Cinema100 makes a grand start at Whistling Woods International

Cinema100, an exclusive three day film festival celebrating 100 glorious years of Indian cinema saw a grand opening at the Whistling Woods International campus today. Legendary musician and Oscar winner, A. R. Rahman was specially invited to inaugurate Cinema100, in the heart of Film City.
The inaugural ceremony started with renowned cinema stalwarts Gulzar, Saroj Khan, Sukhwinder Singh and A. R Rahman being invited on stage by the Founder and Chairman of Whistling Woods International, Subhash Ghai. Together, they lit the lamp to formally open the three-day grand festival. The group also unveiled a life sized statue of Shree Dadasaheb Phalke which will now be kept for display in the college premises. This was followed by a short film which gave a glimpse of the various phases of cinema, right from the era of black and white films to the present day animated and pictorial films.
While speaking at the inauguration, A. R Rahman said, “I am so thrilled to be here. Whistling Woods International has been an inspiration to me. I am looking forward to see your exhibition on 100 years of cinema. I can see a glorious future for the students of filmmaking and I wish them all the very best.”
Subhash Ghai, Founder Chairman, Whistling Woods International was all smiles as he commented, “Whistling Woods has always promoted quality film education and we have been thought leaders in providing the latest knowledge and best infrastructure to our students. Cinema 100 is our tribute to the fascinating 100 year journey of Indian Cinema. We are very happy to have in our midst industry stalwarts and legends who are whole-heartedly willing to share their knowledge and experiences to make this event successful. I am especially proud of the students of the school who are my support and inspiration. Their hard work in putting together this event is truly commendable.”
Sukhwinder Singh dazzled the crowd with Sufi songs from the 1950’s onwards. Bollywood’s favourite choreographer Saroj Khan threw some light on some of India’s top 12 choreographers in the past 100 years and Gulzar addressed a packed session in the auditorium on his poetic journey in Indian Cinema.
In the festival mood, Gulzar saab said, “Cinema is lucky that after these 100 years it has an institute like Whistling Woods International and it has students like this, who respond to cinema and who know its language. If anything happens to this institute, I will be the saddest man . Bachchon ne bohot khoobsurat kaam kiya hai. Yeh muhavren zubaan ke gayab hote ja rahe hain. In muhavron ko sambhalna humari zimmedari hai.” On being asked by an audience member on the art of translating poetry into song, he said “yeh toh trade secret pooch rahe ho aap.”
The festival showcased great amount of reverence to Indian Cinema of old through special screenings of Raja Harishchandra & Harishchandrachi Factory, which is based on the life of Shri Dada Saheb Phalke, who introduced motion pictures for the first time in India.
Highlights of DAY 1:
- Some of the oldest cameras, film posters of the bygone era and costumes from landmark films were on display in a one of a kind exhibit tracing the 100 year journey of Indian cinema
-Mumbai-based film-circle activist Subhash Chedda showcased collection of over 4,00,000 posters.
-GEM dresswalla contributed some of the most popular film costumes of the century to lend an added charm to the spectacle.
- Renowned artiste Nandita Choudhri shared her installations on Indian films.
- The original poster bought at an auction by ad filmmakers Arti and Kailash Surendranath were on display.
-Special screening of the first ever Hindi film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ followed by a Marathi film ‘Harishchandrachi Factory’, which is based on the life of Shri Dada Saheb Phalke, who introduced motion pictures for the first time in India.
-Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra interacted closely with students and had a great time going thru old exhibits.
“Whistling Woods is among the top ten film making institutes in the world, over the last years the school has encouraged and shaped some of the best talent in the industry. Cinema100 is our tribute to the Industry at large, the event will not only showcase rare films but also will be a tool to educate the youth about the rich heritage in Cinema and its future. I am extremely happy with the kind of response we have got on the first day and I look forward to the thrilling weekend too” added Meghna Ghai Puri, President of Whistling Woods International.
Arjun Kapoor said, “Film Education is essential and the institute has the infrastructure to provide it all. I never had the opportunity to go to a film institute.” Speaking on the Cinema100 initiative taken by the students he further adds, “I think it is fantastic”.  Parineeti Chopra too added, “I was very excited to be a part of Cinema100 and it’s a mind blowing experience. Whenever I meet Subhashji or Rahul, I just feel so glad that there is one film institute that encompasses everything.”
The first day also saw the likes Randhir Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Kiran Shantaram (son of V Shantaram), Rinki Roy Bhattacharya (Bimal Roy's daughter), Rakeysh Mehra, Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and many others walking down the campus corridors to soak-in the cinematic journey.
The three day festival saw a glorious opening and there is a lot more in store for the avid film enthusiasts for the next two days ranging from film screenings to workshops to panel discussions and more.

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