Ekta Kapoor’s media and entertainment institute, ICE, may be two years old but that’s the time she took to turn it into a perfect launch pad for students. In an email interview, she tells SANGEETA YADAV about the innovation in courses and live classes in Balaji Studios
Tell us about this Institute of Creative Excellence (ICE)?
ICE was set up by Balaji Telefilms in 2010 with the aim of providing world class quality education to aspirants looking at making a career in the media and entertainment industry. Our objective is to share our varied experiences with the new generation of students. ICE was incorporated to provide a credible one -stop shop to train talent from all parts of the country and to meet the requirement of trained manpower across the gamut of this industry.
It’s been two years since the launch of the institute. How’s the response so far?
Excellent. Over 10,000 aspirants have gone through our selection process, of which 700 have cleared the rigorous three-level selection procedure and undergone training with us in the last two years.
But there was no formal announcement of the launch. Why?
There was a lot of background work being done over the last two years, like creating a world class curriculum; defining and implementing the latest blended learning methodology for training etc. The curriculum made by industry experts was put to test through pilot batches, which enabled us to validate and further fine tune the content. After having made the required changes, we are now ready to present ICE to the world.
What are your views on the education system in India?
The education system in India today is at par with the best in the world. With new-age career opportunities that are available to students the entire job market is looking to explode. A lot of focus is on skill-based training in all fields of work which is a good change.
Is there anything at all that you would like to change in this sector?
Education is a very noble profession as it nurtures future talent. After having put so many years in this industry, if I am able to share and contribute in my own little way to this noble cause it will be personally very fulfilling. Through ICE, we are bringing in the concept of live action learning at the Mumbai campus which is within the premises of the Balaji studio. We also offer blended learning methodology, structured curriculum and researched course in the media and entertainment training space. Along with power-packed courses, we also have industry experts as trainers and guest lecturers.
What is your role?
As an active member of the ICE academic council, I like to make the course content industry relevant, thereby ensuring that every student passing out from ICE is an industry-ready professional from day one.
Being a mentor and guide, I will be providing regular inputs to professionals at the institute on industry requirements. Whenever I see exceptional talent, I make it a point to help his career. That would be my little contribution to this industry that has given me so much over the past 15 years.
How many courses and programmes are offered?
The ICE offers a bouquet of full-time and part-time career and modular programmes like acting, direction, modeling, editing, production, scriptwriting, sound recording, animation and visual effects (VFX). We also offer vacation programmes for children between the age group of 7 and 15 years, besides a wide range of programmes in dance from beginner to advanced levels.
What’s for the eligibility criterion?
What really matters is the student’s talent and passion to go through the rigours of training. Having said that, all aspirants need to undergo a three-level selection process which gauges their suitability for the programmes. Other than that, there is no academic criterion to get an admission into the ICE.
(The article was published in the Pioneer Newspaper)