Monday, 5 May 2014

May be of Change

The campus is in full bloom with May flowers, and many more purple, yellow and other colours. Yes, that is also a point I am trying to make. Most of us don't know the names of the trees and plants around us. Its also a coincidence that its in this month of the legendary workers' struggle that the first organized protest from the students of our department happened. Even though we had earlier protested against the haphazard way the course was moving ahead, this time we were more organized, our demands stronger. For the first time in our batch, a whole department of students boycotted a workshop.
I am documenting the progress of this students' protest.

On 2nd May 2014 we got a mail from the department informing us of a workshop to be held from today, 5th May, 2014. This was the immediate cause of the meeting which we held on 3rd May. In the meeting we decided that we will not go ahead with this workshop unless our pending work is sorted out and a proper vacation be granted. The pending work includes a workshop on lighting and lensing, one on sound design, post production work and screening of the III Demo film and the post production work of the mise-en-scene project. A letter addressed to the HOD was drafted. This was submitted today and the workshop was called off because we boycotted it. A meeting is to be held with other faculty after which decisions on these topics will be taken.

I, however, also had other proposals to the administration which are not academic in nature. Like I said, most of us are completely unaware of the trees around us. I went to the registrar and suggested that we place a name plate over ALL the trees and plants on campus, which is a handsome number for 50 acres of land, showing their scientific and common names. He was totally supportive of this and I am happy. The second suggestion, however, faced some scepticism. Throughout the year the campus has some contruction work or the other going on. The current ones in progress are the contruction of a studio and a new hostel. I suggested that photographs of all the labourers be taken (said that I am willing to do it, rather I AM doing it) and those be framed and hung in the buildings after the work is done. It didn't spring up from earth one fine day, did it. I think we need to value human labour in some way possible. The registrar said he wasn't sure about this. I heard the usual 'I have no problem, but don't know if others will agree'. He asked me to put forward both the proposals in writing. Going to do that.

Let the month of May be of change.

May flowers on campus. Photo, kunjila mascillamani henry


  1. Hi Kunjila,
    I happened to come across your blog by chance while browsing about SRFTI and since then have been reading your blogs on a regular basis.
    I have always wanted to join SRFTI as I aspire to become a film editor and think that this place could help me hone my skills to achieve my dream. But after following your blog posts, especially the one on ragging that you posted in November, I am having second thoughts about joining the institution.
    If I do get it, I'll be a day boarder since I am from Kolkata but like you said in your blog, even day boarders weren't spared from ragging. I wanted to know if such problems still exist in SRFTI?
    I have heard from one of my close relatives that at night, the SRFTI hostel is a mess with drinks and weed taking precedence over everything else in the campus. I was shocked to hear the same from you, especially the post where you mention a professor smoking weed with the students in one of his lectures.
    I want to know whether the scenario is the same even during the day as well? Are the faculty members efficient or the tag of 'best film institute' associated with SRFTI is just an eye wash. To be honest, I am a bit coward and if I join SRFTI and face such issues like ragging, I will not be able to concentrate on the course and fear that my career will be ruined. So can you please tell me whether I should plan to join SRFTI or rather enter the industry as a trainee and learn while being on the job? I am looking at the 3 yr course in editing so if it's possible, can you also tell me a bit about the quality of the course, if you can?
    And does the institute allow day boarding or staying in the hostels is a compulsion?
    Lastly, I would like to say that your braveness is worth appreciating. The way you have voiced out your opinions against the wrong doings is brilliant. Please continue to be this strong in the future and I would love to watch a movie directed by you someday (presuming that you are doing a direction course at SRFTI as mentioned in your blog posts). Happy blogging! :)


    1. I will have to say that i have not till date written any lies about the place in the blog. But it was not meant to scare people away. It is a great place to be while you learn cinema. The three years you spend here, in my opinion, depends a lot on what you make of it. Drink yourself silly if you like doing that, don't if you don't. Ragging still exists but not as much as it used to. Don't worry about that, there are more people to support you if you face any such problem.
      I personally love the place and what i do here. You are always thinking of cinema, well, almost always, and that itself does a lot of good. (Sometimes it drives you crazy).
      Being a day scholar is permitted as of now.
      The place does wonders to you if you let it. Do join. Best.

  2. Thank you so very much for the reply!

  3. Thank you so very much for the reply!