medical test.
Faculty & Academic Support Staff
—Professor, Direction & Head of the Department
Anirban Datta left pursuing Physics after graduation to become a full-time screenwriter. In this period, he worked for several regional and national projects as a professional script & screenwriter. He did his PG Diploma in Cinema from Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata in Direction and Screenplay Writing (2001-2004). Here is my Nocturne (2004) His institute documentary film was premiered in Indian panorama, IFFI Goa, 2005 and travelled to major Indian festival. it was also exhibited at Helsinki City Art Museum on Indian Pop Art & Culture, 2006; and at ISFVF, Beijing Film Academy 2006. Tetris (2006), his Diploma film premiered at Festival de Cannes’06 in Cinefondation competition and travelled to Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, 2006, ISFVF, Beijing Film Academy 2006, IFFK, Trivadrum 2006 and in IFF Rotterdam as part of a retrospective of Indian student films. After graduating from SRFTI he directed and produced several commissioned or internationally co-produced documentaries for international broadcasters of the likes of NHK Japan, YLE Finland, VPRO Netherlands, and Doordarshan, India. The projects were pitched at IDFA Forum, Docedge Asian forum Kolkata, Changing India – Steps for the Future International Pitching Workshop, Goa; received important grants & funds like Jan Vrijman Fund (production) given by IDFA (received twice), Sundance Documentary Fund, PSBT-Films Division Fellowship Grant, PSBT-Doordarshan Fellowship Grant. The Films travelled over two hundred international festivals, received numerous national and international awards and recognitions including three Rajat Kamal – Indian National Film Awards. Bhultir Khero / Chronicle of an Amnesiac (2007) a film commissioned by NHK Japan (TV2); Nokia Award for Best Developed Project, Docedge’ Kolkata’05; Rajat Kamal (Spacial Jury Award), 55th Indian National Film Awards,’09; Nominated for Ogawa Shinsuke Prize, YDIFF’09, Yamagata, Japan; John Abraham National Award for Best Documentary, SIGNS’07 Trivandrum, in for motion (2008) a co-production with Steps India, YLE (Finland) and Jan Vrijman Fund; World Premier, IDFA 2008, Amsterdam, (in competition),Rajat Kamal (Best Film on Environment) 57th National Film Awards’09; Inaugural film (Non feature), Indian Panorama, IFFI’09, Goa, India; IDPA Silver Award for Best Documentary’08, Mumbai; Special Mention Jury Award, 2nd IDSFFK, Trivandrum; SIGNS’09, Trivandrum; EcoFilms’09 Rhodos, Greece; Asiatica Filmmediale’09, Rome; 54th Dok-Leipzig 2011. BOM/ One Day Ahead of Democracy (2011): World Premier, IDFA 2011, Amsterdam; Rajat Kamal, 59th National Film Awards 2011; Grand Prize, Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival 2012; Special Mention Jury Award, MIFF’12, Mumbai, India; John Abraham National Award, Cinema of Resistance, SIGNS’12 Trivandrum, India; Wasted (2012): A PSBT-Films Division Fellowship Film; Special Jury Award, John Abraham National Award, *SIGNS’12; Inaugural film, Shahernama Film Festival’14, Mumbai; Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014-15, Artist’s Cinema section; Bangladesh Short Film Festival, Dhaka’12; Astra Film Festival’13, Romania; Open Frame’14, Delhi; Urban Lens’14 Bangalore; VIBGYOR International film festival 2015, Trissur, India. Kalikshetra (52min, doc, HD 2018)Writer/Director: A PSBT-Doordarshan Fellowship Film for telecast in Doordarshan; Closing Film, Kolkata Peoples Film Festival 2018; SIGNS2019 Kochi India; Bangladesh Sort & Documentary Film Festival Dhaka 2019; Urban Lens Bangalore 2018; Open Frame Delhi 2019.
How film practice that can create an active dialogue with academic possibilities on a formal and pedagogic level is a subject of Anirban’s passion & preoccupation. A two-way dialogue can create enriched outcomes both for pedagogy as well as practice. He held faculty position at Film Direction & Screenplay Dept., Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune as Associate Professor (2019-20), and Asst. Professor (2012-13). He had a brief stint as Associate Professor at Script writing and Direction Dept., K R Narayanan National Institute for Visual Science & Arts, Kerala in 2017. He has conducted filmmaking workshops for various institutes and universities of repute like National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad,Ashoka University (Young India Fellowship Program),Sri Aurobindo Centre for Art and Communication (SACAC) Creative Documentary Program, Maharashtra Institute Technology (documentary Workshop), Jindal Global University to name a few. He also conducted country’s first ever workshop on filmmaking with Smart Phones for SKIFT (a Skill india initiative of FTII Pune) supported by the Indian Army at Baramulla, J&K. He was invited as international mentor for Dhaka Doclab at Rajshahi, Bangladesh. He has served as a jury member, non-feature films section, for 56th Indian National Film Awards 2008; member of Jury committee, National Students Film Award NSFA, FTII Pune 2012; Wular Lake International Short Film Festival Baramulla J & K India for years 2018 and 2019; 13th IIUSFF, Dhaka University.
—Associate Professor, Script Writing
Putul Mahmood, an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), is a filmmaker, producer and teacher.
She is the Producer of the Indie Bengali feature film Cosmic Sex directed by Amitabh Chakraborty. The film premiered at the Osian’s CineFan Festival of Arab and Asian Cinema where it won the Best Actress Award and was widely distributed across international online platforms as well as having a theatrical release in Bengal.
She has directed several short fiction and documentary films including You Who Never Arrived featuring Irrfan Khan and Geetanjali Kulkarni, Man of Silence- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, I Shoot U, Atasi, Three Sisters and Kajal. Atasi won the Best Film Silver Conch (under 60 mins category) at MIFF 2020.
Three Sisters won the National Award for the Best Film on Social Issues at the 68th National Awards.
Putul Mahmood also works as a Script Consultant on short fiction and feature films- Serious Men on Netflix starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, is one of her recent works in that capacity. Serious Men won the Best Film Award at the Filmfare 2021 online Awards and was nominated to the Emmy Awards in the Best Actor Category.
Putul has designed and been the Course Director of Docurama a three week long residential Documentary Workshop and Appreciation course, the first of its kind, in collaboration with Siddhartha Kak and the IDC department of IIT Powai.
Putul Mahmood has worked as an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor for Chakra Channel. She has directed 86 episodes of Renditions, an Indian Classical Music based series.
Putul Mahmood is one of the co-authors of Shift Focus – Women Shaping The Narrative In Media and Entertainment; commissioned by Women In Cinema Collective (WCC) and the US Consulate in Chennai. This is a Report that describes the prevailing working conditions of women cine workers in the South Indian film Industry and proposes steps to be taken to make them more gender-sensitive and gender just.’
An alumnus of SRFTI (2000), Tridib had taught in the Dept. of Mass Communication & Videography, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata for 4 years before joining SRFTI in 2011. He has been associated with KIIT. Bhubaneswar and D J Academy, Coimbatore as a visiting faculty. While freelancing he worked both in fiction & non-fiction. His first independent short fiction film Sahore (In The City, 2005). participated in many festivals including Toronto International Film Festival (2006). Kolkata Film Festival (Indian Select section. 2005). His diploma film Khoj (In Search) made in SRFTI in 2000 was the first Indian film to get an Official Selection (In Competition) in the Cinefondation section of Cannes Film Festival (2002). It also won the Best First Film of a Director Award (IDPA) in Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF. 2004) and Best Director (Short Film) by Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Award (BFJA , 2002).
—Assistant Professor (Art Direction)
An alumnus of FTII Pune, Ranajit Gharai has 15 years of work experience as an Art Director/ Production Designer.
He has done several feature films in this capacity. Ranajit has worked in the Production Design team of “Ek Nadir Golpo”. This film was India’s entry for the Asian, African & Latin American Competition segment of the 38th International Film Festival of India, held in Goa 2007. “Udedh Bun” won Silver Bear in 2008 at 58th Berlin International Film Festival 2008 and National Film Award for best short fiction film 2008. Rong Kuchak won National Film Award for best short film in 2014.
“MEAL” was screened at Cannes Film Festival and got the Dada Saheb Falke award.
Ranajit has designed for many advertisement such as Amazon, Ambuja Cement, Ozone, Wedding Collection from P.C. Chandra Jewllers and has done Art Direction for 50 short films.
Tangella Madhavi is an award winning independent documentary filmmaker. She has made films for PSBT, Films Division, Majlis, Metropolis-VPRO Netherlands and NHK Japan.
She has also taught documentary film making at Sophia Polytechnic and been a documentary mentor for ldocs(Documentary Resource Initiative), Documentor (Imphal ) and was on the selection committee for International Documentary for Mumbai International Film Festival, 2015.
An alumni of SRFTI, Asian Film Academy, Mumbai University and Sophia Polytechnic , Tangella Madhavi’s core area of interests are research, Indian documentaries, and writing.
Sounak is an alumni of Direction and Screenplay writing department in Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. Apart from directing and writing, he works occasionally as a cinematographer, editor and sound designer. He has also worked as a teacher in short courses conducted by FTI, Itanagar.
He has been making movies and videos since the age of thirteen. He loves exploring different cultures and has made films in various languages like Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali, Nyishi, Galo, Apatani and Mandarin. His SRFTI diploma film, “Sex with a monk and other stories” got screened at several major festivals of India and won the Audience Choice Award at Contact International Students Film Festival of Izmir, Turkey in 2017.
In 2014, he directed two short segments for the “World from dawn to dusk: Kolkata” project as part of a workshop conducted by the National film school, Lodz, Poland. In 2015, he participated in the ‘Looking China’ project organized by AICCC, China and made a short documentary in Guiyang called Zhenshan (Eng: Half Mountain) as part of the project. He worked as cinematographer and editor for the documentary, “Slave garden” (Aka: High tea) directed by Abhra Aich) which received the IDFA Bertha Fund for development in 2017. It was also selected for pitching at Doc Lisboa and Doc Incheon. In 2019, he wrote, directed, shot and edited a Galo language feature film called Bird Thief – a regional film made in collaboration with the people of the Galo tribe in Basar, Arunachal Pradesh. It was exhibited locally in several community halls across the state. In 2020, he wrote and directed a commercial Bengali comedy web series called “Fish and Chips”.
A Direction student shooting her mise en scene exercise in the film studio