Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2013

Central university IMU allows film shoots, students suffer

EduShine Academic Search

imuCHENNAI: For movie makers in Tamil Nadu, it is not easy to find a beautiful university campus by the sea. But makers of a Tamil movie Nimirnthu Nil, starring Amala Paul and Jeyam Ravi turned lucky when Indian Maritime University (IMU), a central university under the Union shipping ministry, allowed the crew to shoot on its beach-side campus on East Coast road. And students are bearing the brunt of it for the last few days.

The campus has now been converted into an ‘office’ of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the movie. Ironically, the central university which was started in 2008 was under the radar of CBI and raids for alleged irregularities and corruption in its first three years.

However, the reel time CBI sleuths have shattered the calm of the campus where students are struggling with semester examinations.

The din of more than 500 movie artistes and shooting crew, their vehicles and huge generators, reflectors and lights and announcements over microphone announcements have turned a real trouble for the class rooms last day.

Students say there are only a few days left for the semester exams and practical tests for hundreds of students.
Professors who expressed their anger to the university management said giving permission for movie shootings during the class hours should be stopped. “It’s nothing but a total disruption of normal work. Last two days have been besieged by the filming crowd. Noise over microphone is deafening and we could not take classes,” said a senior faculty.

According to official sources, the university has given permission for nearly a week long shooting and charges Rs 40,000 a day. A student doing his diploma in nautical science said the shooting crew is wandering all around the campus and class rooms. “Some of them take a nap at the corridor or have food inside class rooms. Since any routine work is impossible in that environment, classes have been stopped on Wednesday. Exams are a few weeks away and this is one of the last working days in this semester,” he said.

Heads of leading institutions in the city are in the opinion that no responsible management will give permission to shoot movie on work days and class room hours. Vice chancellor of the University of Madras R Thandavan, who had acted and produced movies, said he will never permita film crew in the campus during working hours. “It is not about rules, but a responsibility of the management to avoid such commercial commitments during the work hours. And why should an educational institution make additional money by compromising its top most priority,
academics,” he said.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director of the IIT-Madras also shares the same opinion. He said the top most priority of a college or any university should be ensuring its routine functioning. “We never entertain film shootings inside IIT campus since it also affects the nature and animals. It is obvious that the movie crew comes with a lot of vehicles, generators and a huge filming crowd.

Once it is over, cleaning the campus itself will be a difficult task for us. At least we are sure that we need not waste our time for such things,” he said.

When the shooting was in its full strength at the IMU campus on Wednesday, which was started four days ago, a high-level meeting of the Empowered Finance Committee (EFC) was being held inside the university building attended by senior directors of IMU.

However, a senior official with the IMU Chennai campus said they have given permission after ensuring that it will not affect academics. “The campus has been featured in more than 300 movies in last few years. We never let them to shoot inside the university building but it was either outside or on the beach front of the campus,” he said.