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Masterclass: Govind Nihalani talks about the making of Tamas

Govind Nihalani is an Indian film director, cinematographer, screenwriter, and producer. He has been the recipient of six National Film Awards and five Bollywood Filmfare Awards. His first directorial venture was Aakrosh, which was scripted by noted Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar. It won the Golden Peacock Award for best film at the International Film Festival of India held in New Delhi in 1981. He got his first National Award for Best cinematography in Junoon. He was also 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman for Sir Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” which won many Oscar Awards. His script for Droh Kaal became India’s first official entry for the 68th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film category.

His idea for creating Tamas was very personal to him. It goes back to his first memory of blood. In 1947, he saw a man being stabbed in the back by a knife, when he was only a little boy. During that time, there was curfew and his mother pulled him inside the house. “It’s a memory made of few moments” he says, while reminiscing the incident.

When Mr. Nihalani entered the field of cinematography, Tamas became his ambitious project. He had felt strongly for the refugees crossing borders on bullock carts or on foot. “First thing that occurred to me was to make something about the partition”, but he said that over time, the idea faded away. He, from his childhood had seen the repercussions of the partition and the everlasting impact it left on individuals, including himself, around him.

He went on to shoot for Sir Richard Attenborough’s movie “Gandhi” in Delhi. He discovered a book in a place called Mandi. There was a small book store where he went and saw a book named ‘Tamas’ at the top of the bookshelf. Mr. Nihalani was purposively finding for literature related to the partition, when he stumbled upon Tamas. But, with the hectic lifestyle of a filmmaker, he was often too busy and the book was side-tracked and left on the table.

Days after the shoot for Gandhi was wrapped up, he finally found time to read Tamas. First paragraph into the book, he knew he wanted to make a movie on it. Before the book he did not even know who Bhisham Sahni was. Much later did he realize that he was a renowned author his time.

He had several doubts regarding the making of Tamas. He put the thought of Tamas on hold and made Aakrosh. As the movie was nominated in the International Film Festival that year, he went to New Delhi. Since it was nominated in the Panorama category, Mrs. Gandhi (then Prime Minister) wanted to meet all the directors. Mr. Nihalani was only allowed to speak for two minutes since there were a lot of directors in the queue. Initially, he didn’t know what to ask. His mind was only on Tamas. He was so obsessed by the thought of Tamas that he ended up asking a question about it.

“Madam would the Government support the film? A realistic, serious film about partition,” he asked Mrs. Gandhi. He then continued asking if the government will sponsor or fund the movie if someone was willing to portray the happenings of the partition on the big screen. “It will depend upon the time when you make it” replied Mrs. Gandhi. Mr. Nihalani understood that she was trying to point out the political situations in the country when he makes it.

Looking upon the favorable political situation of the country, he finally decided to make Tamas. He had no money to make the movie. He somehow convinced an advertisement company, Blaze to finance the movie and the rest is history.

Mr. Nihalani then went on discussing about the power of cinema. He said, “Cinema has the power to move people, their minds, and their emotions.” One starts to think about the causes and situations that are somewhere buried deep inside the subconscious mind. He continued saying, “Cinema transforms emotion to action.” People then try to act upon the situations and emote it through their actions. “The power of interaction lies between your mind and what is happening on screen. A good director is one who can manipulate minds of people,” he advised the students of SPICE, while talking about the art of directing.

Tamas is a movie about survival and migration of humans. “The partition happened the day it was decided. Not on paper, but when it was thought of, by the then ruling people,” says the multi-talented filmmaker. There were two different parties, two different leagues and two different nations. The central character Nathu is portrayed from an unprivileged and lower caste society who kills pigs for tan and hide. Tamas is basically a compilation of different stories that is linked with one thread. It is about different people and their approach to different things. Tamas is a good example of how people respond to status in society, religious beliefs, education and income. What triumphs is the humanity. Human survived in spite of different point and acceptance on religious and political beliefs.

Saturday, March 23,2019
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Some remarkable words were shared on the morning of 9 March, 2019 at the St. Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai. This was held in celebration of Women’s Day. Four speakers on the panel expressed their viewpoints and engaged the audience with their thought-provoking speeches. The institute hosted  Alpana Parida, a former Head of Marketing at Tanishq; Priscilla Buthello, an image consultant supporting self-positivity; Luis Miranda, a CA currently working towards non-profit organisations; and Merlyn D’souza, composer and musician; who spoke on different themes on womanhood and what it’s like to be a woman in this day and age, in India. 

At the start, we had the Director of the Institute, Fr. (Dr.) Dominic D’Silva, share some wise words on how family is the most important and in today’s age, people tend to be ungrateful. He emphasized the fact that without a mother, there wouldn’t be lives. In addition, he mentioned something essential, that is women deserve respect every day of a year and not just on Women’s Day, and that trying to be appreciative for only a day via text is absurd.

Alpana Parida, a true feminist, spoke on how women throughout history have struggled with having to make endless compromises, and the pain of being rejected because they choose to shift their priorities from the home to wanting a career.  She also gave us an example of her experience that she had herself witnessed, showcasing how women have been tagged with certain gender roles, that in reality are quite neutral. Her speech delved on the upliftment of women, more precisely how women are self-sufficient human beings.

Priscilla Buthello, a mother of three women, has had an inspiring journey of success. She strongly believed that the world should be a gender-balanced community, wherein every person regardless of their gender have the opportunity to strive for better. Her keywords highlighted “Balance for Better”. A career and a family can and should be balanced simultaneously, by both the genders. She pleaded with the students of SPICE to strike that delicate balance between family and career.  She believed that it is possible and in a technological era, it is pretty convenient too.

Luis Miranda, the brains behind a successful organization, CORO that predominantly employs women volunteers, started off the audience on a humorous note and further gave us an insight into the thin line of women being primarily considered as home-makers. His speech focused more on doing what makes one happy and it should be done willingly. The topic of cultural bias was brought into picture, with examples of the Khasi Tribe, where women can only marry within the tribe and a place where families only consider sons to be important and that the lives of women are negligible. Rightfully said by Mr. Miranda, “As society changes, it is important that cultural bias goes away”. His organization, CORO functions on one motto, ‘Take Charge’. He believes that the world has been changing as more girls are being educated. In the end he said a wonderful statement that each person should live by, ‘You should not be afraid to live life on your own terms’.

Finally, going back to her humble beginnings, Merlyn D’souza, musician, composer and director of  various Bollywood classics, explained that every day is Women’s Day and women should be treated with respect throughout the year. Introspecting back to her very own life, one of the tangents that she started on, was humble beginnings lead to a never-ending journey in life. She shared with the audience her journey to success, from the time that the only music she knew was the noise of the trains and azaan, to then performing on stage with amplifiers, mixers and celebrities. Throughout her journey, she has also seen the music industry evolving as she went on to learn various forms of music. Her fundamental idea of living life is, ‘Connect the dots, Connect with each other’. She inspires not just every little girl wanting to sing, but every person to live life the way they wish to. She believes that, ‘Everyone is unique, no one is cloned’. Before leaving, she performed one of the classics from Bollywood and another with a touch of Mozart to it.

The vote of thanks was made by the Dean of SPICE, Carol Andrade, who thanked each guest for taking time to share experiences and words that the students can live by. Nothing feels better than celebrating Women’s Day,because it feels good be celebrated in a world where respect is not earned through hard work but by differences and fabricated superiority.

Thursday, March 14,2019
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Mediathon 2019: The Infinity Quest

Mediathon: one of the most awaited college media fests is just around the corner. This time it’s going to be bigger and better, this time, we are going out with a BANG!

If you're a Marvel fan then you definitely know what the Infinity stones are, but have you ever heard of the infinity quest?

Well at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, our students are going to take you on a journey of epic proportions.

By now you may have guessed it, but let me spell it out for you, the theme for Mediathon 2019 is The Infinity Quest (insert dramatic superhero music here), and what a quest it will be.

Over 20+ Colleges, 14 Mega Events, 4 Action-Packed Workshops and a whole lot of amazing sessions to attend, this event is going to be the mother of all colleges fests in Mumbai.

A little bit on Mediathon for the uninitiated, the fest is in its 3rd year and kicked-off in 2017, over the years it has grown tremendously and we are only getting started.


From technology, innovation and everything modern (Mediathon 2017) to #PoppinItup retro style (Mediathon 2018), we had an awesome time with the best of the best being a part of all that makes media such an exciting field.


This time though we have taken inspiration from the Titan himself, so not only is it going to be bigger than the previous years, but it will transform you once you join us on this adventure.

Here is what we have in store for you 

Mediathon Event Schedule 2019

11th January 2019 - Day One

9 am - 12 pm - The Gentlemen's Grandeur (Cricket) {WARRIOR FALLS}

The life between 22 yards will now be played in the box by 5 individuals who will fight it out to lift the trophy

10 am  - 12 pm - Ul-Team-Mate - FIFA Auction

Time to gear up for some action! Are your feet fast enough? Can you read the opponent? Plan your moves? Bring it all together and goaalll..! ?? Pick your fantastic five and come prepared for the ultimate glory! ??

11 am - 12 pm - Happy Cartooning - Vikas Sabnis

Cartoons have always been the fondest memories of our childhood and here comes an opportunity to learn the art of cartooning from the ace political cartoonist - Vikas Sabnis
He has worked with Mid-Day, Afternoon Despatch and Courier.
Attend his workshop Happy Cartooning 

1 pm - 2 pm - Shutterbug & Voyage Realms (Pre-fest events) Outcomes {MIDTOWN HIGH}

Superheroes in action make for great pictures. Get those cameras ready for the photography event of #Mediathon2019.

Rules: One of the pictures should be posted on the contingents Instagram handle where your likes would be tracked and tag @Mediathon_Spice for Instagram or @mediathon2019 for Facebook 
Also, add the hashtag #Mediathon2019. Send us your entry before 4th January 2019.

12 pm - 2 pm - Read, Think, Write, Repeat (Writing) {WAKANDA}

All you MCU fans now have a chance to write your own super-story. Are you up for the challenge? Get ready for the writing event

2 pm - 3 pm - Ul-Team-Mate - FIFA19 - The Game

Will you be the UL-Team-Mate champion? Get ready to witness the game of heroes. Join us at the Hydra Base

3 pm - 5 pm - JAM 

5 pm - 7 pm - Tesseractive moves (Dance)

A MEDLEY PERFORMANCE of your choice! ????
Perform a #dance medley of your choice, ALL FROM ONLY 1 MOVIE.

7 pm - 9 pm - Galaxy Mix (Band)


12th January 2019 - Day Two

9 am - 12 pm - The Orb of Glory (Football)

Workshop: 10 am - 12 pm - All about Podcasts - The Wordy Wordpecker Show - Rachel Lopez

11 am - 12 pm - The Brain Game (Quiz)


12 pm - 2 pm - We have a Slam! (Poetry Slam)

Is poetry the only way you pour your heart out
Or are you someone who likes chanting wah wah in the crowd? 
We have an afternoon for the poets in the house!! <3

For the love of Nazm, Shayari, and poems, 
The HIVE presents 'We have a slam' in association with Mediathon 2019

2 pm - 3 pm - Reality Breaker (Drama)

What's a superhero-verse without a little drama? Be a part of #RealityBreaker, our drama event and hey, break a leg!

2 pm - 3 pm - Not just #MeToo - Vinta Nanda
{WAKANDA} Workshop

#MeToo is not just a movement. It is much deeper than it appears to be. Hear it from the lady herself, Ms #VintaNanda as she shares her views on the movement and why it is important.
Attend ‘Not just #MeToo’ with Vinta Nanda in conversation with Carol Andrade on 12th January from 2 PM to 3 PM at ST PAULS Institute of Communication Education!

4 pm - 5 pm - Hyperspace Runway (Fashion Show)

From the space to the runway, put your best foot forward and take your audience on a trip, the interplanetary style on January 12th 2019, from 4 PM to 6 PM.

6 pm - 9 pm - Endgame - Walk to Infinity (Treasure Hunt) {BANDRA}



Thursday, January 10,2019
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A literary coup at St Pauls Media Complex

This year, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education and Title Waves featured as added venues for the Tata Literature Live, a four-day festival that is easily among the largest in the country. Till last year, it featured at the NCPA and Prithvi Theatre in Juhu. This time, on November 17 and 18, it was also at Bandra, on our premises.

The Festival promised more than 100 sessions, plus workshops and performances, over the four days. At St Pauls, there were 28 sessions, spread between Title Waves and the Alberione Hall over two days. What an illustrious lineup it was. From Stephen Daldry, director of Netflix’s famous series The Crown, interviewed by theatre personality and trenchant critic Craig Brown, to Lionel Shriver, talking about her books, NDTV’s Ravish Kumar, in a panel discussion moderated by Dean of SPICE Carol Andrade, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai talking to Govindraj Ethiraj about Journalism in the Modi era, discussions, debates, straight talks and poetry readings, there was something for everyone.

Plus there were the workshops in the Title Waves Lounge. Editing the written word with Ferdinand Mount, putting a thriller together with Sabine Durrant, even one of the science of using foul language by Sabine Durrant.

And the turnout was equally astounding. As Anil Dharker, founder of the literature festival put it, “We thought there would be teething troubles and we wondered if people would come to the new venue. But everything went off so smoothly and the numbers who attended, as well as the quality of those who registered, quite floored us”.

Rich praise indeed with footfalls to match, with an estimated 600+ people visiting over the two days. At the time of this writing, the figures were not yet in. In marketing terms, and if the aim was to raise awareness of St Pauls Media Complex among Bandra-ites and even those who are not from here, it was a 100 per cent successful exercise.

Saturday, November 24,2018
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Times Celebrate Bandra 2018 Schedule | St Pauls Institute of Communication Education

The Times Celebrate Bandra Festival is one of the most-awaited festivals in Bandra. Held every year in some of the coolest places in Bandra, this time of the year is when Bandraites are gearing up to indulge in the intriguing and fulfilling festivities of Celebrate Bandra.

Celebrate Bandra began in 2003 and was conceptualised with the vision to bring people together through quality entertainment that is free of cost and accessible to all. Celebrate Bandra is also a platform for budding, local artists to get exposure.

The Times Celebrate Bandra festival has a variety of programmes ranging from socials, musicals, theater, dance, literature, film, sports, art, walks and tours as well as events for kids.

There are many venues across the suburb of Bandra that are hosting a variety of events. For yet another year, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education (SPICE) will be hosting the film events of Celebrate Bandra.

From workshops on script writing, to antics of professional filming, editing and even acting. This is every film-fanatic’s dream and what’s more, it’s all free! It just doesn’t get better than that.

If you’re interested in attending these workshops or other film events of Celebrate Bandra, then here’s the Celebrate Bandra 2018 schedule below:

Event: Workshop on Comprehensive CInematography

Date and time: 17/11/2018, 12 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Basement Classroom, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Workshop on Advance Short Film making

Date and time: 18/11/2018, 12 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Basement Classroom, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Breaking Grounds with Vikramaditya Motwane

Date and time: 19/11/2018, 7 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Breaking Grounds with Imtiaz Ali

Date and time: 20/11/2018, 7 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Breaking Grounds with Zoya Akthar

Date and time: 21/11/2018, 7 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Breaking Grounds with Nandita Das

Date and time: 22/11/2018, 7 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Workshop on Making a Good Script Great

Date and time: 24/11/2018, 12 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Basement Classroom, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education


Event: Workshop on Tools of Acting – for Directors and Actors

Date and time: 25/11/2018, 12 pm - 8 pm

Venue: Basement Classroom, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education

Friday, November 16,2018
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TATA Lit Live Fest 2018 Schedule | St Pauls Institute of Communication Education

The TATA Literature Live! The Mumbai Festival 2018 or as its more affectionately called by the lit aficionados as the TATA Lit Fest 2018 is back yet again for another year of celebrating literature.

This will be the ninth TATA Lit Fest and events during the lit fest will be held in four distinct locations:

  • St Pauls Institute of Communication Education
  • Title Waves, St Pauls Media Complex
  • NCPA
  • Prithvi Theatre

The TATA Lit Fest 2018 will host more than 100 participants from across the globe, for a series of insightful panel discussions, conversations, workshops, performances, debates and quizzes.

But what’s more exciting for us to share with you, is that the TATA Lit Fest Mumbai 2018 is coming to St Pauls Media Complex, Bandra for the first time. St Pauls’ Title Waves, a vibrant bookstore on the ground floor will host a number of activities like workshops curated towards writing short stories, readings of literary texts and even discussions on the effects of technological development on the existence of literature.

Besides St Pauls’ Title Waves, some of the other media-related events of the TATA Lit Fest Mumbai 2018 will also be held at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education (SPICE), the media institute located on the second floor in the St Pauls Media Complex. SPICE, which is largely dedicated to learning the constructs of journalism, advertising and public relations makes for the perfect place to hold discussions on the state of the media in the Modi era, along with other discussions about the influence of Mumbai, as a landscape for the creation of modern literature. Another spectacular event that will be hosted at SPICE lit buffs simply cannot afford to miss out on is the performance of Land Spielen, musical reading of a novel about the search for happiness, of inner and outer foreignness, and migration.

Unlike all the previous TATA Lit Fest, this one promises to be far more insightful and fulfilling.

Interested in coming to the event? Well, here’s the TATA Lit Fest 2018 schedule at SPICE for you to check out:

TATA Literature Live! 2018

Venue: Alberione Hall, St Pauls Institute of Communication Education (SPICE), Title Waves, Tilte Waves Lounge

Day 3: November 17, 2018

SESSION 1: 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Venue: Alberione Hall

Easy Sits The Crown Why are we fascinated by royalty?

Craig Brown in conversation with Stephen Daldry

Venue: Title Waves

Imagination is an Algorithm. Are we ready for computer-generated literature?

Eran Hadas, Emma Byrne, Henry Eliot

Chair: Deepanjana Pal


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 11 am - 1 pm

The Short Story Collection with Carlo Pizzati

SESSION 2: 12 pm (noon) - 1 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Job At Hand

The industry of unemployment.

R Jagannathan, Vivek Kaul, Narayanan Ramaswamy

Chair: Ajit Ranade


Venue: Title Waves

Word to Word

The pleasures and perils of translation.Robert Dessaix, Vanamala Viswanatha

Chair: Aatish Taseer


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 2 pm - 4 pm

Cutting Edge with Ferdinand Mount

The art of editing the written word


SESSION 3: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Text and the City

Mumbai, Dilli, Bengaluru

Abodh Aras, Ravish Kumar, Shoba Narayan

Chair: Carol Andrade


Venue: Title Waves

Cold Comfort

How the environment shapes human biology

A Straight Talk by Scott Carney


SESSION 4: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Tracking India in the Modi Era

Rajdeep Sardesai in conversation with Govindraj Ethiraj


Venue: Title Waves

History or Fiction

Which tells a truer tale?

Ashok Ferrey, Sanjeev Sanyal, Sebastian Faulks

Chair: Robert Winder


SESSION 5: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Around the World in 80 Trees

A Straight Talk by Jonathan Drori on the importance (and bizarre antics) of trees.


Venue: Title Waves

Living With The Land Working with rural communities

Rishi Aggarwal, Venkat Iyer

Chair: Deepa Narayan


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Thrilling Plots with Sabine Durrant

Discover the route to writing psychological thrillers


SESSION 6: 6:00 pm -7:00 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

200 years of Marx At the tipping point?

Ferdinand Mount, Miniya Chatterji, Sanjeev Sanyal

Chair: George Jose


Venue: Title Waves

It’s Complicated

Love, longing & ambition in New India.

Janice Pariat, Shubhangi Swarup, Snigdha Poonam

Chair: Priyanka Pathak Narain


SESSION 7:  7:30 - 8:30 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Land Spielen

A musical reading of a novel about the search for happiness, of inner and outer foreignness, and migration


Venue: Title Waves

Meddling Uncle Sam

200 years of America's involvement in South Asia.

Srinath Raghavan in conversation with Vikram Singh Mehta

Day 4: November 18, 2018

Session 1: 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Venue: Alberione Hall

How the Smartphone is Transforming The World's Largest Democracy

A Straight Talk by Ravi Agrawal


Venue: Title Waves

The Foreign Eye

How international writers see India

Carlo Pizzati, Hirsh Sawnhey, Scott Carney

Chair: Karthika VK


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 11 am - 1 pm

Swearing is Good For You with Emma Byrne

Understanding the science of using bad language


SESSION 2: 12 pm (noon) - 1 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Graphic Journalism

Going where words cannot

Molly Crabapple in conversation with Peter Griffin


Venue: Title Waves

The Line of Beauty

Alan Hollinghurst in conversation with Susannah Clapp

SESSION 3:  1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Living with the Gods

A Straight Talk by Neil MacGregor

Followed by a conversation with Anil Dharker

Venue: Title Waves

First Day, First Show

Manuscript to Movie

Alexi Kaye CaenGuptampbell, Lionel Shriver, Upamanyu Chatterjee

Chair: Anuradha S


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 2 pm - 4 pm

Writing Fiction with Christos Tsiolkas


SESSION 4: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall


Inspiration or Voyeurism?

Boria Majumdar, Folco Terzani, Susannah Clapp

Chair: Ayaz Memon


Venue: Title Waves

Rethinking Tradition

Islam and modernity

Deborah Moggach, Nazia Erum, Neyaz Farooquee

Chair: Javed Anand


SESSION 5: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

The Book That Wasn't

Priyanka Pathak Narain in conversation with Vikram Oza about her book From Godman to Tycoon


Venue: Title Waves

Masala and Milk

Tasty stories you never heard before

Marryam Reshii, Shoba Narayan

Chair: Antoine Lewis


Venue: Title Waves Lounge

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

The First Page with David Ebershoff

How to write a compelling opening page to make the reader want more


SESSION 6: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Offending Everyone?

Writing fiction in a polarized political environment

Lionel Shriver in conversation with Shai Venkatraman


Venue: Title Waves


The body, food, and obesity

A Straight Talk by Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan


SESSION 7: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue: Alberione Hall

Literary Parodies

Craig Brown performs a selection of his famous parodies, Channeling Pinter, Naipaul, Hardy and many others

Venue: Title Waves

The Crumbling Pillar?

Dangers within the judicial system

Arun Shourie in conversation with Ayaz Memon


Thursday, November 15,2018
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