Anupam Kher appointed as the new FTII chairman

Emilio Banks
October 12, 2017

"I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities", Anupam tweeted. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment in 2014 had triggered widespread student protests.

The 62-year-old critically acclaimed actor has over 500 films and plays to his credit, including worldwide projects like Bend It Life Beckham and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook. He also pointed out that there's a possible "conflict of interest' angle involved as Kher himself runs his own acting school". An alumnus of National School of Drama, he has also served as the Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the past.

"The students at FTII don't see any difference between Chauhan and Kher, who is known to be to be a vocal supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

Kher, who appeared in several acclaimed worldwide films, also appeared in more than 100 plays. In fact, had destiny not played a trick, Kher would have featured as a character called Disco Killer in the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), a film that had numerous references to FTII and New Indian Cinema; besides the director Kundan Shah, who was from the institute, the lead characters were named after filmmakers Vinod Chopra and Sudhir Mishra, who were Shah's former FTII colleagues, and featured many institute graduates. "I think sharing experience adds up to perspectives and that's what I want to do". "What else do I need?" he said. Some of his Hindi films include "Karma", "Daddy", "Lamhe", "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara", "A Wednesday" and "Baby".

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The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts.

Following several controversies, the post remained vacant for at least seven months, after Chauhan demitted office in March this year.

Asked if they would oppose Khers appointment the way their predecessors had done over Gajendra Chauhans appointment in 2015, Joy said the future course of action would be decided at the general body meeting of the FSA. He has also been a part of worldwide projects such as Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning Lust, Caution, and David O Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook.

In the past few days, Anupam has been busy promoting his production "Ranchi Diaries", and he has also has film projects lined up.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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