The Film Federation of India (FFI), which represents film associations across the country, has come out in support of filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s controversial film school Whistling Woods International (WWI).
WWI has been in the news after the Supreme Court recently upheld a Bombay high court order quashing the grant of land in Film City, Goregaon, for WWI in 2004 by the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
A press release issued by Ghai’s company, Mukta Arts, says the FFI, in a recent resolution, has claimed that the biggest film school in Asia that ranks amongst the top 10 in the world is the need of the media, the entertainment industry and the country. The FFI says it will approach the chief minister and prime minister to reconsider the issue given that Mukta Arts is not at fault. The state has already completed the process of taking over 14.5 acres of the land. The remaining 5.5 acres will remain with Ghai till 2014 but he has been served a notice to pay lease rent of over Rs79 crore.
Welcoming FFI’s support, Ghai says Mukta Arts, a public limited company, has been in a state of shock when the venture it signed in good faith following government procedure was challenged after 10 years.
“WWI is 15 years of hard work and an investment of Rs80 crore. We have foreign investors wanting to collaborate with us on similar schools in six states over the next five years. We wouldn’t want them to back off, said Ghai. “It (SC) has given us a chance to file a review petition to reconsider the matter. I am sure we will get justice.”