Kamal Haasan, the legend of Indian cinema, was honoured with the prestigious Maestro Award instituted by the faculty and management of Whistling Woods International (WWI), School of Film, Fashion and Media. Founded in 2008, the school celebrated its 7th Convocation in Mumbai on 18 July, 2014. Veteran Kamal Haasan especially flew down from Chennai to receive this award & deliver the Keynote Address to the Graduating batch. The Maestro award was instituted in 2009 and has been conferred on legends like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rahman, Shiv-Hari, Pyarelal, Ashok Mehta, Shammi Kapoor & many others.
Kamal Hassan visited the campus in Film city [which is currently under litigation at present] and was amazed to see the high tech custom made building and facilities with students from India & international countries studying here. He took a master class with 300 students on campus. During the class he remarked about the superior quality of student films that the Whistling Woods had made. He also praised the vision of Mr. Ghai and his team that is manifested in the educational philosophy at Whistling Woods. “Today I have come to check out my future competition. The vision of Subhash Ghai and his team with their decades of experience is apparent in the educational philosophy & I can say these students will be competition for me after seeing their work through their student short films” said an excited Kamal Haasan.
The Maestro award was conferred on Kamal Hassan and writer Javed Siddiqui for their excellence in cinema & the arts, on behalf of the students, faculty and management. The 7th Convocation saw 200 students graduate making the total number of Whistling Woods Alumni over a 1000 in number who are successfully working in the Entertainment & Media Industry today.
During his keynote address at the convocation Kamal Haasan remarked, “I am deeply impressed by the quality of diploma films made by students and would like to request Subhash Ghai (jee) and faculty to allow students and alumni to make feature films by using the high tech facilities at this campus by creating a corpus fund. I would be happy to participate in the growth and even like to make films myself with these young filmmakers.”
At the convocation one of the Valedictorians, Yoagandran thanked Whistling Woods for his grooming and taking his career to a different level. He requested Subhash Ghai and Kamal Haasan to set up another Whistling Woods in Tamil Nadu so the students from the state could also have an advantage of an International Institute such as this.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President Whistling Woods recently received an award from Skilltree Consortium, at the House of Commons in the UK for building a Global institute in India with International standards. She thanked Kamal Hassan and Javed Siddiqui and wished the students the best as they make a new beginning in the Indian Film & Media Industry.