Anupam Kher, film actor has been appointed as the new chief of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Kher's appointment comes after controversial chairman Gajendra Chauhan's term ended in March 2017.
Chauhan was appointed as FTII chairman on June 9, 2015. The two-year stint of Chauhan was marked by a 139-day strike by students, who protested against what they felt was a "politically-motivated appointment".
Kher is a recepient of the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016. He has previously held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama.
Kher has appeared in over 500 films and has been part of the theatre circles. He has also been part of acclaimed international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, and the 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook.
This is the second big move by Smriti Irani, Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Earlier in August, she had appointed Prasoon Joshi as the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by sacking Pahlaj Nihalani.
This is what Anupam Kher’s wife, actor and BJP MP Kirron Kher said about the appointment. “I was sitting in the office in Chandigarh with a lot of people and I suddenly got a call from the media and I picked up the phone and they started saying this and I was like ‘Oh! My God’ and I told the office yaar TV lagao. I saw it on that and I haven’t had time to speak to Anupam. I am in Chandigarh now and he lives is in Mumbai. You must realise it’s a huge responsibility and it means so much extra work for him you know because he is a very busy actor, he is a motivational speaker, he is a teacher. He does so many things so it’s going to be a lot of work but I am sure he is going to do a great job. He is very good at it. And also he is probably the only person now who has headed all three institutions, the Censor Board, the National School of Drama and now the Film and Television Institute of India. I would like to say a huge thank you to the government of India and Modi ji and Smriti Irani ji, both of them.”
Here's how Gajendra Chauhan and Bollywood personalities reacted to the news:
"Anupam Kher has been appointed now as FTII Chairman, I hope he works well. My good wishes are with him." said Gajendra Chauhan,Ex-FTII chairman.
— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) October 11, 2017
— Rajat Sharma (@RajatSharmaLive) October 11, 2017
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) October 11, 2017
Heartiest congratulations to @Anupamkher sir for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII
— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) October 11, 2017
Excellent change. @AnupamPkher finally replaces Gajendra Chauhan or whatever his name is as FTII Chairman. Finally, the Govt is listening to us!
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) October 11, 2017
FTII, an autonomous body, was in the past headed by legendary film personalities including Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Saeed Mirza, Mahesh Bhatt, Mrinal Sen, Vinod Khanna and Girish Karnad.
On the work front, Anupam Kher is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming film, Ranchi Diaries.