Pune: The best way to get your foot into Bollywood's door is to have star genes, but if don't have a father or godfather in tinsel town coming to the FTII may help.
Last Friday, a young man called Anurag Sinha made his debut in Subhash Ghai's Black and White. Sinha is one of the fresh faces to walk out of the reinstated acting course at Pune's Film and Television Institute of India.
An author-backed role for a newcomer without any Bollywood connections is the stuff dreams are made of.
"Me and my entire batch, when we came here, we were not expecting anything great. But it has actually been great and I am still hoping for better things to come," said Sinha.
The Film Institute has produced some of the finest actors. But this acting course was discontinued in 1977 due to internal problems in the institute. 30 years later, the course was restarted, with just 20 students.
Another student, Nishant Nanaiah, has also been snapped up by Bollywood. He has bagged the lead role in Cycle Kick, produced by Ghai's Mukta Arts banner.
“I really respect those youngsters who have spent a few years training – those who have taken this profession seriously and not came into it as models or just by looking good,” said filmmaker Subhash Ghai.
Gaurav Dwivedi, also a student of acting at FTII, is now dreaming big. He has just got his first break in Ketan Mehta's next film Rang Rasiya.
The acting course at FTII boasts of an alumni of names like Jaya Bachchan, Om Puri, Smita Patil and Satish Shah.
Matching up to them may not be an easy tas, but with Bollywood changing and stardom now becoming accessible to outsiders like never before, there's hope for every starry eyed passionate aspirant at FTII.
With inputs from Suchetna Ray