Karnataka’s only film institute evicted

Karnataka’s only film institute evicted

Government Film & Television Institute Bengaluru. the photo was taken from FB

Karnataka’s oldest film institute, the Government Film and Television Institute (GFTI), has been evicted from its 25-acre campus in Hesaraghatta for “unauthorised occupation” of government land.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences (AHVS) has ordered the eviction under Section 5(1) of the Karnataka Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1974.

Accordingly, the institute will be shifted to the Government Printing and Technology Institute campus on Palace Road in Bengaluru. 

The 75-year old institute, which counts veterans like Govind Nihalani, Ashok Kashyap and V K Murthy
as alumni, offers three-year diploma courses in sound recording engineering and cinematography.

The courses were housed in the S J Polytechnic campus, before shifting to Hesaraghatta in
September 1996.

The 25-acre plot on survey numbers 95-97 in Kodihalli village of Doddaballapur taluk was leased to the erstwhile Karnataka Film Industries Development Corporation (KFIDC) in May 1968. “The land was sublet to the DTE in violation of the lease conditions,” the eviction order issued by S T Rathod, deputy director, livestock breeding (Hesaraghatta), stated.

The AHVS department declined the institute’s request seeking permission to continue functioning on five acres of land that has a building, equipment and other infrastructure, according to the eviction order. “We spent about Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore on infrastructure when the institute shifted to the campus. We have requested the AHVS department to at least compensate this,” said H U Talawar, director, DTE, under which the GFTI functions.

Following the eviction order, the Higher Education department has decided to shift the film institute to Palace Road. The shift will come into effect from the 2019-20 academic year as the All India Council for Technical Education last month denied permission for the institute to relocate. “It was too late by the time we applied. We will seek permission to shift the institute next year,” Talawar said. The eviction might be a blessing in disguise for the institute, which has suffered low admissions for several years now.

“We expect admissions to improve once the institute shifts to the city centre. The Hesaraghatta campus, for practical reasons, was too far,” Talawar said.

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