Whistling Woods International: A Stalwart in the Field of Media & Communication Education

The thought leader for the Film, Communication, and Creative Arts industries

It’s quite something when it comes to supporting an industry. To be a building block, a pillar, growing and serving it with pride alongside contributing to its services. It’s not an easy task. Those who rise and come to such needs are the true heroes of the industry. Hence, The Knowledge Review feels immensely proud to present you one such hero, one of the best media and communication schools in India, Whistling Woods International (WWI). The institute came into being when the industry needed it most. Despite being home to the world’s largest film industry, India needed quality institutes until a few years ago. Legendary filmmaker Subhash Ghai recognized this gap and established his long-standing dream i.e. WWI. “To set up a film and media institute in Mumbai, where students could learn, study and decide what they want to do in their future.”

Today, the school caters to diverse film and media aspirants. From directors, cinematographers, musicians, editors to screenwriters, fashion designers, and mentors & teachers who pass on industry teachings to future generations. These are the principles that have guided and helped WWI to flourish since its inception.

WWI offers two highly sought-after courses:

Undergraduate programme: Bachelor of Business Administration in Media and Communication (3 years).

Postgraduate programme: Post Graduate Diploma in Media and Entertainment (1 year).

Both these programmes are accredited by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) with a tailor-made curriculum.

An Ardent Leader

WWI attributes its success to a vast pool of talented and industry experienced professionals and alumni. Among those, there is one exemplary personality, the President of WWI, Meghna Ghai Puri. As the primary aid to filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s vision of creating a world-class institute for film and media education in India, Meghna has been instrumental in the establishing WWI. As the President, she handles the institute’s day-to-day functioning and is a key player in its long-term vision and strategy.

Armed with an Advanced Diploma in Communications, Advertising and Marketing, and a B.Sc. Honors Degree in Business Management from King’s College, London, UK, Meghna manages a team of over 200 faculty and professionals. She is the youngest and only Asian woman to receive the Bradford College Honorary Fellowship. For her contribution to the field of education in cinema, she has been bestowed with the ET Best Education Brands of India, 2019.

Meghna, through her various roles, has been the recipient of many awards. Some of which include:

  • Iconic Inspirational Women of Nava Bharat Awards, May 2018
  • Women of Substance, Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Queen’s Necklace, 2017-18
  • Women’s Achievers Award, Young Environmentalist Programme Trust, 2017
  • Iconic Women Leaders Award in Entertainment, Arts and Cinema, All Ladies League (ALL), September 2016
  • Education Leadership Award, October 2013
  • Rising Star Awards, Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles, April 2010

She has previously managed Marketing at Mukta Arts Ltd. for films like Pardes, Taal, and Yaadein. Shaping students’ careers, structuring the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry, and mentoring the workforce at WWI are the top priorities for Meghna in her quest to make WWI a thought leader for Film, Communication, and Creative Arts education in the world.

Beyond Curriculum

Industry professionals frequently visit the campus for guest lectures, masterclasses, workshops, practical sessions, and much more. Consequently, students receive opportunities to interact and impress future employers while still learning from them.

The ‘industry-ready’ WWI trainees meet the escalating need for fresh talents in the Media & Entertainment industry. Professional skills acquired during their education ensures that graduates are in high demand with a rapidly progressing career graph.

The dedicated Career Resource Centre on campus builds partnerships with the biggest and best media and entertainment entities. It provides ongoing practical internships through the tenure of the course to enhance subject knowledge. “For students to understand rapidly evolving advancements in technology, it is necessary for them to experience the same, first-hand. Understanding this, with other high-end amenities, we also have a well set up technical infrastructure. We do our best to incorporate all the technological advancements in our curriculum to provide diverse exposure to the students.”

Diverse Career Opportunities

Over the past 13 years, WWI has proactively prepared a niche for its alumni in several key media industry areas – production houses, animation, and design companies, fashion houses and M&E organizations. WWI’s Career Resource Centre has a strong industry connect and reaches out to get opportunities for the students of its various schools.

The students, during their academic tenures at WWI, work on festivals and events like MAMI, Jagran, FICCI Frames, and many others. The School of Media and Communication at WWI offer an 8-week Summer Internship programme to the students as part of their BBA and PGD curriculum. The internships are provided in areas of PR, Advertising and Brand Management, Events, Journalism, Audio Visual Production, Marketing, Social Media, Brand Services, and so on. The students have diverse career options in various fields that they can explore upon relevant interest.

Graduates from WWI are the most sought after, simply because of the intensive training, they have gone through while studying at the esteemed institute. They are industry-ready as soon as they graduate from WWI.

Reasons to opt for WWI

Due to its robust curriculum and exposure programmes, the institute has spread its wings to a great extent in the industry. The institution takes pride in a recorded admission of over 15% of international students from the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, France, China, UAE, Holland, Bermuda, Nigeria, and several other countries. In 2010, CILECT- world’s premier association of Film & Creative Arts institutions– accepted WWI as a full member. Adding to that, Central and State governments consult WWI management for strategies on Film, Media and Entertainment education. Even The Hollywood Reporter has rated WWI as one of the Ten Best Film Schools in the world. Moreover, WWI School of Filmmaking, Department of Screenwriting, HOD, Anjum Rajabali has received the CILECT Teaching Award 2019 for his work at WWI for the past 13 years.

A key aspect to note here is aforementioned WWI’s partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) – Asias oldest institute for professional social work education – to offer Degree and Diploma Programmes in Filmmaking, Media & Communication & Creative Arts, ensuring that the best Film & Media education is offered to its students.

WWI started India’s first applied-arts degree programme in Filmmaking, Acting, Screenwriting & Music – launched in association with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

WWI has partnered with several global Film, Media &Technology giants to set up Four Technology & Innovation Labs on campus:

  • Sony Media Technology Centre – 2010
  • RedEducation Platform – 2015
  • Foxconn Media Lab – 2016
  • WWI Jio VR Lab – 2018

Promoting Media & Mass Communication

WWI adopts a 360° marketing strategy and campaign that focuses on communicating a consistent message across all marketing platforms. Apart from various methods to promote media and mass communication through traditional multiple marketing channels, WWI took one of the biggest steps. It hosted a series of media seminars called Inspiration across multiple Indian cities, where experts meet aspirants to talk about the dynamic nature of the industry.

Additionally, WWI started a media literacy programme, where it annually touches base with 100+ colleges and conducts interactive sessions and workshops for aspirants interested in the Media & Entertainment industry.

An Advice to Remember

Guiding the future media and communication aspirants, Meghna Ghai Puri states, “Do what you love and love what you do. At WWI, we truly believe in this mantra quoted by Steve Jobs and we feel it applies to every creative person out there, including Media & Communication aspirants. In addition, as they say, talent can bring you success, which is true; but for long-lasting success, one needs to be consistent. So, a message to the aspirants of the Media & Communication – work hard, make wise choices and success will follow!”

Future Campaigns

The school will continue to deliver the best of education and prepare leaders of tomorrow. Sharing their future prospects, Meghna Ghai Puri concluded with, “Our vision has and will always be to create leaders and professionals in the field of media & entertainment. We will continue to align ourselves with reputed institutes and organizations like CILECT, Google, Reliance, TISS, etc. and further our evolution by pushing the envelope of educational advancement through new courses and their dissemination to our students.”

She continued, “Our goal is to provide vocational training in media and creative arts to students of smaller towns and cities all over the country and thanks to our partners, TISS, this will also continue to grow steadily. The aim is to take Whistling Woods International to new heights and set new standards for world-class education in film, communication, and creative arts. The ultimate goal and dream is to build an institution that hones and promotes education for age 5 to 50.”

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