By Chaitanya Padukone
Ravishing lead actress-producer Raveena Tandon-Thadani was as usual outspoken when she expressed her candid views “Never call our Hindi-Indian film industry as “Bollywood’. We are not a copy of any other foreign cinema industry anywhere in the world. Our internationally acclaimed film industry which produces the highest number of films has its own independent identity with unique content. Our movies are incomparable and cannot be competed with. You must refer to it as Hindi Film Industry or now pan- India Indian Film Industry. One should always have a sense of confident pride of belonging to our renowned fraternity,” asserted Raveena who also fondly recalled, how ‘director Ramesh-jee (Sippy) during the shoot of ‘Zamana Deewana’ (1995) had mentored her like a “teacher” to take her acting career more seriously and be more focused’.
The versatile actress Raveena (who recently impressed with her riveting role as the ‘Indian Prime Minister’ in blockbuster ‘K.G.F: Chapter 2’) was being honored for her “contribution to the film industry” by ‘showman’ Ramesh (‘Sholay’) Sippy on behalf of his prestigious Cinematic Academy (RSACE) with a special memento. The felicitation held at the Kalina Mumbai University campus was part of the first-ever formal Convocation Ceremony of the RSACE where nearly 40 students got their graduation certificates, in turn from Raveena, Ramesh, and Kiran (Joneja) Sippy (she is the M.D.), Rohan Sippy and other dignitaries. While heartily congratulating the first batch of students who had graduated, was in one of her upbeat moods as she spoke.
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“You are in the best hands today, If I have reached a high point today, it all originated from G P Sippy Films (she was launched in the 1991 musical hit movie ‘Patthar Ke Phool’). Which was my education system, my university where my entire learning took place on the ‘PKP’ sets, and probably my career evolution began there. That’s because I started without any formal education in film-making or any acting course. A very emotional moving moment for me here which I will treasure forever and it’s like homecoming right now. Because it’s like starting off my education from a school and many years later, being honored by the same school Principal,” enthused Raveena who recently acted in the OTT Netflix show ‘Aranyak’ (2021) co-produced and co-written by talented Rohan (Ramesh) Sippy.
Both founder- Chairman iconic film-maker-mentor ‘Padma Shri’ Ramesh Sippy and (RSACE-MD) Kiran Joneja-Sippy jointly said “In this fiercely-competitive professional contemporary world, with high expectations, it’s always ideal to be technically trained and acquire the hands-on know-how of the craft of film-making. At our Academy, which is affiliated with Mumbai University, the emphasis is on intensive practical training courses in all aspects of film production. In addition to our pro-active coaching, we also engage the best possible experienced eminent teaching faculty and guest Master Classes by eminent actors-film-makers. We have various long-term technical degree courses and also short-term multiple courses for various streams including acting. Our trained alumni will soon play a significant role in the future of Indian Cinema.”
(The writer Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent senior film-journalist and author of memoirs book R D BurMania)