Nepalese actors to hone skills at Pune's prestigious FTTI
Building on its soft power diplomacy in the Indian neighbourhood, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has brought together the Nepalese and Indian film fraternity in a firstof-its-kind initiative.
On Monday, 20 Nepalese actors flew down to India's premier acting institute in Pune for a 20-day course sponsored by the ministry.
At Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, the group of actors are set to get their first formal training in acting over the next three weeks.
"The Indian embassy in Nepal wrote to us requesting a specially designed short course for Nepalese actors. In the MEA's initial hunt for interested actors, over 80 of them applied for the course and following a screening process, 20 top ranking actors from different parts of the country were shortlisted. They were chosen on the basis of their performances and accomplishments in films and theatre," Bhupendra Kainthola, director, FTII Pune, told Mail Today.
"The ministry is sponsoring the acting course that has been specially crafted for this group of 12 male and eight female actors." Kainthola said some of the actors belong to families traditionally associated with the Nepalese film industry while the others have worked in TV serials and commercials, music videos and theatre.
"During the course, the participants will receive rigorous training in acting through teaching of 'Rasa Theory' based on Natyashastra, sense memory, improvisation, scene-work and lip sync playback. Their own performances will be shot on camera for them to be able to get a first-hand feel of the experience and to fine-tune their performances," said Kainthola.
"We have specially designed the curriculum based on the needs and requirements of the participating actors. The course also entails contemporary dance workshops, yoga classes as well as an exposure visit to an ongoing shooting location in Mumbai. A masterclass with actor Kanwaljeet Singh is also part of the module."
Though the actors are established faces in the Nepali and Bhojpuri film industry, none of them have ever had any formal training in acting. The classes will be held mostly in Hindi as the actors are comfortable in the language, officials said.
"This is the first time that we have a group of actors from outside the country. It is a welcome move by the MEA and we are open to the idea of having more such sessions for foreign students," Kainthola added.