“There has been a fundamental change over the years in the way cinema and entertainment is consumed. In addition to cinema screens and televisions at home,
there are a plethora of handheld devices at one’s disposal. The internet has become a major source when it comes to consuming content – computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets define the new-age consumers of entertainment. At RSACE, it is our endeavour to equip students with the skills required to create content that keeps pace with new-age media. Having said that, while the mediums have changed, the ethos of cinema and entertainment remains untouched and at its very core, cinema is all about stories. RSACE’s core purpose is to produce generations of film professionals that will contribute to great storytelling,” Ramesh Sippy.
Ramesh Sippy was born into a luminous family of the Indian Film Industry, so it is safe to say that cinema is in his DNA. However, his first real step towards his calling was when he left a career in economics in London to work in the exciting world of filmmaking under the guidance of his father, Mr. G.P. Sippy.
The next eight years were a whirlwind of learning, creativity and tireless enthusiasm as he juggled between college life and assisting in all the departments of film making on several films. Finally, on his 25th birthday in 1969, he decided to take on his first directorial venture, Andaz. He chose a challenging subject matter of widow remarriage that was way ahead of its time and treated the story with a sensitivity that surpassed his age. The film went on to become a super hit and is remembered till today by its popular song, ‘Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana’, performed on-screen by the superstar Rajesh Khanna.
Describing Ramesh Sippy as a filmmaker alone would be an injustice to his varied talents. Besides being a highly acclaimed film director and producer, he is a gifted storyteller and a master craftsman. He immerses himself into all aspects of everything he does. He is also a man of many firsts. He introduced Indian cinema to many new filmmaking technologies, including 70mm and stereophonic sound. He rarely repeats himself and challenges himself to charter new territories with each new project.
Sholay, widely considered a landmark film for Indian cinema, is his masterwork, as are blockbusters like Shakti, Seeta Aur Geeta, Saagar, Shaan and many more. He became a household name for millions across the globe when he directed the cult classic television show Buniyaad.
He started giving back to the industry very early in his career by becoming a part of various forums and associations of Indian cinema and entertainment. He has held leadership positions like President, Film & Television Producers Guild of India, Co-Chairman, Media & Entertainment Division, FICCI and Chairperson, NFDC. He was a co-founder of MAMI the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images and worked with them for over 15 years. He has served on several juries and chaired the national film awards in 2010 and 2016. He also serves on the advisory board of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA).
It was only the natural next step for him in his long, illustrious career to want to empower young minds to become masters of their craft. With the Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment, he is passing down not just education, but a treasure trove of knowledge with a deep-rooted legacy. His next, and perhaps greatest work will be the future generations of creative individuals who will fulfil their dreams, reach their potential and thus take the Indian Film Industry to greater heights.