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Speaker Profile

Mr Shekhar Kapur, Filmmaker President, FTII.After leaving his corporate career as a Chartered Accountant, Kapur pursued his passion for the arts and has become an award-winning film, television, theatre director, producer and entrepreneur. He has not only become a prominent figure in Indian cinema, with films such as Mr. India (1987) and Bandit Queen (1994), but also in western cinema, with the academy award winning, Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Although Kapur continues with his film, television and theatre career, more recently he has also become President of the Film and Television Institute of India and co-founder of the digital start-up company, QYUKI.    

If you ask him what he does, Kapur will say: ‘All art is about us seeking the infinite within ourselves, so I would describe myself as a seeker.’ 

Discussion Points

Shekharji started with a wide-ranging introduction to what he thinks the Hindi cinema started as and where he sees it today. Starting with the times when women were presented to be living with a sense of servitude towards others, he brought out a lot of content. The discussion involved pointers on the idea of mass consumption of cinema by adults, children, and people from all walks of life; how exactly and in what ways the industry has developed in the past few decades; and the false sense of masculinity which has proved to be highly problematic in all ways.  

According to him, both male and female exist within us all and so, we can be both masculine and feminine. The point he put forward is that the more we define gender issues, the more we face or see them around. We must aim to realize the coming together of them within us. When asked about his new role as the President of FTII, he talked about his idea of ‘school of unlearning.’ Sharing his experiences with Amma, he emphasized on the importance of being free and letting go off the need to identify with others. The wonderful session ended with a virtual group photo of all those who were present.

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