Pune, May 3: Indian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola on Tuesday, May 3 assumed charge as the new Director of city-based Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), which saw a long-drawn agitation by students last year over appoinment of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as its Chairman.
Kainthola replaced Prashant Pathrabe, who served as interim Director during the 139-day long strike by students opposing appointment of Chauhan and four other members on the FTII Society on ground of "merit".
The 1989-batch IIS officer will have a three-year tenure at the premier film and TV training school, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. After assuming charge, Kainthola said he will strive to maintain glory of the 56-year-old institute.
"FTII has a long tradition of nurturing the finest talent in filmmaking and television. I shall make all the endeavor to maintain glory of the institute," he said. "I have come here with an open mind and clean heart and I am sure all my students, faculty and staff-members will extend their full cooperation in my efforts."
Asked about his stand on withdrawing a police case against the students, registered by Pathrabe during the agitation, he said, "It is too early to comment on this issue as I am not very conversant with this matter."
The case relates to Pathrabe being confined in his office for several hours by the agitating students in August last year. Kainthola said he has so far met the staff and faculties and will later meet with the students.
The premier institute offers courses related to acting, film-making, video editing, direction and production.