Balancing The Wisdom Tree – The Women who reshaped The Film and Television Institute of India


‘Balancing the Wisdom Tree’ is an anthology book edited by Gauri D Chakraborty which is a tribute to the women alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India, who entered an overly male-dominated world and reshaped it.

An old mango tree inside the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune is called ‘The Wisdom Tree’ in honour of the wisdom exchanged underneath it. And ‘Balancing the Wisdom Tree’ is an anthology book that collects the memories and experiences of women who graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India. The book is edited by Gauri D Chakraborty, who is an alumina of FTII. This book was launched on 8th March 2022 at the International Kolkata Book Fair.

When Gauri D Chakraborty told other female graduates of the renowned film school that their experiences were going to be documented in a book, she was met with both relief and disbelief. “One response was that people were waiting for this to happen, and another was scepticism about whether the endeavour would ever see the light of day,” Chakraborty told in an interview.

The anthology is a tribute to the women who entered an overwhelmingly male world and reshaped it. In recalling inspiring but also obstacle-strewn journeys undertaken on the campus and beyond, Balancing The Wisdom Tree provides a concise history of the often-neglected contributions of women to Indian cinema and television.

The book was commissioned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Publications Division to mark FTII’s 60th anniversary in 2021. It follows Being FTII, a commemorative volume containing essays by some of the institute’s most well-known alumni.

The new volume puts a precise number to the number of female graduates from FTII – 503 between 1965 and 2016. Apart from listing every graduate by name, year of graduation and discipline, Balancing The Wisdom Tree includes personal essays and conversations between practitioners. The book cover has been designed by Dorothy Gupta Varma, the first woman to be trained in art direction at FTII, and Anamika Chaudhary.


Read the full article here.

-Staff Reporter

Leave a Reply