Whistling Woods In­ter­na­tional has much to of­fer stu­dents. By Son­ali Achar­jee

India Today - - ASPIRE -

Started by film maker Sub­hash Ghai and de­signer Neeta Lulla, the Whistling Woods In­ter­na­tional Neeta Lulla School of Fash­ion is rolling out ad­mis­sions for its very first batch of stu­dents. Fash­ion en­thu­si­asts can now not only choose be­tween a one or two year diploma but can also ap­ply for a 100 per cent schol­ar­ship at the in­sti­tute. All they need to do is to prove their cre­ativ­ity and tal­ent.

“We want to nur­ture the very best minds and skill sets. So for those who are ex­cep­tion­ally bril­liant at de­sign or fash­ion, we are of­fer­ing a full schol­ar­ship to fund their stud­ies at our school in Mum­bai,” says Meghna Ghai- Puri, pres­i­dent of Whistling Woods In­ter­na­tional. The schol­ar­ship exam which took place last month in Mum­bai, Delhi, Ban­ga­lore and Chen­nai cov­ers the en­tire tuition fee of a few lucky stu­dents look­ing to study at the school.

With an ad­vi­sory board con­sist­ing of mem­bers from the fash­ion in­dus­try such as Wen­dell Ro­dricks, Alka Nishar, Me­her Castellino, and Marc Robin­son, a course at the school of fash­ion prom­ises stu­dents the best of both prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal learn­ing. “Cour­ses are firstly tai­lor- made ac­cord­ing to the length of the de­gree. Whether you are with us for one year or two, you will still re­ceive ad­e­quate train­ing and ex­po­sure through in­ter­ac­tive lec­tures, tu­to­ri­als and hands- on in­tern­ship ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Neeta Lulla.

But fash­ion is not all that stu­dents can learn at Whistling Woods. Es­tab­lished in 2006, the in­sti­tute was ranked as one of the ten best film schools in the world by Hol­ly­wood Re­porter last year. Film en­thu­si­asts can opt for cour­ses in act­ing, an­i­ma­tion, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, di­rec­tion, edit­ing, pro­duc­ing, screen­writ­ing, sound record­ing and de­sign and me­dia man­age­ment stud­ies. “All our pro­grammes in­clude a mix of both the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal learn­ing. We of­ten in­vite lead­ing In­dian and in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers to in­ter­act with stu­dents. This not only widens their per­spec­tives but also gives them an idea of in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions and re­quire­ments,” adds Ghai- Puri.

Last year saw the in­sti­tute ex­pand its cam­puses glob­ally through branches in Nige­ria and the UK. Whistling Woods also re­cently an­nounced its foray into the on­line ed­u­ca­tion space with the Whistling Woods Vir­tual Acad­emy ( WWVA) in the pres­ence of ac­tor Hrithik Roshan, who for­mally launched the acad­emy in De­cem­ber last year. This ven­ture makes Whistling Woods the first in­sti­tute in In­dia to of­fer an on­line film- mak­ing course.

“Ex­po­sure to key play­ers in the in­dus­try was my big­gest cri­te­ria when I was short- list­ing film- mak­ing in­sti­tutes to ap­ply to. I have now de­cided to give first pri­or­ity to Whistling Woods not only be­cause the cour­ses in di­rec­tion are very well de­fined and suit my ca­reer in­ter­ests but also be­cause of the in­dus­try in­ter­ac­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able at the in­sti­tute. For a stu­dent just start­ing out in their ca­reer such chances are crit­i­cal,” says Amit Bawa, 18, a stu­dent from Delhi.

Be it fash­ion, di­rec­tion or film, there is plenty of new things for as­pir­ing stu­dents to learn and dis­cover at Whistling Woods In­ter­na­tional.

Stu­dents at Whistling Woods In­ter­na­tional

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