Vidya Balan, Sukhwinder Singh inaugurated '5th VEDA' and 'iPRAY' centre at Whistling Woods International followed by Masterclass by Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Mumbai, January 30, 2015: It looks like an obvious mission of Subhash Ghai to launch a unique cultural hub called the ‘5th VEDA’. Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s largest Institute for Film, Communication & Media Arts, a 9-year-old Institute has introduced its students to a unique concept called 5th VEDA along with the iPRAY room. Personally envisioned by him, this concept is to inculcate and promote art, culture and spiritual growth amongst the students of cinema and media arts. Under 5th VEDA the best of artistes and young talent of India will be encouraged to teach and perform their artistic skills which will in turn develop the artistic skills of the students, while their film & media training continues at this world-class Institute. Students will also actively participate in the 5th VEDA events at their Filmcity campus every Thursday as part of this initiative.

The launch of 5th VEDA was celebrated with a grand event at the Whistling Woods campus when Vidya Balan and Sukhwinder Singh inaugurated this unique cultural hub. 600 Film & Media students & faculty members of WWI packed two auditoriums for this eventful launch. Vidya Balan spoke about the importance of inner spiritual growth in developing one's artistic skill to excel in any kind of specialisation in cinema and media arts. “This movement like 5th VEDA, initiated by WWI is very innovative and will definitely benefit the younger generation with more power to excel in their respective fields”, she further added. Remembering her college days, she told the students about the value and benefit of associating themselves with legendary performers of our country and they are privileged to have this at Whistling Woods.

Sukhwinder Singh mesmerised the students and guests with his speech on Indian classical music and further by his classical singing and magical notes. He took everyone by surprise with his inner talent as a classical singer too — a side very few people have seen of his.

While speaking on spiritual growth for the younger generation, Sister Kunti from the Brahma Kumaris congratulated Subhash Ghai for opening a meditation centre called the 'iPRAY' room at WWI campus for the students. The same was inaugurated by Vidya Balan and the Brahma Kumaris.

Dr. Stephen Arnott, Assistant Secretary, Australian Arts Ministry, the guest of honour too shared his thoughts on the importance of such initiatives.

The energetic evening was followed by a Masterclass conducted by veteran director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali with 600 students followed by an interactive Q&A session. Students watched his recently released ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela’ a day prior the session. Students were thrilled to hear Sanjay Leela Bhansali talk straight from his heart on why and how his fascination for bright colours, melodious music, dramatic visuals & sounds grew from his personal life experiences. Bhansali was candid and shared his past with the students. He also revealed the secret that he was a huge fan of late legendary filmmaker V. Shantaram. He said V. Shantaram’s films had inspired him to take up direction. He appreciated the magnum scale of WWI and its perfect philosophy of world-class education for the coming generations.

Speaking about 5th VEDA — concept and mission, Subhash Ghai said, “I had originally envisioned these concepts, but could not initiate them because of the previous government changing stands on the existence of a global Institute like WWI. The 5th VEDA and the iPRAY room will give students a break from their regular routine and ensure art and meditation becomes a part of their daily life. We plan to open doors to other students and public eventually for their benefit. The 5th VEDA is a cultural movement to develop the artistic skills of the students in the field of Dance, Drama, Music, Poetry, Speech, Painting and all kind of art forms. Students shall attend events of performing arts by various artistes of India including students’ participation on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week and discuss classic movies from the World Cinema.”

Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “This is the first time in 9 years at the Whistling Woods International campus, when this movement of Art & Culture will be a regular exercise for all the students throughout the year. This will not only result in better health and well-being for the students; but also help them to excel in their professional field.”