Industry Veterans, Filmmaker Yash Chopra and Music Composer Khayyam received the WWI Maestro award at Whistling Woods International’s 5 year Anniversary and Annual Convocation Day

Ronnie Screwvala gave keynote address and Shabana Azmi along with other members of the fraternity graced the occasion

Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s largest Film, Television, Animation & Media Arts Institute, also listed amongst the TOP TEN Film Schools in the World by The Hollywood Reporter, celebrated its’ 5 years of existence and the convocation ceremony. Renowned names from the film fraternity, media and entertainment corporate world like Yash Chopra, Khayyam Saab, Ronnie Screwvala and Shabana Azmi were present at the momentous occasion to encourage the new batch of young talent entering the Indian film and entertainment industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods International said, “Whistling Woods alumni and their placement in the industry, is a testimony of daring to dream; and how nurturing it with the right environment and experiences, can lead someone to achieve success on their own terms. It is that time of year again where we set free our students, into the industry, infusing it with new life and a fresh perspective. We wish our graduating students all the very best in their future endeavors, to make it big in the film and entertainment industry.”

The graduating batches received placements in enviable positions at Endemol, Dharma productions, Anil Kapoor Productions, Epigram, Prana Studios, Sanjay Leela Bhansali films, Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions, Prakash Jha productions, AFAQs, among other big names.

Every year, Whistling Woods International on its Annual Convocation Day, acknowledges two stalwarts from the Indian Film Industry with the WWI Maestro Award. Keeping this tradition going, the WWI Maestro Award for 2011 was conferred upon Khayyam saab and Mr. Yash Chopra for their lifelong contribution towards enriching Indian cinema and entertainment industry. While presenting the awards, Mr. Ghai said, “Both Khayyam saab and Mr. Yash Chopra are stalwarts of our industry and have been great veterans. Their presence on this significant occasion is truly appreciated. Their achievements are a source of inspiration for these students to achieve their dreams.”

The valedictorians were presented to two students, Murali Krishna who graduated in Cinematography and is working on several Hollywood projects and Ankit Banga who completed his MBA in Media and Entertainment and has been placed at Indiabulls, by Ms. Meghna Ghai-Puri, President, Whistling Woods International.

Speaking at the WWI convocation, Veteran actress Shabana Azmi said, “My heartiest congratulations to you all and I am extremely proud to have been part of Whistling Woods since its inception. A large part of what I am today is due to the training I received in my early days and it has stayed with me forever. Today as you are passing out know that that you are start afresh and do not know everything. Your resource base should be life and there is lots to learnt from everyone and everything around you.”

Khayyam Saab said, “I would like to thank Whistling Woods for this honour bestowed upon me. I would also like to wish all the students from all the streams at whistling Woods India all the very best for a bright future.“

Yash Chopra said, “I thank all the members at Whistling Woods for having conferred upon me the Maestro award. To receive this honour in the midst of the future of the film industry is a nostalgic feeling for me. Back in the day our textbooks were films made by stalwarts of the industry. We had to learn everything from experience and we had just one goal –to learn. Our careers were the goal not glamour. Today you are fortunate to have an institute like Whistling Woods to educate and guide you. A word of caution though – there is no substitute for hard work. The future of our industry lies in your hand, so go out and give it your best.”

Ronnie Screwala said, “The entertainment and media industry in India is picking up and garners as much importance as industries like automobile and IT and plays a pivotal role in the India consumption story. Opportunities are immense, content is a key driver and one has to think from a 360 degrees to succeed.”

Summarizing the entire event and addressing the students, Ms. Meghna Ghai-Puri said, “Today at the Convocation Day of Whistling Woods International Class of 2011, I feel proud to see 170 students graduating from this institute. WWI will continue on its path to provide expert guidance and training to our students through a mix of meticulous theory and rigorous practice. I would also like to thank all our industry experts who encourage these bright students through their curriculum. We would like to wish the students all the very best for their future endeavors and I am confident that our alumni will change the future course of the industry.”

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