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Anupam Kher Is The New FTII Chairman, Replaces Gajendra Chauhan

Indian Bollywood actor Anupam Kher announces season 2 of his show The Anupam Kher Show - Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai' in Mumbai late on July 21, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Veteran actor Anupam Kher will be the new chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He will take over from Gajendra Chauhan..

Kher, who has been in the industry for over 30 years, also served as the former chairperson of the National School of Drama and runs an acting school – Actor Prepares.

“I feel deeply humbled and honoured to be apportioned as the chairman of iconic FTII. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities,” Kher tweeted.

Chauhan became the chairman of FTII in 2015 but his stint was regarded as one of the most controversial ones. A section of students thought his appointment was a blatant attempt to “saffronise the institute”, and there were a lot agitations as a result. Students also felt that Chauhan wasn’t qualified to hold the prestigious position.

In March this year, Chauhan ceased to be the chairman of the institute.

Kher, on the other hand, received Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in cinema and arts.

Kher’s wife Kirron Kher, an actress and BJP MP from Chandigarh, told Times Now: “I’m very happy. Of course, it’s a challenging job for anybody. It’s not going to be an easy job. These chairmanships are crown of thorns. Here, people do get against you, but I am sure Anupam will be able to take them along because he is an extremely talented person.”

Anupam, who began his acting career with Saaransh in 1984, also has his own acting institute Actor Prepares.

Kirron said Anupam was the right choice to head the FTII, which provides training in acting, direction and other technical aspects of film making in a country which is one of the largest producers of movies.

“My husband is a very fine actor. He has been in the film industry for so many years. He is very capable of (being FTII head). He has been teaching acting for so long. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed chairman of FTII.  So, I am a very proud wife today. I would like to thank the government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” she said.

Asked what she meant by ‘crown of thorns’, she said: “I meant the CBFC, not FTII.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Anupam Kher for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII.”

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an “excellent change” at FTII. “Finally, the government is listening to us.”

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role.

Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images

With inputs from IANS

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