Whistling Woods International

Career in film making: How to get a head start from Meghna Ghai of WWI

Nancy Jaiswal
Nancy Jaiswal
Posted on 28 Feb 2023
15:17 PM

Source: Meghna Ghai

"My journey started at a young age as I started working at my father’s office and film sets. Everyone around me thought it was natural for me to become a filmmaker like my father"
Edugraph caught up with Mr Ghai and his daughter, Meghna Ghai Puri, the present President of the campus, to talk about the institute and building a career

Celebrated filmmaker Subhash Ghai, when asked about his career and inspiration, says, "I was determined to endure all the pains I face at various stages of my journey to be successful in the film industry. I chose to learn all the tricks of the trade pertaining to my talent and profession, purely from my seniors and books on wisdom but surely without harming anyone. My advice to the new generation is the same i.e., practice daily on your work and craft. Respect and learn from the seniors present in the industry and their experiences. Also, never opt for shortcuts to be successful in life."

Source: WWI

Heading a popular film making campus Whistling Woods International for years now, the popular film maker has contributed significantly in the making of successful careers for budding filmmakers for over a decade now. Edugraph caught up with Mr Ghai and his daughter, Meghna Ghai Puri, the present President of the campus, to talk about the institute and building a career. Meghna has recently been honoured with the Achievers award by the UK Parliament for her exemplary work in providing a global reach to WWI. Read on to know more...

1. Throw a light on your journey


My journey started at a young age as I started working at my father’s office and film sets. Everyone around me thought it was natural for me to become a filmmaker like my father. While I explored every aspect of filmmaking, I was fascinated by his drive for being an educationist and the visionary that he is. Hence, I am grateful that he gave me the opportunity to be part of his dream and build a unique & dynamic Institution like WWI, a promise he had made when he started his journey in the industry.

Post completing my education in the UK, I briefly stayed back and continued working there. And that is when my father asked me to come back and help him set-up Whistling Woods International, I immediately agreed and returned to India to turn his dream into a reality because I know how much this meant to him. And somewhere along the way, his dream became mine as well. And that marked the start of my exceptional journey at Whistling Woods International.

When I returned, the institute was in its ideation stage. I started as a part of a four-member team. Post 6 years of immense research and planning, we were able to launch a state-of-the-art institution, which welcomed its first batch of students in 2006.

Since its founding, while WWI’s journey has been full of ups and downs, I have cherished every moment of it. Catering to various aspects of the media & entertainment industry, WWI has four schools under its umbrella, namely Filmmaking, Media Communication & Management, Creative Arts and Performing Arts. Having started with just 80 students in 2006, the institute has 1300+ students and 3500+ alumni presently. WWI continues to offer a platform to talented youngsters to follow their passion and achieve their dreams.

I strongly believe that the learnings of my early work life have immensely helped me nurture and develop Whistling Woods International into an institute that it is today, and it is always my endeavour, along with my team, to take it to newer heights.

Source: WWI

2. What are your future plans to expand the institution for the betterment of Indian students and their careers?

Establishing an Institute like Whistling Woods International (WWI) was a dream of my father and our Founder & Chairman, Subhash Ghai. Known for his impact on the film world as a filmmaker and entrepreneur, he, however, is a teacher at heart. The genesis of WWI was to give students more than just education. It was to prepare them to be better human beings and contribute to society through their creativity.

We continue to look for opportunities to expand our campus by launching newer courses that will benefit the industry as well as help students realise their dreams and their career goals. The newest addition to our academic repertoire has been the launch of the School of Sports & Esports Management.

WWI is constantly looking at like-minded institutions within India and outside, to partner with so that we can take quality education to more talented youth. In its constant endeavour to provide globally recognised education, WWI has aligned academic collaboration with international universities including Norwich University of Arts, Trebas Institute, University of Exeter, University of the Arts London (UAL), PACE University, University of Greenwich, to name a few.

Our vision is to create a state-of-the-art academic institution that sets new standards of world-class education in the field of media & creative arts.

3. What are some of the courses that students with a strong interest in filmmaking would look to pursue at the institution?

As an institute, we offer various degree & diploma programmes catering to the film, communication & creative arts industry. For students who aspire to pursue a career in the filmmaking industry, they may enrol for programmes that vary in duration from 1 year to 3 years catering to all major verticals of the filmmaking industry, namely Cinematography, Direction, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Screenwriting, Sound Recording & Design, VFX & Virtual Production.

Programmes offered by WWI School of Filmmaking include:

  • BSc in Filmmaking
  • MA in Filmmaking with Specialisation
  • MA in Screenwriting
  • Diploma in Screenwriting

With a unique hybrid of theoretical and practical curriculum, WWI offer the students a well-rounded and holistic education. The curriculum ensures that the creative dovetails well with the business and technical aspects of the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry. The teaching methodology at WWI is designed to ensure that the students’ learning is collaborative and industry-oriented.

4. What kind of training will be provided to the students to develop their skills in the media and entertainment business?

Since its inception, Whistling Woods International has always strived to keep ahead of the industry and sectoral academia and ensure the introduction of new education to both our students as well as to industry professionals.

As a globally recognised institute, our focus has remained on enhancing our teaching methodologies as per the requirements of this highly dynamic industry. We’ve incorporated various steps to ensure our students acquire skills and experiences, making them industry-ready.

Through industry-oriented events, practical sessions, internships, workshops and masterclasses with notable stalwarts from the industry, all our students are granted the opportunity to gain talents and connections vital to their future success. We continue to create and evolve as a state-of-the-art institute by keeping up with the trends of tomorrow, enabling our students to stay ahead of the curve, in terms of the pedagogy and technical knowledge offered. WWI offers programmes under an agreement with Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), an institute of national importance, which ensures our graduates rank amongst the most desirable hires, who can take on career opportunities in every sector of the media & entertainment industry.

Filmmaking is an art at the end of the day. And with Mr Ghai’s dream and the unstinting support of Meghna, they have managed to make quality education in filmmaking a reality.

Last updated on 28 Feb 2023
15:48 PM
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